Camtasia 9 Interface (UI)

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Merged

This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Adjust the UI color & contrast

Hello TechSmith Community!

Camtasia 9 signified a departure from a user interface that many had been accustomed to over the years. One change that is immediately apparent is what has been referred to as the “dark” interface. It is an interface similar to what Mac users of Camtasia have had for some time. Since the release of Camtasia 9, some users have expressed concerns with the new interface..  In response to these concerns, we recently applied a standard design tool that measures contrasts against industry recommendations. With a couple of small exceptions, Camtasia 9’s new interface scored within recommended guidelines. However, with that baseline measure, we will research ways to provide options for users who may find the new interface more difficult to use. Thank you for your patience as we refine the usability of Camtasia.

- Team TechSmith
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Posted 2 years ago

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kayakman, Champion

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I personally find it hard to use the CS9 dark interface; poor contrast, especially re selected items in bin, small, hard to read fonts, many UI controls are just too narrow to accommodate typical text values; quiz UI is brutal

re the dark color scheme,  I'd prefer the color schemes in CS8; I found those very easy to work with, especially objects on timeline [brilliant colors, etc] 
(Edited)
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Tim Frost

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Take a look at Corel VideoStudio X10.  It has all of the features of Camtasia with none of the hassles.  And, most importantly, they have a huge number of FREE tutorial instructions and an extremely responsive tech support staff.  I am nearly 90% of my way to conversion to VideoStudio X10.
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Joe Morgan

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Ha Ha Ha, Corel has lousy tech support.Unless your willing to pay for it and it's questionable at best even then.

Corel is also a melting pot of antiquated plug-ins from multiple manufactures. One Plug-in doesn't know what the other one is doing.

Practically every time you apply  a FX effect. A pop-up window with a small screen and timeline is all you have to work with.

The option to see the effects on both screens can be enabled.
However, every time you make an adjustment, it can take several seconds for the change to occur as a result.

Corel is loaded with features. For basic editing it's not to bad,  other than that it's a cobbled together "What were they thinking" hot mess.
Don't get me wrong, you get more features with Corel than any editing program out there and if you keep it simple you'll do OK.

I started using Corel when they were owned by / called Ulead. Like so many other programs. It's mushroomed into bloat wear. 

As far as why did I create Mock-ups of what I see as possible improvements to Camtasia UI?
Because I believe even small changes to the UI are a good start, easy to implement.

 I created examples because I like to ensure I'm not talking out of my backside.
Plus, I want Camtasia users to understand where I'm coming from.

Camtasia users need to get mad and loud in droves and I'm hoping my efforts help light the fire.
It's unlikely I'll get any support  from members like Fred,Rick,Timbre4 and some of the other  Fiercely Loyal TechSmith defenders. They love TechSmith and have posted so on many occasions. TechSmith knows they won't lose them as customers anytime soon.

SO it's the new customers.  The Long time customers that aren't smitten with TechSmith. Maybe, just maybe.If enough people get loud and often enough about this.
The UI will improve.

Regards,Joe    
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ExpertNovice

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Joe, shhhhh.  At 100% most of the negativity leaves.  So, again, shhhhh!   However, +1 like for the analysis.  :D
(Edited)
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ChrisM

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What alternative would you suggest then? I have been using Camtasia for a super long time but this last update proved to me that they really don't care about the user. I REALLY want to switch but Camtasia is all I know...please help.
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kayakman, Champion

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for me, I'm so invested in Camtasia as a screencasting tool [15 years worth] that moving to another system is probably not practical; so, for the time being, I'll just tough-it-out and hope that the UI is made to look, scheme-wise, more like CS8?

one thing I am looking into is moving up to a 40" monitor; when set to 1920x1080 resolution, the CS UI should be easier on my eyes than on my current 24" monitor [which is really straining my eyes]; unfortunately those large monitors are expensive [$600 and more]; that's an investment that should not be necessary
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Rick Stone

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Like Kayakman, I too find the interface difficult. And, I too find CS8 much easier to use than C9.

