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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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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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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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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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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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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Tom Schlak

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Came here to the community section to voice my complaint with this exact thing.  TY for at least recognizing this very important issue for your users.  

PLEASE give us an alternative.
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Joe Morgan

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Hello Sharyn,

I have some constructive criticism that will probably come across as bashing TechSmith to some people. 

TechSmith brought us SnagIt 12 in May of 2014. The UI colors scheme was.
   

After much outrage and complaint. A light theme was offered.To me, the light theme is actually worse. But an alternative was offered.
If you could lighten the UI overall, it might at least be an improvement for many people.

I've yet to see any statements by TechSmith that they will be making any changes to Camtasia's UI.

I don't use Camtasia for long periods of time very often. So the UI doesn't effect me as negatively as it would otherwise.

Kayakman is getting the short end of the stick in a big way here, If I were in kayakman's shoes, I would be at least a little outraged. When I read what he's facing, I felt a little outraged.

kayakman, Champion

  • 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.

5 months ago, the Camtasia for Mac forum requested UI improvements.
4 months ago, Camtasia for Windows starting requesting them.

These requests do get added to the Feature Request Roundup. The "FRR" if you will. Has been collecting our feature requests for 6 months now.
I counted up the Camtasia and SnagIt requests collected and logged by TechSmith over the past 6 months.I came up with these numbers. I'm human and only counted once,If you double check the numbers you may find a small error.

Camtasia for Windows requests.    198

SnagIt  for Windows                               49

Camtasia  for MAC                                128

SnagIt   for MAC                                       18

Feature Requests Implemented        0 ???   As far as I know.

Camtasia has made some improvements to the Smartplayer but that's about it.SnagIt added some nice features.Auto fill, Magic Wand and a couple of other things.I don't believe any of these things were requested.

So that's the rub. I think your seeing the Venting/Bashing of TechSmith because people  think there being ignored.
Requests are made and nothing seems to come of it.It's a natural reaction in my opinion.

Changing the light grey text and icons to White would be an improvement.



Here's another issue. Even the Light Gray Backdrop Camtasia uses leads to a lack of contrast problem.
The text and Icons are actually a "Blueish Gray" on Light Gray Backdrops.


 
Let's look at the same text on a Black Backdrop.



SO, exactly how difficult would it be to improve Camtasia's UI ?

Regards,Joe
    
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Joe Morgan

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I am one of those who need to upgrade to a bigger monitor in order to use camtasia effectively

That's just wrong on so many levels.
 As a customer, TechSmith needs to meet your needs. If you own an under powered computer. An upgrade is on you for obvious reasons.

When poor product design has a user purchasing a larger monitor, just so they can see what their doing.
That's just wrong on so many levels.
(Edited)
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Rick Stone

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I do agree with Joe on the UI changes needed. Personally, I don't consider it to be bashing. It's a legitimate concern for many of us.

I was personally one of the very vocal users when the SnagIt UI arrived and it was literally giving me headaches to use it. And I was very dismayed when the TechSmith folks made the video demonstrating the changes and the young woman in the video appeared to be rolling her eyes in disdain the whole time over the complaints and the steps being taken to address the issue as if she thought it was the dumbest thing in the world to be complaining about. 

However, I note that there seems to be an assumption being made that the same folks that work on SnagIt also work on Camtasia. And I'd honestly be surprised if this were the case.

I'd be willing to bet that these are two completely different groups of programmers. And I'd also be willing to bet that within each of the teams, a subset is devoted to the Windows version and another subset is devoted to the Mac version.

I'm referring to the statement: 
Camtasia has made some improvements to the Smartplayer but that's about it. SnagIt added some nice features. Auto fill, Magic Wand and a couple of other things. I don't believe any of these things were requested.

Cheers... Rick :)
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ExpertNovice

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Joe, of the many statements for which you are correct one is that many requests have been made and many monthly round-ups have been created and zero ideas have been accepted.  Also, the only statement from tech (very condensed) is they would compare the color scheme (whatever they said) to "industry standards".

Great... by the 1930's the AMA required radium tonics to contain 20 times the level of radium considered safe today.  So, which industry standards will be used, one that helps us or one that kills the product?

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Soph Marx

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Hey,  Tech Smith. If you won't fix it, give us the ability to roll back to the previous version. I see no significant improvement in the UI or usability with this new version. Let us go back!! I'm tempted to go back to Adobe Captivate right now.
(Edited)
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ExpertNovice

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I think we have our answer about getting the low-contrast / visibility / dark-themed C9 corrected.

