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I just downloaded and tried an application called VectorDesigner. This is a nice, simple application that has many features that I feel OmniGraffle could greatly benefit from:

1. The layout of the inspectors is cleaner and more logical, particularly the controls for gradients.

2. Individual HUDs are used to control specific functions and appear only when selected/required. The helps to reduce the clutter and complexity of the inspector.

3. Text can be wrapped around the contour of any shape - and controlled via a nice, simple HUD.

4. Core Image effects can be applied to any graphic and controlled via effect layers.

5. Intelligent shapes can be selected and controlled via a HUD i.e. the points on a star.

6. The iLife inspector is available.

I read many previous posts asking for these features to be implemented. OG is now a mature application, so it's surprising to see a v1 application such a VectorDesigner available with all these features and drawing tools to match OG. Overall I've been disappointed with OG v5, the new features and UI improvements are underwhelming. I do think there are many users who would appreciate some new life being injected back into the old dog.

Last edited by sunshine; 2008-08-04 at 07:01 AM..
I've only been using OG for a couple of months, and I reallly like it. I guess there will always be two directions OG can evolve into: (1) as illustration tool, and (2) as diagramming / wireframing / prototyping tool. I use it for the latter, and many of the features you mention seem more relevant to the first direction, which for me would be a distraction.

That said, I've also made feature requests for general usability improvements. It's important for such incremental improvements to have as much priority as new features. (Too rarely the case in application design.)

Personally, I'd like some more features to aid in wireframing, especially master shapes -- where I can design one widget and reuse it across the document, and change it globally.
Like yourself, I also use OG primarily for diagrams. What is interesting, though, is the increasing demands/expectations from clients nowadays for 'illustration' quality deliverables. Sometime, somewhere, someone is going to produce an application that comfortably takes controlled diagramming into the illustration world to meet such expectations. I would certainly like to believe that OG will become that most desirable of tools.
If they can add more illustration capabilities without compromising the ease of diagramming, that's fine. But it would be impossible for me to do my job in, say, Illustrator or Freehand, even though I'm proficient in them. I'd spend too much time manipulating elements at the point level, or just have too many style choices at my disposal, distracting me from the information design. For years, before adopting OG, I used Powerpoint, which is an awful drawing tool, but that's exactly what made it a quick and efficient tool for diagramming. (It also has a terrible user interface, so I was always looking for an alternative.)

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