Just sort of musing out loud a bit on this. I'm wondering if part of the issue here stems from a disconnect between creators such as TechSmith and average users.

My thought is that perhaps the creators are using somewhat "state of the art" hardware. Such as very high resolution monitors. And things such as text labels look perfectly clear to the developers as they develop. But when run on hardware that most of us that are complaining have, things look super tiny and nearly unreadable. And if things were changed in this respect, it may have been fine with the contrast before, but become exacerbated once they appear small to us.

Just some thoughts... Rick :)
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Gary Wirsching

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Right you are, and it can't possibly be that difficult to develop a patch to allow for GUI color selection. I find myself using Camtasia less and less because of this - and every DAY they delay in correcting this makes me turn away from a (formerly) much-loved program.
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ExpertNovice

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Please increase visibility in C9 GUI.

The ability to use C9 has been greatly diminished by the black only, low contrast GUI.  While younger individuals who don't have vision issues won't understand those of us with lesser quality vision do.

since this idea was not selected last month, the month before, the month before that, and previous months I have promised to create this idea each month.

Rather than creating images and descriptions for the often discussed issue I will try to gather the links.  If anyone knows of a missed links, please share and I will add them to future posts.  In no particular order...


https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/change-camtasia-colors?utm_source=notification&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_topic&utm_content=topic_link

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/increase-visibility-in-c9-gui?topic-reply-list%5Bsettings%5D%5Bfilter_by%5D=all

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/high-contrast-ui-theme-for-camtasia-9

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/camtasia-3-mac-timeline-contrast-colors


https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/program-appearance


https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/c9-change-default-font-size-and-colours-of-canvas-and-environment

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/i-rolled-back-to-v8-x-due-to-the-complexity-added-in-v9-x?utm_source=notification&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_topic&utm_content=topic_link

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/camtasia-studio-9-black-theme?utm_source=notification&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_topic&utm_content=topic_link

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/increase-visibility-in-c9-gui?utm_source=notification&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_comment&utm_content=topic_link

Currently, TechSmith, uses a "number of votes" plus unknown criteria for selecting enhancements. The most votes this "idea" has received is 11 and onced it received 10.  I have personally not seen any other idea exceed 9, but the experts probably remember some.



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Soph Marx

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled change camtasia colors.

You used to have a feature where we pick the color "theme" in camtasia. Where is it? It's too dark, all black. I can't see a thing. Can't I set it to white or some other color. I've looked under Properties, project properties.
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ExpertNovice

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Increase visibility in C9 GUI.

The ability to use C9 has been greatly diminished by the black only, low contrast GUI.  While younger individuals who don't have vision issues won't understand those of us with lesser quality vision do.

since this idea was not selected last month I have promised to create this idea each month.

Rather than creating images and descriptions for the often discussed issue I will try to gather the links.  If anyone knows of a missed links, please share and I will add them to future posts. Other than the first link, the rest are in no particular order...

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/high-contrast-ui-theme-for-camtasia-9 https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/camtasia-3-mac-timeline-contrast-colors https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/program-appearance
https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/c9-change-default-font-size-and-colours-of-canvas-and-environment
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Tutoren Methodenlehre

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled High contrast UI theme for Camtasia 9.

The Camtasia 9 UI is HORRIBLE on dim displays, in bright environments or for folks with visual impairments. The color scheme boils down to "very dark grey - dark grey - somewhat light gray". While this may look fancy, the theme is nothing but horrendous from a usability and accessibility standpoint.

Where can I change the theme into a high-contrast version?

Kind regards, Malte
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Chris

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Program appearance....

Is there an option to alter the "skin color" and text size of the program?
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Sharyn

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled C9 - Change default font size and colours of Canvas and Environment.

Trying to garner lots of votes - let's get it up there peeps :)


1. Need the ability in Preferences to set default canvas colour to white so we do not have to change the canvas colour every time we create a new project from black to white.

2. The option to change the GUI colour to a light one would be useful. The light text on dark background plays havoc with the eyes as I see ghosting lines when I look away from the screen.

