Annual Unrealistic Request: Poll Senior Users BEFORE UI Changes

It seems to me that there is almost universal agreement among hard core/long time users on small changes to the UI that -really- hurt. And what makes these changes EXTRA galling to long time users is that they seem totally arbitrary–not part of some larger ‘master plan’… just some isolated whim suggested by one particular person maybe?

There should be a feedback loop at Steinberg, perhaps private or even with an NDA, whereby long time users are polled with proposed UI changes BEFORE they are made so that users who actually =depend= on the product don’t get too many ugly surprises with each new version.

Yes I know the answer already, but this =is= how software development used to work for large products like Adobe or Office. I know because I wrote those kinds of products. We =never= made big changes to UI stuff without -first- polling a very large number of key users.

For example
–Send Pane (panning moved to separate tab)
–the loop thingee on the top ruler
–the skinny scroll bars
–the new right click menu
–the myriad invisible UI elements
–the daffy colour selection system begun in C9 where all the colours in a ‘theme’ are somehow linked by hue?
–the great number of UI element inconsistencies with each new version
–the new transport bar
–the new Export Audio Window

I mean -no- serious/long-time user can consider these changes to be ‘improvements’. Some one learns to live with and cause no loss in productivity. But others really make the work go a LOT slower.

And -none- of these needed to be implemented in order to make the new UI work. They’re just -arbitrary- and isolated. If the developers had polled a decent sample size of users they would have found out IMMEDIATELY that all of these were NOT GOOD and saved us -all- a lot of pain and suffering.


Paolo (Cubase user since 1995 - Cubase Audio on Atari Falcon)


You’ve expressed this very well. As I’ve said elsewhere, it’s as if whoever beta-tested Cubase 10 never used the application before. Now prepare to be met by an onslaught of “oh well it works fine for me” responses from those who will criticize you for moaning about functionality they never knew existed or never used.

Steinberg customer since the Commodore C64

Cubase user for more than 20 years here!
Some changes, especially in the latest version, just leave me speechless…sorry to phrase it so bluntly: most of those changes are just stupid workflow killers!

I wonder how many people would say that they want the skinny scroll bars

I agree!

In case something needs to be drastically changed, I’d be happy to get informed about why?, ie “blabla has to be changed in order to improve/implement…in the future”.

If the user base would get asked about planned changes users could suggest how these changes could be implemented to expand, not ruin existent workflows.

All in all the real improvements weigh heavier to me that the cannibalism done to the programm, so I’m still here… not a fan of any arbitrary pointless changes though. The color tool or export window are good examples for this. It’s complicating things just to give it a new look for the sake of a new look.

As as senior (in every sense of the word :astonished: ) user I totally agree. And it could and should be real early in the design process - some quick and dirty mockups could have identified all the newly introduced GUI problems before a single line of code was changed.

I disagree with marQs that the Color Tool was only changed for a “new look.” The old tool had real problems with scrolling when you used lots of colors. To fix that they needed to be able to show all the colors in a more compact form. They got super close (and I believe will get there soon) to a good design but blew it by getting rid of the color names so many of us (and even the PLE) rely on. Had they shown folks a mockup of the new color display that mistake would have been easily spotted.

I don’t think SB will begin publicly divulging design ideas for future releases.

For example, just who, exactly, thought this was a good idea?

Well it doesn’t need to be public at all, just a mechanism to get feedback on potential changes to the GUI during the time that the changes are being contemplated, not after the changes are implemented.

Yes SB would need to protect its proprietary information. But marketing firms are collecting similar types of feedback all the time without problems.

I don’t think that would be necessary…
I may be totally out of wack here but, I think I remember (a few years ago) Steinberg started a group of picked “power users” to do beta testing of the software (if they didn’t, they should). Well Steinberg could form another similar group (I assume working under a NDA) to give feedback to proposed changes like described in this thread before implementing them into the beta software when it might be considered too late to back out of the idea.

… Good thread/idea Suntower… :wink:

Regards. :sunglasses:

All b-testers already are under an NDA. But regardless. I don’t want to be involved in ‘design’ so much as I’d like to be SURVEYED.

