Lately, I’ve been trying the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro software for sketching some pictures for presentations. So far I’ve found it both beautiful and easy to use. If I actually had a tablet it would be heavenly. But so far, I’m just trialing it. As much as I like it, I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to justify the cost.
I did want to drop a quick picture here of their trial usage dialog that pops up as it’s a thing of beauty in a piece of software that usually is seen as highly unimportant, yet is the first thing you encounter when taking commercial software for a spin.
First, the trial is based on 14 days of usage, not a 14 day timespan. This is so much more reasonable and useful and yet so incredibly rare. Second, the gui is showing me lots of stuff at a glance here – there are 14 boxes colored from green to red indicating an increase in remaining trial. The X starts to tick them down showing you the remainder. Nothing fancy here, just good visualization.
Also note that the button I need to click is not “Ok” or something generic, it is “Use Trial”, reinforcing yet again that I am choosing to use the trial version every day I click the button.
SketchBook also uses a corner menu with radial sub-menus which is different than every other UI you use on a daily basis (or at least that I use) but it is very intuitive and fast (hello Fitts’s Law):