3. Also, the ability to increase font size in the application would be helpful as fonts are tiny on a 1920x1080 monitor
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ExpertNovice

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Sharyn, yeah, less than half the votes we have received in the past.  With the dwindling interest I doubt anything will be done.  Oh well.  I will keep requesting.
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N9VV

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Camtasia Studio 9 - black theme.

The new Camtasia Studio 9 has a dark BLACK theme for the product on my Windows screen. Is there any way to change it to look more appealing like the good old Camtasia Studio 8?
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ExpertNovice

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Increase visibility in C9 GUI.

The ability to use C9 has been greatly diminished by the black only, low contrast GUI.  While younger individuals who don't have vision issues won't understand those of us with lesser quality vision do.

since this idea was not selected last month I have promised to create this idea each month.

Rather than creating images and descriptions for the often discussed issue I will try to gather the links.  If anyone knows of a missed links, please share and I will add them to future posts. Other than the first link, the rest are in no particular order...

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/high-contrast-ui-theme-for-camtasia-9 https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/camtasia-3-mac-timeline-contrast-colors https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/program-appearance
https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/c9-change-default-font-size-and-colours-of-canvas-and-environment
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Tim Frost

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I found from the very first second that I opened Camtasia 9 that the new black UI was a complete turnoff for me.  The contrast level between the black background and the dark gray lettering is completely unacceptable.  I keep reading that the people at TechSmith want to emulate the style of products from Crapple (er, I mean Apple) computers and software.  The real question I have is why would anyone want to emulate software that is used on less than 7% of the computers IN THE WORLD?  If Crapple (oops, there I go again) I mean Apple was so wonderful, then why is it that their hardware occupies so little of the world's user community?  A few years ago I paid $3,700.00 (that is not a typo) for a MacBook Pro because it seemed at the time that some software was about to debut which would run on OSX and, supposedly, a HUGE number of people had been CLAMORING for this software.  As it turned out the total sales of that software was less than 18% of the development cost for that software.  Frankly, I don't understand why ANYONE uses any computer that runs OSX but I guess that is what happens when you have been working with microcomputers since 1980.

You guys at TechSmith should be working FEVEROUSLY on developing an option in Camtasia 10 (also not a typo) that would allow your users to choose the level of brightness THEY want in the UI rather than trying to FORCE your customers to accept what the developers want/like.  I'm afraid that this kind of thinking is incredibly unwise and is going to put TechSmith's  viability as a business in severe jeopardy.
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Stephen Schaefer

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On the money Tim Frost


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fitzg

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Except for me loving my Apple IIe, my current MacBook Pro, and every Mac I had in between, I totally agree with you, Tim!!! :)
(Edited)
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joe.stefanelli

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I couldn't agree more with you Tim.  This latest UI is horrible!  Perhaps Techsmith should consider that some users are over 40 years old, well past the age of easily reading the part numbers off of lady's watch batteries.  The UI in Camtasia 9 is oppressively dark and the fonts ridiculously small and lacking adequate contrast to make them comfortable to read.  Come on Techsmith.  Get with the picture here.  A lot of customers are very dissatisfied with this UI.  Add my name to that list.
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darrellostler

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I just bought Camtasia 9 and I can't use it. I find it hard to believe that this product passed some industry standard contrast test. The greyed-out menu items cannot even be read becase of a lack of contrast. This is very frustrating and surprising. 
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S. Bishop

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Why can't we theme the interface and fix the color scheme?
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Stephen Schaefer

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There is no way in hay that I will move to C9.  I love C8 on my Windows system and while there may be a feature here or there that might be nice on C9, it looks like the gap is too great on what was lost. Time is money and this relearning curve does not seem worth it at this stage. You made your introduction and got your loyal user base from the PC people and looks like you are catering to the Apple world from the company statement.  Yes vision and contrast is important to users of a certain age and so is learning curve time. Hopefully you will rethink these issues. 

   

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david

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Glad to see another TechSmith response as I've followed the various threads about the "bad" or "black" or "poor" v9.x interface since it's release.  That's still the reason I won't be upgrading from v8.6.