The thing is: I do NOT think that the DAW market requires TOP-SECRET DESIGN TEAMS! like the formula for Coke or The Colonel’s Secret Recipe! All these products basically do the same thing. And they’re all so frickin’ mature now it ain’t like SB could come up with -any- whiz bang idea that would DESTROY PRO TOOLS! YEAH, BABY! :smiley:

In fact, just the opposite. I’m so ticked off right now, for the first time in a decade I’m actually looking at the competition. You know how much INERTIA THERE IS IN SOMEONE LIKE ME WITH 20 YEARS INVESTED IN A PRODUCT? There was NO WAY I would consider switching if SB hadn’t kept needlessly SCREWING WITH THE UX! IOW: I was a total LIFER. $100-200 a year like clockwork. JUST DON’T MAKE MY LIFE MORE DIFFICULT!

And the fact that SB NEVER communicates makes it even easier to look around for other products. All I want is at least to feel -heard-. And I haven’t since Charlie and Lars stopped talking to people around 2003.

+1 to the substance of most of the sentiments expressed here.

FWIW, I don’t think this topic should have been titled with the word “Unrealistic”. It’s not unrealistic to for a softare company to care about it’s customer base and to do due diligence to understand and accommodate what is important to that base. Yes, some companies are better than others at this (at any moment in time) - let’s encourage Steinberg to be/become one of the better ones, regardless of the past.

I’m so ticked off right now, for the first time in a decade I’m actually looking at the competition.

I relate to this.

Steinberg is breaking workflows willy-nilly and being relatively unresponsive to significant feedback about this.

It certainly seems likely that many pointless UI changes in Cubase 10 could have been avoided (to everyone’s benefit) if a process of consultation had been in place, with attention paid to the feedback provided.

It remains true that there are things that Cubase does that other programs don’t do, or don’t do as well. But in some cases the reverse could be said.

No program can be all things to all people at any moment in time.

Understanding that, the questions really are:

Is this company taking care of it’s customers well? (or not)

Is the program moving forward in positive ways? (or backward in negative ways)

What people are saying in this thread (and I agree) is that Steinberg is in the danger zone on both counts.

I sincerely hope a course-correction is forthcoming.

With all due respect… your reply is off topic and it’s why I hesitated to write what I did. ANY time anyone writes a post like, “I’m upset about x” very quickly the post devolves into a broadband trashfire about -all- the issues people dislike—and yes I understand that there are many. Please take those elsewhere. My post was about a fairly specific and small set of problems that all fit under one heading.

Thanks for your understanding.

Absolutely. The new transport bar really sucks. It’s practically a line of numbers now, and takes time to decipher.

The transport bar is the thing on this list that makes me scratch my head the hardest.

With all due respect… I disagree.

The reason I disagree is that all the specifics (listed or unlisted) are but symptoms (IMO) of an underlying outlook that seems to be insufficiently aware of actual customer experiences and priorities. If this underlying outlook is not called out for how it is seen/felt here “in the field”, then it is unlikely to change and without some change in that, action on specifics is likely to be minimal, sporadic,and unsatisfying.

Your own comments on software development in the original post explicitly established the topic to include this meta-level of commentary. I hope that upon reflection you can see that.

Nevertheless, I’ve expressed what I felt needed to be added (as one human being / Cubase user in substantial agreement), and have no issue with keeping this topic tight to the subject of UI changes in particular.

I’ve got to say that I’m genuinely losing faith that anyone from Steinberg even reads these fora, let alone acts on anything here.

I’ve asked for a couple of features with absolutely no acknowledgement whatsoever (e.g. multi-track FreeWarp) and have expressed my dismay at the Alt-click track colouring and right-click menus having been removed/‘trimmed’ in C10 and seen absolutely no response. Zilch. A roaring silence.

I’m at the point of simply giving up, because we seem to be achieving nothing here.

I’ve been a Steinberg user since Pro-16 on the Commodore 64…

I’m at the point of simply giving up, because we seem to be achieving nothing here"

Yall are simply wasting your breath IMO. If you havent figured out that the corporate entity has it’s own ideas than you are truly wasting your time and breath.

I gave up a LONG time ago with anything request related with this software