I would imagine that after a decent amount of user feedback the theme will be visually optimized. When in develop mode, the only thing that bothers me the most is that the controls are on the left side.
Since we read from left to right, it seems kind of logical to have the picture first, and the controls second. That is what Lightroom does. On the other hand, I really like the surface area dedicated for the picture itself; besides the sliders, everything else is shrinked down to provide as much surface area for the photo as possible. Being able to adjust the size of the panels would be cool though. This is for ALL versions of Lightroom too!
Organizing It's quite straightforward really, you can either work from the file structure on your computer, or you can organize the images in a catalog or collection. You do have several options on marking your images, and then filtering through them. The import dialog is pretty straightforward as well, and there is nothing special about it too. It does the job. For quick edits, this is really useful, since it skips a few steps in the workflow. Developing This is the most important part of the software.
And I must say it is the best side of this suite. Though a bit confusing at start, since there are multiple sliders that do the exact same thing, this means that you can stack them on top of each other to achieve more aggressive effects.
One thing that I noticed right out the bat is that the contrast adjustment sliders contrast, fill light, highlight enhancement are quite aggressive. You can basically edit the whole picture with them, just by clicking on the areas of the image you want to touch up and move the cursor up and down akin to Lightroom, but more powerful.
At the end of the day, the develop module does the job. It is a bit different to use, and you can mess up the image easily due to the aggressive sliders, but it has all the options necessary. We also need to investigate whether the features are worth upgrading from Pro to Ultimate and what ACDSee can offer versus a powerhouse such as Adobe.
From clicking the folder to the program being installed onto the computer took us around a minute, not including reading the terms and conditions which you must always do. The program installed a window launch icon, which is good and also a HTML icon which opens a page to let you know everything that's new in the program. When launching for the first time and every subsequent time after that if you don't tick the little radio button.
Manage The program is now split into five separate sections with the additional cloud system for uploading images you've edited or simply wish to offload from your computer. It can be viewed yearly, monthly or daily — which is toggled via the radio buttons in the bottom right corner. Manage is the first screen that opens up when the program launches. It's created to allow you to tag, sort and file your images.
You can navigate your way through the folders using the navigation map on the left of the screen. Any folders or files that can be read will be displayed in the centre screen.