I can tell from the posts there must be enough muster to finally get this "boulder" over the top of the hill. BTW, thanks again "Expert Novice" for keeping the aggregate responses over several months in front of the Forum here for voting.

Last comment, if grey on black is so great visually, why are you staring at a black on white display right now? I think it's also the reason there's so many old grey on black, and green on black CRTs buried in the landfills! And I suffered through both.

Thanks for "seeing" the light, TechSmith.

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Soph Marx

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Although I do hate the white text on black background, for some reason, I can' see the cursor when I'm typing captions. A bug? Contrast problem? I've been working in Camtasia for years, and the usability has gone down the drain. If white text on black was the standard, all our books, websites, apps would be printed (and displayed online) that way. It's difficult to read and no added value at all. Check out some studies online, listen to your users online, do some usability testing. Just at a glance, I found a few reasons why white text on black background isn't a good idea:

You should avoid using white text on a dark background when displaying paragraph text to make it easier for them to read. Forcing users to fixate on the white text for a long time can strain the user’s eyes. This is because white stimulates all three types of color sensitive visual receptors in the human eye in nearly equal amounts [source]. This makes reading white paragraph text on dark backgrounds stressful on the eyes.

White also reflects all wavelengths of light. Because the words and letters in paragraph text are compact and close together, when white text reflects light, the reflected light scatters and runs into neighboring words and letters. This makes the shape of the words and letters harder to perceive, which affects readability. Compare that with black text, where the black absorbs the light around each word and letter, making them easy to distinguish.
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Soph Marx

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Tim Frost

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Soph,  Your reply is ANOTHER message and vote for sanity.  If I were the owner of TechSmith I would immediately direct all programmers to IMMEDIATELY begin making the transition.  Everyone who was in a decision-making position and who opted for the black background would be FIRED IMMEDIATELY if I had the choice to do so.
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Joe Morgan

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Hello Soph Marx,

That's an interesting topic you posted about reading and working with captions.
Having the option of selecting a white background with black lettering could be a great option.

Here's what kills me about the Camtasia interface. The Lettering/Numbers are all"GRAY" that's the biggest problem with visibility and the Camtasia interface. The lettering and numbers need to be white.
Couple that with the ability to lighten up the black background to a level that "Suits You" and it would be much better.

I don't know why in the world they chose this color combination.
Quite frankly, it's ridiculous how little contrast there is.

I don't understand why you cannot see a cursor when you work with captions.I don't usually work with captions. But every time I add captions the cursor shows up  for me.

See Image below click to Enlarge.

Regards,Joe

(Edited)
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ExpertNovice

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yep, gray on grey and even grey on gray are just bad choices.  BTW when our computers began to display black on white I hated it and still don't like it.  I prefer to have a darker background but want higher contrast.  For various versions of Windows I *TRIED* to get the color to white on black but couldn't do it.

Green on black is also good.  That is older than old-school!  However, look at the green circle in Joe's image.

Oh, TechSmith.  My suggestion when working on better visibility.  Either, turn the display brightness down to as low as it will go or, better, wear sunglasses while testing.  If you can't read it then you, at least, understand what some of us go through.

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Sharyn

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Glad to see this post here. I asked for a GUI change when C9 first came out so I am glad to see it gaining traction.

Please PLEASE Techsmith. Listen to us, please. It does not matter that Apple products or expert developers use the dark interface - We don't care about having the same interface as they do. We care about what works for us :).

Also, "standard design tool that measures contrasts against industry recommendations. With a couple of small exceptions, Camtasia 9’s new interface scored within recommended guidelines."  <--- That doesn't matter if people can't use your product because they cannot see it!

PLEASE GIVE US THE OPTION TO SWAP TO A LIGHT BACKGROUND IF WE WANT TO. Or, at least make it not as dark.

