Adjust the UI color & contrast

  • 195
  • Idea
  • Updated 4 months ago
  • Planned
  • (Edited)
(This idea comes what what we’ve heard here in this community as well as from other customer feedback methods we utilize. The feedback we gather here will help us gauge how well it fits our users’ needs. Please let us know what you think)

The Problem:

The Dark UI for Camtasia does not appeal to everybody and for some, it makes working in Camtasia unproductive due to issues with contrast and text legibility.

Potential Solution:  

An option in Camtasia to choose a lighter UI or choose your UI color.
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Posted 2 years ago

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Rick Stone

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yes, Yes, YES!!!! (cue famous diner scene from When Harry met Sally)
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jsaxon

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Camtasia implies that only those who are visually impaired will find the interface difficult to use. I beg to differ. I do not consider myself visually impaired, yet I find the interface horrible to use for any length of time. Please change this. I avoid using your product now because of it. If that is your intent, then by all means, continue with this interface.
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training

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I agree jsaxon. The sheer number of people who have requested this feature cannot all be visually impaired. It's demeaning to make a statement like that, as if they can dismiss the problem because someone is impaired. It also smacks of discrimination. So what if customers have an impairment? Make your product accessible, especially when your competition has already done it. I just upgraded my ScreenFlow to vs 7 a couple weeks ago. I would have liked to stick with Camtasia, because so much of my work is in their format, but I also like to work with software that does what I want and is comfortable to use. Screenful has already addressed problems like this and others that have been requested many times. Once Techsmith starts losing market-share, maybe then they'll take us seriously.
(Edited)
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media

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I'm going to chime in here. Looks like this has already been discussed quite a bit, but... the UI is definitely too dark. I'm not vision impaired. In fact I have 20/20 vision. I've also used Screenflow, and their UI colours are MUCH better. All Techsmith needs to do is have a look at Screenflow to get a sense of what everyone is talking about. I've spent quite a bit of time comparing the two, and I think Camtasia has the edge, but please, provide the option for different UI colour schemes. I have an audio editor that has 7 presets and the option to custom change just about any part of the UI. It's brilliant, and cost less than $100. Please move this up the priority list.
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Sophia

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OMG, kill me now. Jeez. The Camtasia screen is so dark, I can't even see the tiny scroll bar at the bottom to scroll through my clips to get someplace. Not only is the scroll bar narrow and hard to grab, I can barely see the somewhat lighter gray color on top of the grayish black color. I can see by the comments that this is a very popular topic. FIX IT!!!

Who came up with this? Let me reverse the colors. I can't see!!!  Seriously, do I need eclipse glasses to see the UI? I'm running version 9.1.0 on windows. I don't know what else to do. Help. This is a popular feature request. Why won't you fix it??????



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Sophia

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I am not visually impaired, but I can't see with the Gray on Black user interface. You need more contrast, at the very least, or some more color. It's impossible to see anything. Hey, Audio Effects has some muted baby blue to add some contrast. Yay.

Captions is ridiculously hard to see with the gray on black.  I see some green at the bottom, that's a start!


Check out how Apple does this "Smart Invert Colors". And they are the ultimate leader in usability, so take some tips from them. They give you the option to invert the colors to something you can actually see.



Seeeeee?



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training

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If I could vote multiple times for any feature, this is the one.
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ExpertNovice

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I have given up.

It was about 2 weeks ago where we were told, 'For any Camtasia customers reading this, we owe you a post as well - just give us some time to get that together."  (I don't know the exact date becuase GetSatisfaction doesn't record the date of the post.)  So far, nothing even though we were told a couple of months ago there was going to be a meeting on this topic.  So far, we have heard nothing about that meeting either.

Even the current post downplays the issue.  The current concern is that "it might not "appeal to everybody.  Ignoring those who are unable to use the software or who have issues using it.

It took being told I, and others, don't count to go from "I will open this idea every month until it is accepted" to "I have given up."

