Ok, so in the interest of being constructive, I’ve spent some time mocking up what I think I need to see from Suitcase in terms of restored interface functionality, and a suggestion of how a little flexibility in the interface can end up satisfying a fairly wide variety of different customer needs.
First, a reminder of the existing Suitcase Fusion 8 interface:
Suitcase Fusion 8 interface
As I detailed in a different thread, my biggest problems with the new interface are the loss of functionality (everyone wants column view back, naturally!) and the inefficient use of space. Just look at all that wasted real estate on the right hand side.
Even worse, information that was available en-masse from the list view is now tucked away in awkward draws that only show information for one font weight at a time, while attributes that previously could be quickly edited ‘live’ are now bizarrely restricted to a modal dialogue sheet, which represents such a quantum leap backwards in functionality and user interface hostility that it’s not even funny.
So, what to do? I think it’s safe to say that restoring the list view is an absolute must. As other have said, I can’t conceive what problems the designers thought they were solving by removing such a useful and accessible source of information, not to mention the functionality of activating entire fonts in one go. I know this has now been restored in the 19.0.2 update, but it’s not a replacement for what we’ve lost and is really just a sticking plaster.
Here’s my first suggestion for how to restore the column/list view.
This slightly different configuration serves two purposes:
- Restore list/column view
- Create a more intuitive left-to-right granularity of information, where libraries/sets are at the top level on the left, followed by font families in the middle and finally individual font weights on the right.
Looking at how the other forms of preview (waterfall, tiles etc.) might require different levels of space for optimum usability, if we assume the divider between the list view on the left and the preview pane on the left can be dragged horizontally, then we can give the different views as much or as little screen area as we prefer.
Small list view with large preview area
This uses a minimal list view of just the font family names in favour of maximum area for waterfall previews.
Large list view with tile previews
This gives maximum space to the detailed information in the column/list view, while needing very little space for the tile previews.
Note also that I’ve restored the info/attribute pane from Suitcase Fusion 7 on the far right of the window. This configuration is far more useable and useful, and with a little thought could easily be expanded to accommodate the additional font information such as language support, quick match and glyphs introduced in Suitcase Fusion 8.
I would be interested to hear what other users think of my ideas, and would love to think that Extensis would consider implementing something like this.