Cheers :)

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Tim Frost

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Hey TechSmith, how about making a comment here.  Are you or are you not currently working on a fix to this black background problem that seems to be widespread among the user community?  If this is not the TOP problem with Camtasia 9 then I don't know what could possibly BE the top problem.  If there is some other huge fire that you are trying to put out with Camtasia 9, then what, exactly, is the top problem and where does the issue of getting rid of the mandatory black background lie in your work load?  If the answer is that fixing the issue of the black background is NOT a priority to you, then let us all know so that we can all begin moving on to something else such as the Corel VideoStudio X10 suite of modules.
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ExpertNovice

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Trying to respond to the post which stated

Your idea "Increase visibility in C9 GUI" has been merged into the announcement:

Camtasia 9 Interface (UI)


Conversations can be merged by community moderators when they appear to be duplicates of other topics.

Robert R., a moderator for TechSmith, gave this reason for the change:

Updated Messaging regarding the Camtasia 9 interface.

We will email you when there are new replies to this topic. If you don't think your idea is the same as the one the moderator has suggested, you may re-submit your idea with clarifications.


I have no problems with the merging.  Please keep in mind, a *NEW* idea must be created every month when the idea has been rejected.  This request has been denied for many, many months.  It will be recreated next month, and the next... until I quit using Camtasia or C10 is released.  With the release of C10 I will give up and transfer my C9 license to someone so they can upgrade to C10.  I will, of course, quit using CS8 at that time as it would be illegal to use it.

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Bob Boyett

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Why would it be illegal to use Cam 8. I have both and intend to trash 9 if the problemS are not corrected. 
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ExpertNovice

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You are correct.  However, as you point out if I transfer my C9 license then I would not have a CS8 license.  I would transfer my license because, at the point stated, I would know I would not be able to use C10.
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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Hi all;

I just wanted to pop in here real quick and clarify the purpose of this (and similar) threads. Under normal circumstances users would need to continue contributing ideas for their ideas (as mentioned by @ExpertNovice), however for the Camtasia 9 Interface (UI), Camtasia 9 MP3 Export, Camtasia 9 MOV/Alpha Channel Support, and Camtasia 60 FPS content, we instead wish to have the conversations take place within the threads that David created, this way all conversations on the topic take place in the appropriate thread while being seen by the appropriate teams. Needless to say those four particular items have grown beyond the scope of feature requests and we (TechSmith) are looking to consolidate the conversations into a singular location. Links to follow.

Feel free to post feedback, mock-ups, questions, concerns, etc. in the appropriate thread. Please note, any technical support questions or bug reports should be directed towards our Technical Support team here.

Camtasia MOV/Alpha Channel Support
Camtasia MP3 Export
Camtasia 60 FPS

Thank you all for your feedback!

-Robert
(Edited)
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ExpertNovice

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What concerns me is David's comment about

we recently applied a standard design tool that measures contrasts against industry recommendations.

If these standards follow ADA rules then we may be able to use the interface.  If these standards follow the rules created by those with perfect vision then, oh well. 

Then David states

However, with that baseline measure, we will research ways to provide options for users who may find the new interface more difficult to use.

Providing a glimmer of hope.

There are many issues (outside of the I-don't-want-to-change crowd) so to be clear, the ONLY reason I keep opening this issue, month-after-month, is for greater visibility.  This can mean both font size and contrast for text. 

But also contrasting colors or borders between sections. (Anyone else close the wrong window on a PC when the border colors were removed; although they can partially be returned with a bit of effort.)

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Tim Frost

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Robert,

Your desires to consolidate the comments into a more manageable number of threads is a good idea.  But how about telling the people who are paying your salary and the salaries of the other employees at TechSmith WHAT EXACTLY is being done about these issues.  You can choose from the following responses:

1. We are ignoring them and NO WORK is being done on answering the requests of your customers.
2. We have put these items on the back burner and one day, when we feel like it, we may assign some new, lower level technician, to kind of look into these issues and maybe something will come of this.  But I wouldn't hold your breath waiting to see an improvement on any of these issues.
3. We consider these issues to be of MAXIMUM IMPORTANCE to both our customers and to the SURVIVAL of TechSmith as a viable company.  We have an ALL HANDS ON DECK operation going now and all of our efforts are being devoted to putting out these 500 ALARM FIRES.