(Edited)
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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I certainly understand your frustration. Wendy's post on June 2nd marked a new commitment to be more responsive and transparent to customer feedback. I hope with our follow through on that commitment in the coming weeks and months we'll earn your trust back. Robert's post this morning was intended to be the Camtasia post that Wendy spoke of. Perhaps that didn't come across clearly. We are using this round up to have a better understanding of priority of the features relative to each other. Once we have an opportunity to evaluate the votes, we'll respond on all the features in the round up to let you know where they stand.
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ExpertNovice

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I have reread the post above.  I neither see the CEO's name nor the offer to refund our money for C9.  Both were in Wendy's post.  I was deleting newly received posts and noticed this title as it was being transferred to trash.   It is unlikely I will notice Wendy's promised post.
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wendy.hamilton, TechSmith CEO

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Hi, In my 6/2 post, I linked to a Snagit voting list, and I promised a Camtasia post as well.  What I meant by that is a Camtasia voting list which was posted 6/12.  Everything else I said in my 6/2 post was meant to apply to Camtasia as well as Snagit - I can see why that would be confusing and apologize for that.  I've asked Rob to contact you about refund.
(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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Hello Wendy, how about getting someone to define Choose your UI color.

Because if that's means Black becomes Blue and Dark Grey becomes a"Slightly lighter shade of blue"
If it's nothing more than a hue shift is what you get. Than from my perspective. The UI would still lack contrast. So it's a non starter and a poor idea.

Without a  mock up posted  from TechSmith.
I don't see how anybody knows what they are voting for.
 
Are we going to wait for weeks on end to see who votes for this.Then base Camtasia's UI on what people THOUGHT they might be voting for.

I think at best, if you chose Camtasia Green. You might end up with this. How are we supposed to know any better?




Brown maybe?



No thanks on all counts. Some clarification please.

Regards,Joe
(Edited)
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Donna.Lettow

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As an accessibility specialist who also has a vision impairment, I'd like to know if any of the promised steps have been started now that 3 months have gone by.  I purchased Camtasia Studio 9 but can't use it because of the poor color contrast.  I'm interested to know if anyone in the federal government is using 9, because I'm fairly certain the color contrast is in VIOLATION of the Section 508 regulations.  If you'd like to test your colors, here's a good place to start: https://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/contrastanalyser/
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training

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Everyone is talking about changing the background color, but my issue is white type. I'd like to be able to change the type to black then adjust the UI color so that it's clear for me. White type on anything is hard to read, in any size. 
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training

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Actually, that isn't really white type. It's light gray type, and that's even harder to read. 
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WIZBASKY

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Camtasia 9.0 UI & software limitations.

I am not liking CS9 vs CS8.6, the UI, layout & tools in 8.6 are far superior, it's not even close. I have just spent the last 3 days testing EVERY Editing program listed on google.



15 programs in total, downloaded trials and tested them all out, each software has at least 1 feature I like and some programs are ok in general, but fail in 1 critical area I like from camtasia, such as some of the editing programs do not give you Narration ability, they expect you to use another program and import it in. some programs do not let you choose a mic input which I have 3 mics. some have crappy green screen options.

Camtasia 9.0 at the very least is a program I know I have been using CS 7-8.6 for 4 years and now 9.0 is out, I just can't stand the crappy UI, and now that I have tested all these other programs I can see just how lacking in abilities CS9 has.



you know in almost EVERY Video Editing Software list you can google I only found 1 list with camtasia Studio on a list, no one conciders it a video editor. Google for yourself if you don't believe me "Video Editing Software "



I feel this software has better features than most of the crap on the market, but they ruined 9.0 with the UI. you might ask what did you not like about the UI, which would suggest I did not like 1-2 things, no no no, you screwed it all up, I would need to list every feature on your UI to tell you what parts I did not like.



ALL I WANT IT the stability of 9.0 in the 8.6 UI layout, please release CS8.7 with the exact same look of 8.6 but with 9.0 stability.



do that and I will buy your software again.





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Joe Morgan

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Improving Camtasia 9's Dark Disfunctional UI. It's far worse than Adobe's. A comp....

Adobe's UI's are nothing like TechSmith UI's.

I got tired of seeing Dark themed TechSmith UI's being compared with Adobe's.I've read a lot of posts that suggest it's monkey see, monkey do. TechSmith, the monkey following Adobe.But their not following Adobes lead at all.