 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.

From that we are told they don't think there is any issue with the interface because "industry standards" say those with visual impairments are inconsequential.... even though there are unbreakable standards for the captions we create because of the visually impaired...  But, there was hope.

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

Well, this idea, which got 11 votes last month, and 7 votes BEFORE the roundup this month was not even selected for the roundup.  Thus, this has been proclaimed a dead issue by TechSmith.


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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Hi all;

I just wanted to pop in here to let everyone know that I am listening and relaying information to the appropriate parties. I also wanted to let you know that I have a meeting coming in a few days up to discuss this specific topic; once I have information that I can share, I will be posting an update to this thread. Until then I will continue to keep an eye on things and will relay them as they come in. I completely understand the frustration and can sympathize with many of the cases here; I cannot thank you enough for the passion that you are showing in regard to Camtasia. I'd personally like to see some constructive points, like Joe Morgan's post, which shows some good points in a well-made post. Information like this is incredibly helpful to me as it shows some of the differences that you, the users, are seeing and dealing with, which in turn allows me to bring it to the necessary parties internally here at TechSmith.

In regard to the Feature Request round-up; this particular concept has gone well beyond the feature request stage and as such I decided to leave this one out. This is a hot topic with a lot of passionate people who rely on Camtasia for their personal or professional responsibilities; to me it is more important than a mere feature request. Note that the primary purpose of this thread is to centralize concerns and gather data, which I can then bring to the appropriate team members.

However, if the community here would like me to include this in this month's Feature Request Round-Up, I am more than happy to add it. What say you?

I really do appreciate the drive that everyone is bringing to this topic. If you feel you need to speak privately / offline regarding this topic (or topic, process, community, or product), please feel free to reach out to me at r.risdon@techsmith.com

Thanks!

-Robert
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Mal Reynolds

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I have a meeting coming in a few days up to discuss this specific topic; once I have information that I can share
Sooooo... that meeting was going to be "in a few days" three weeks ago now. Yet I take it that after the greater part of a month there is still no new information to be shared on this topic?

You're aware that people will start drawing their own less than favourable conclusions from that, neh?
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Mal Reynolds

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At the risk of Simon and/or Garfunkel taking out a contract on me, I think that this has reached the stage of requiring a musical treatment. Imagine, if you will, the following set to the very appropriate tune (at least it's been very appropriate for the last few weeks)  "The Sound Of Silence":

Hello Camtasia, once my friend,
I've come to use you once again,
I look upon the GUI's foul darkness,
All black and grey and very low contrast,
And my eyes,
they can barely see a thing,
But here's the thing,
From Techsmith... there's silence.

The user base does scream and howl,
"We need a change, we need it now,
We care little for the bells and bling,
If we can't see what it is that we're doing."
"But standard tests,
say the GUI is just fine,
So stop your whine",
Is the first reply, from Techsmith.

But upon a sunny April day,
We're told a meeting's "days away",
"We'll get a response out to you Real Soon Now,
about this interface you say's a cow",
But four weeks,
Lo a month has come and gone,
Yet this drags on,
With Tech-smith's silence...
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Sharyn

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HA HA LOL PMSL LMAO GOOD ONE!
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Sharyn

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Hmmm. I have been away for four weeks. Things seem to have dropped off on this thread - is there still the "sound of silence" from Techsmith?  (thanks Mal, cannot get that out of my head now)
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ExpertNovice

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I fully believe this is no longer being considered for the following reasons.

1. They stated:

we recently applied a standard design tool that measures contrasts against industry recommendations [and] Camtasia 9’s new interface scored within recommended guidelines.

2. They have refused to put the idea in any round-up since making that statement.

3. They have not stated they were considering this need

4. The idea was converted to an announcement.  Instead of voting for the idea we have been liking the announcement that they were within industry guidelines.


While we can hope they would put customer needs and preferences above "industry" recommendations, but apparently they have so many young customers the elderly and those with vision issues are unwanted.

I had stated I would keep the idea alive until it was accepted in a roundup.  However, they have yet to accept any ideas voted for in a roundup, so the roundup is a waste of time.  In addition, they took my idea, along with others, and consolidated into an announcement so even if the idea was recreated each month it would be effectively deleted by Techsmith so I would be wasting my time.

BTW, once liked, we can't unlike the announcement.  Thus, we have been "voting" that we like the interface.  Tricky.


(Edited)

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