A truthful answer would be appreciated by EVERYONE on this list.
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ExpertNovice

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David and Robert, most of us appreciate your efforts.  Most of us understand the effort required to make such changes. So, thank you.
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Joe Morgan

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My UI Mock-ups will evolve and Return in the near future.

I appreciate others efforts as much as anyone else.
However, from my perspective.I don't see any evidence of it being applied to the UI.

Grey Text on a Black Background is a big part of the low visibility problem.
I've been working with Photoshop and the Camtasia 9 UI and coming to some examples and conclusions.

 I'm working with a 1920 x 1080 monitor.
There are some UI improvements that could be applied."In my opinion" with little effort.

1.Lose the "Gray Text with a Bluish Tint" and increase it's size from 10 points to 12 points in the Narration section and in the captions window.Increase the Leading, the text could use more space from one line to the next.

 2.Change the Tool Icons, Timeline Indicator hash marks, Help,File,Open,etc buttons. Make everything White to stand out.

No I don't know programing.
It seems like you could change the color Gray & Blue to White 255 255 255 relatively easily. I'd gladly change it myself If I knew how.Pure white may be too bright.

I don't use the Narration feature where you add text and read it. That and captions are both to small to read well.How hard is it to bump the text up 2 points in size.

3. There's a bit more in the images like a white background and black text option. Black background behind white text
.
I'd settle for items 1 and 2. However, black text on a white background looks better than anything else.

See Images Below, Click To Enlarge. I welcome comment and suggestions.These will be modified.

 Regards,Joe 



(Edited)
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Tim Frost

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Joe,

Why should ANY of us have to work on establishing standards for TechSmith to use to make their software acceptable to the people who are PAYING THEIR SALARIES by buying the software that THEY WRITE and are supposed to MAKE USABLE?  I was a computer programmer since 1978 and I have worked with micro computers ever since then.  I wrote code in assembly language, microcode, Microsoft Visual Basic, C, C+ C++ and a number of mainframe languages including IBM Basic Assembly Language (BAL), OS/VS COBOL, PL/I, and the very popular 4th generation language known as the Statistical Analysis System (SAS).  If I had the time to do so, I could probably correct Camtasia 9's problem but I have neither the time, energy, nor desire to do so.  TechSmith needs to look no further than the look that Camtasia 8.6 has.  All they need to do is to make Camtasia 9 look like Camtasia 8.6 and EVERYONE happy (possibly with the exception of the 7% of their market using Crapple computers).

So, how about it TechSmith, tell us EXACTLY where you stand on this issue.  If your stance is that your customers simply must accept what is, then so be it.  Then those who are dissatisfied can move on to another platform as I am nearly done with moving to Corel VideoStudio X10...or they can wait until Camtasia 10 or 11 is released...that is IF TechSmith is still in business in 3-6 years.
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ExpertNovice

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Techsmith employees and true contributors.  Thank you.
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brt

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Well reasoned Tim. Effective truly hope TechSmith start listening because time is almost out. Myselof preparing for an exodus. In the past Snagit has served me well. But now too many arbitrary changes. Management must take a grip to rescue this fast sinking ship.
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Colin

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I've just upgraded to CS9 and I'm simply horrified by the dark interface and poor contrast. This has got to be the most user-hostile interface I've seen in years. What on earth were the Ux designers thinking? Unless I hear pretty quickly that Techsmith are rolling out a patch to fix this issue within 2 weeks, I'm going to cancel the upgrade and go back to CS8.
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ExpertNovice

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did you vote?

This is an official response although not perfect quote.  [there is a] removes informative but unnecessary, for THIS response, text and [for] was inserted for readability.

[there is a ] push [for] "more transparency with regard to many of the topics found at https://feedback.techsmith.com/ "

"This particular post is in response to that prodding, where we are essentially stating that we won’t be providing any roadmapping (largely due to competitive business reasons)"


Their concerns are understandable.  My contention follows.  A feature that once existed, then removed, that a "few" individuals are requesting be returned would actually be providing information to competitors.  Well, unless the competitors are only wanting to pull away happy C9 customers and not wanting those who are now being excluded.

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