With Adobe, you can set the UI to extremely Dark "Black". To dark for my taste at times but there is still a lot of color, the media on the timeline,the various editing windows,etc..Lettering is "White" not "Light Gray" like Camtasia. There's  "Blue" timeline position and effects values. Even at the darkest setting, Adobes UI has plenty of color, contrast and readability.
See Image Below,Click to Enlarge

There's a science behind dark interfaces.Brightly colored UI's interfere with your ability to discern color and contrast correctly.If you look at the first 2 UI images I've shown. When you look at the image of the house. You eyes will think that the image shown below is brighter or lower in contrast than the image above.They are in fact,identical.
However, Adobe still let's you brighten the UI.It a variable adjustment from as black as shown above to as light as shown below.Just realize that dark UI's are better for a reason.
 
With Adobe,you can also customize and arrange any and all panels. They can be placed  anywhere you wish.You can combine panels "Compound Panels" if you
will. You save the custom layouts you create.You can have one for
creating titles, special effects, your favorite editing layout.One click
will switch between each workspace.

All Panels can switch into full screen mode.You simply highlight the panel and hit the "Tilda Key"
The media bin is shown switched to full screen below.

Plus, the media bin let's you enlarge the size of the Thumbnails.Now that's visibility.
You
can even hover your cursor over the videos. You scrub through them and
preview them right there.You can even mark in and out points. Just hit
the "I and O"keys.

 Here's what TechSmith's done to SnagIt. Everyone requested a UI with better visibility going back to SnagIt 12.Well, actually this is an improvement over what they did to SnagIt 12 initially but It's still to bright for me.
 
Through the magic of Photoshop I bring you Camtasia 9 with a SnagIt color Theme.
 I hope this will never happen to Camtasia.

In closing, everyone should feel free to compare Adobe's UI to TechSmith's.

TechSmiths
UI needs some improvements.

 Adobe"s UI is a fine example of what a User Friendly and Highly Functional UI is all about. 

 I'm not beating up on TechSmith here. My intention is simply to point out how much Camtasia 9's UI lacks and what it could be with some forethought and work.

I posted "most" of this Idea as a response to another thread earlier today. My thoughts were immediately buried under another response. So I posted this as an Idea for others to see.


Regards,Joe
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Official Response

Since the release of 9.0 the darker UI has been a hot topic in the Community. We’ve thoroughly read all the responses on this topic from the release of 9.0 through this June round-up.  While this idea didn’t make the top tier, we felt that the UI, as it is, is difficult or even unusable for some users with visual challenges. To that end, we intend to engage an outside expert in the field of accessibility to help us refine our understanding of the problem and advise us on possible solutions. When potential solutions are available (like a prototype, mock-up, or similar), we will seek feedback from users both on this Community and outside to inform on our design decisions.


This is something that has our attention and we intend to put further the effort to make an informed decision.


Here are the definitions of what the statuses mean for Ideas.

Here is the overall vote count for the rest of the Ideas in this round up.

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Here's Johnny

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I’m thoroughly disgusted and I’m tired of the 100% inaction on this subject.

Camtasia 9 was released nearly 10 months ago. People have been complaining about the UI ever since its inception. There are 171 other people that have cast their vote for an improved UI.

So what has your outside expert you’ve hired told you about this issue?

From a usability perspective, you’ve pretty much shoved this under the rug. That part that extends under the sofa. In the back corner of the room in the attic upstairs.

I have zero confidence at this point that, you intend to do anything until Camtasia 10 is released.

I will walk away from Camtasia forever if TechSmith thinks they’re going to lure me into buying Camtasia 10 just to get an improved UI.

Tired of the excuses, you can collect data and ideas until the cow jumps over the moon. That doesn’t help anybody using Camtasia now does it.

10 months of complete inaction on a well-documented problem with Camtasia. At most places of employment. After 10 months, if employees were incapable of carrying out their jobs and correcting problems. They would be looking for a new one.

John

PS. What happened to the Camtasia Monthly Feature Request Round up this month? It appears you skipped over that as well. Last I checked you were supposed to release that on the 15th of every month.

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Mike Shaw

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Afraid I am in  total agreement with John.  It isn't a new feature or an adapted feature being asked for - but  simply to change the UI colours.  Changing the UI colours in many video and photo editors is often a user controllable setting.  If one could hack the code it would be a simple matter of changing one  number (representing the colour) to another.  No discussion is needed:   the UI colouring in Camtasia is abysmal and goes against all the recognised guidance for these things.  It is rather horrifying to hear that this has to be discussed and debated - at great length over an exceptionally long period, apparently, when it would probably take 5 minutes to simply change the colours to something more acceptable ... and probably no more than an hour of coding  to actually provide the user with a choice or the ability to set up their own colours.  Enough is enough ... just do it! 


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Joe Morgan

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Exactly,
John and Mike hit the nail on the head.
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Mal Reynolds

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Changing the UI colours in many video and photo editors is often a user controllable setting.
This. Just this.

This whole business of navel-gazing outside experts (I swear, I put my face into my hands and started slowly shaking my head when I read that) and "research and development" and mockups for testing and what have you is starting to sound like foot dragging.

If I were to sit down now and do a GUI, even in a language as primordial as, say, VBA, it would take me AT MOST 30 minutes to knock up some buttons for foreground colour, background colour, text colour and maybe one or two other elements, then hook a system colour picker dialog up to it. 

Do that, and let US find the colours that work for us. I won't even bill you for this blindingly self evident piece of coding insight that your outside expert will probably hit you up for a 5 figure sum for.
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davemillman

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Oh high and mighty lords of Techsmith, hear our plea:

If you did a release tomorrow that contained JUST this one enhancement (user selectable GUI colors), we might start to think you were listening again.

Throw us a bone, dudes!
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Joe Morgan

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When a dog begs for a bone, on the surface it's cute.  If the dog could talk, I'm thinking it would chose dignity over behaving in this manner. 

When a customer asks for a bone because their eyes burn, they can't see the UI well, etc.,  so forth and so on, whatever the reason.
At these late stages, it sounds even less dignified.
Why?
This is an ancient request that's fast approaching 1 year old, month after month, after month, excuses offered,  excuse in and excuse out.  Without so much as a temporary  maintenance release..................
 

 
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Official Response

Hello,

We’ve spent some time over the last couple months exploring a few options to address concerns related to the darker Camtasia UI. We have a prototype of Camtasia Windows with adjustments to the color contrasts that may help those whose vision is somewhat constrained or that find the current UI difficult to use.

We'd like to ask for volunteers to test this prototype and give us feedback. Below is a link to a form where those that are interested can sign-up to participate. The form will include details about the study. The participation sign-up will be open until October 6th at 23:59 UTC. 

Camtasia UI Contrast Study Participation form

On the topic of Accessibility with Camtasia, a cursory evaluation might suggest that video creation is an inherently visual process and, perhaps, not for those with visual impairments; but it’s actually more nuanced that. The accessibility of software is tested with a scale of visual abilities. With that in mind, we are taking a deeper dive into the accessibility of Camtasia.

We’ve contracted Michigan State University’s Usability Accessibility Research and Consulting to test the accessibility of both Camtasia Windows and Camtasia Mac. Our purpose in conducting an accessibility study and consulting with the outside experts is to help us make an informed decision about what level visual ability will be supported with Camtasia. We expect it take 2 to 3 months to get the results then make decision on how that should impact Camtasia.

It’s our intention to first focus on optimizing current UI. Results and feedback from both the prototype and the accessibility studies will help guide us toward an optimal UI.

Thanks.

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Donna.Lettow

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I have a visual impairment , but I am by no means blind -- hopefully your accessibility specialists will give some education about the difference.   Video creation is an inherently visual process, but a process that I employ quite frequently in the creation of training and other videos as an accessibility specialist for a government agency.  Since the release of Camtasia 9 and its inaccessible color contrast, I've had to go back to a Windows 7 machine running the visually accessible Camtasia 7 to get my work done.
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ChrisM

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David, 
Thank you so much for the update. I can only imagine that your team is working hard at finding a way to make your user base more satisfied. Sometimes we users feel a little left out. I really look forward to helping improve Camtasia. I heavily rely on it to make a living and want to see it be the best product possible. In my opinion, that is where a lot of this animosity and anger comes from; People rely heavily on your product to make a living and care deeply about it. Thanks again for the detailed response. Oh yeah and, GO ILLINI! :)
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Tim Frost

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Nice try to make it look as though TechSmith is doing something and trying to listen to your customers, but TechSmith already has a huge number of comments from current and former customers on what changes we want from TechSmith concerning the UI.  This entire "Contrast Study Participation" is simply a way to kick the can farther down the road without actually doing anything to improve the current UI. Then we are expected to wait ANOTHER 2 TO 3 MONTHS for the accessibility study of Camtasia to be completed and THEN you will have a meeting to decide what, if anything, to do about Camtasia's accessibility? How long are we supposed to wait for that decision to be made?

You know something else? I received an email from MaintRenewals@TechSmith.com telling me that my maintenance agreement for Camtasia is expiring on October 1, 2017 and I was asked if I want to RENEW t hat maintenance agreement!!!! Are you kidding me? It has been nearly a year since Camtasia 9 was released and in that year I have seen NO IMPROVEMENT in the UI, nor have I read ANYTHING on this forum from TechSmith management even HINTING that a change was in the offing. Nothing will convince me that TechSmith is in dire condition over the failure of Camtasia 9 and that the evaporation of TechSmith as a viable business entity is nearly complete.

All that TechSmith has done is to tell us in previous messages that the current UI is "professional looking" and it was already recommended by someone prior to the development and final release of Camtasia 9. You have consistently disregarded the complaints of your customers who are the REAL judges of how "professional" Camtasia 9 looks and no effort whatsoever has been demonstrated by any of the comments from TechSmith that anyone is listening to your customers at all.

I hope that this dose of truthfulness doesn't violate any of your rules and does not get removed from the forum.
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Joe Morgan

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I believe David D. 100%

I for one, have posted several mockups that I’ve created myself.

Made many suggestions, complained on several occasions about TechSmith dragging their feet. I’ve doubted their sincerity in dealing with this particular issue. My patience for change, has been pushed to the brink on this matter.

However, I intend in taking part in their study. Provided they let me participate.

 I use Dell Super Sharp Monitors. I’ve never had an issue using the dark UI. I’ve never experienced eye strain, or had any of the other issues people are reporting. The tool and editing Icons, timeline/time and frame indicators, text, could be a little larger.  I would also arrange things differently but that’s another issue.

What bothered me was reading the sheer volume of complaints being posted. Probably has something to do with growing up in the 60’s LOL. Couple that with the lack of any adjustments or controls within the UI to deal with it. It’s a serious problem for a lot of people.

So I don’t mind pitching in and giving my opinion, letting things unfold and see what happens.

SnagIt 12 was to Dark when it was first released. It still is.

They rushed a Light Version out to appease the masses who were complaining. They inverted the Black and Gray color scheme. It looks worse than the dark version in my opinion. It’s way too bright, unless the room you’re in is lit very brightly or your poolside with a laptop.

So rushing Camtasia 9 could be a mistake as well, let’s hope they came up with something extremely nice. Michigan State University is a great place to tap for advice, but I’m prejudice. I grew up in Michigan.

Regards,Joe

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pjonesCET

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I wouldn't mind testing the Mac version that is just as messed up.
(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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Like many others, I find the CS9 UI very fatiguing to work with; my biggest concern is font clarity, contrast, and size; selection indications are also a concern

Made a short A/B compare video of CS9 UI vs. Adobe Lightroom UI; captured at 1920x1080 on my 24" monitor; best viewed with browser at full screen; to me, differences are very obvious ...

CS9 UI Usability Issues
http://www.screencast.com/t/tPFOzoM7

CS9 UI vs CS8 UI
https://www.screencast.com/t/TkyTbza7P
(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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I couldn't understand why you used Lightroom as a comparison so I threw together a Side by side  Camtasia 8 and 9 image.I see you posted a video with a Camtasia 8 comparison while I was doing that.
Oh well, here's my image.

Regards,Joe
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kayakman, Champion

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your image makes the point excellently

I used Lightroom as a quick compare because it presents a somewhat similar UI look, but to me, it's so much easier on the eyes
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Donna.Lettow

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This illustrates my point very well.  LightRoom interface:

Camtasia 9 interface:
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wendy.hamilton, TechSmith CEO

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Official Response

I recognize that this is our most active topic in the forum, and while it’s not our customers' top prioritized issue it’s an issue that some customers are extremely passionate about.  I apologize that you are unsatisfied with the interface, and that we haven’t responded faster to the issue.  As Dave indicated, we’ve listened to the feedback and are working on an updated UI that we will test with interested parties, and we’ve accelerated this work ahead of the MSU evaluation.  We have been increasing the amount of dedicated resource on Camtasia and this will help us not only respond to forum issues, but other customer requests as well.

Many of the comments in this thread are incredibly helpful and useful.  We are fortunate to have customers so engaged and committed to us that they take the time to help us really understand the root problem and the alternatives.   Thank you.

Unfortunately, some of the comments, are inflammatory, offensive and inaccurate.   Twice I’ve had to request comments be removed on this post specifically because they contained personal attacks.  So I want to make clear that while you are always invited to criticize the product, any comments that attack our employees personally will not be tolerated and will be removed.  What helps prioritize an issue is less the passion in a single comment, and more the the sheer number of customers raising the concern.  We have been reaching out to our enterprise and institutional customers, who generally don’t use this forum, to confirm their feelings on the interface.  If we see that more customers are having the concern then we will increase the prioritization.       


Wendy Hamilton

CEO, TechSmith

(Edited)
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Tim Frost

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Maybe TechSmith management should attend some of the UX (Adobe's abbreviation for User Experience) and maybe TechSmith can learn something from a company that really understands UX. Check out this link for an explanation of what UX is: https://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/what-does-a-ux-designer-actually-do/?segment=design&tracki...

Then TechSmith could go farther and read about "11 tips for UX SUccess" from Adobe at this link: https://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/11-tips-for-success-in-your-first-ux-design-job/?segment=desig...

It will probably be uncomfortable for TechSmith to read about this information and even more uncomfortable to see that what we have been saying about the Camtasia 9.0 UX is so horrible.
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kayakman, Champion

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interesting articles; thanks for sharing
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Bob Lewis

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Sharyn & Tim Frost,

You seem to understand what so many of us understand. Thanks for the input.

It speaks volumes when employees of any company seem to Simply justify why they are Right and are more interested in Not getting there Feeling hurt by users of their product when they have a different opinion or have far more experience.

I completely agree that No foul language should be used.
That does say how frustrated some users have become.

All of the staff that I have personally communicated with to seem to really listen and want what we want and do Not agree with the wording of some of the staffs comments.

I is obviously a bigger listening and learning curve for some. I look forward to watching how the staff handle the present and future frustrations of their users.

Still a loyal user of Camtasia, Thanks for listening,

Bob
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joe.stefanelli

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Well stated Sharyn.  My interpretation of the TechSmith response is identical to yours.  Good reading between the lines.  Another interpretation:  "We have to make sure that our third-class customers aren't crazy by consulting our VIP clients." Or, probably more correctly:  "We have to see if any of our big-buck clients are irritated, because they're the only ones that matter."

There are none so blind as those who will not see, nor so deaf as those who will not hear.

-Joe

(Edited)
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ExpertNovice

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Sharyn, I worked for a major US convenience store.  The store personel really didn't like the IT department.  (Even though I was a programmer I would talk to store managers and suggest they make a point about what they need and not give up.)  I explained to them that upper management told IT what the stores "wanted".  The store managers told us what they got made more work and was not helpful.

Seems to me, if they talk to managment they won't be talking to the users but will get positive feedback.  The users will simply say, this is all I have to work with.

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karin.layher

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Just to add to the fray, my team and I recently upgraded to Camtasia 9 and promptly reverted back to 8. We all had problems with eye strain and difficulties seeing the options due to the low contrast. None of us have visibility issues. We will be interested to see what new option is offered some time this year, and hope that it works better for us. We use Camtasia frequently, so can spend hours in the tool. If we had known how difficult to see the options would be over a time period, we would never have switched. We did it more to remain current on the software than for other reasons and purposefully put it off for some months due to the massive change in the UI. Will there be some sort of notice sent out when the option becomes publicly available, so that we can see if it works for us before we try the switch again? I'm with others in voting for a choice. That may be your best option for pleasing the most people.
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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Official Response
I’m nervous about kicking this hornets nest, but here goes. Please keep in mind that I took over as the Camtasia Technical Product Manager in July of 2018. I’ve been with TechSmith for a very long time and was aware of this long running thread, but I didn’t make or influence any of the decisions prior to July. That’s not an excuse, just an explanation that my analysis and decisions about product priority started fairly recently. I started as a developer on Camtasia back in 2005 and am enormously proud of the team and product. That said, I know we can always do better.

Some things to make clear here:

#1 We read these posts frequently. It’s not fun to see users expressing this much pain and frustration, ever. It puts a bad taste in everyones mouth. As a product team we want to make software that helps users make a difference. We’re a super passionate group and we want our customers to love using the product. 

#2 In March of 2018, we adjusted the UI contrast on Windows in a maintenance release to Camtasia 9 as a direct result of this feedback. Camtasia 2019 for Mac will ship with similar improvements to contrast (I’m very appreciative of those changes as a predominantly Mac user who spends a ton of time staring at a screen). The point being that during the last 12 months we’ve been making an effort to improve things for users on the UI contrast front.

#3 The dark UI polls very well among users. The vast majority of the users we’ve surveyed either prefer it or don’t have a problem with it. I’m not saying we are ignoring you folks who don't like it, but there’s a very large contingent of users who would prefer us to do work in other areas.

#4 Camtasia sits on several different UI technology stacks and the codebase has been actively developed against for ~20 years. It’s not easy to turn desktop UI with that kind of code legacy on a dime. I’m saying this because the decision to focus on a light UI will mean less work on other features and that makes most of our users less happy. I hope folks can at least see the position we’re in, recognize the tradeoffs and come to a reasonable understanding that our decisions aren’t based on how little we listen or care for our users.

#4 I’m a bit uncertain what’s a good enough compromise to win over folks on this thread. Some folks seem to want a myriad of color choices they can choose from, others want something that looks more native, still others just want something not quite so dark with good contrast. I’m not in favor of a complete UI overhaul at this point. That would be a significant undertaking we just don’t have the bandwidth to do (always be leery of full UI rewrites is a principle I hold dear). 

#5 I think we’re in a bit better position from a UX and technical perspective to deliver a lighter colored UI in the future. I’ll be looking for opportunities to fit it in, but our current 12 month schedule is very tight, so I can’t make any guarantees. 

So the million dollar question—would a lighter UI that you could toggle to and required a restart be enough? If so, that's what I'll be attempting to scope and angle toward in the future.

Brooks

Camtasia Technical Product Manager

Mobile Technical Product Manager

TechSmith
(Edited)
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Kathryn Grant

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Brooks,

Thanks for your quick reply and helpful explanation! As a web developer myself, I empathize with the tricky task of juggling priorities and trying to please as many users as possible.

I'm intrigued that most users like the dark interface. If you have a moment, could you explain briefly why? (I don't doubt that they do, I'd just like to understand. Maybe I'm overlooking the benefits.)

To answer your question, I'd be thrilled with just a simple toggle choice,  similar to the one in Snagit:



Thanks again for the quick response and explanation!

Kathryn
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ChrisM

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THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Information is key. Up until now all I would see is "we are working on it". But your explanation is excellent. Thank you.

I have been a user for over a decade and I just want to feel like opinions matter to TS. This post from Brooks is a huge step in the right direction.

I too am in software development. I absolutely understand that UI changes can be very, very tricky. We just revamped our interface after 30 years. Yep, you read that right, 30 years. The only way we weren't inundated with crabby users complaining was communication.

To be able to switch between light and dark, like reddit, would be key. It would make me very happy.

Thanks again Brooks for the post. PLEASE keep us updated.

PS - Karyn, thank you for letting me know I am not the only one wishing for Captivate. You are so right about the amount of software in the CC I will never, ever use. I wish Captivate was an option to switch out. But I think you are right. Brooks post (Sorry to talk about you in the third person Brooks) kind of changes things. This seems like a step by TS to include user feedback more in the development road map.
(Edited)
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Donna.Lettow

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Just a reminder to anyone reading this who is a federal or state government employee:  This product violates the Section 508 accessibility standards,  which require software and applications purchased by any entity receiving federal funding to have a minimum color contrast ratio of 4.5.   (These are also the same standards used in Canada, UK, EU and Australia.)
https://webaim.org/articles/contrast/

Still hoping for a day when I can legally upgrade from Camtasia 7.
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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Hey Donna, if you have examples of UI contrast not meeting WCAG guidelines please reach out to me via email b [dot] andrus [at] techsmith [dot] com. I'll pass them on to our UX team. My understanding is the adjustments we made brought Camtasia into AA compliance with that standard.
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Donna.Lettow

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By the way, for other people in conversation, I did as Brooks asked when he asked, and have heard only crickets in return.