Dear Adobe...

7 years ago from James Caruso, Product Designer at Facebook

  • James Caruso, 7 years ago

    Has anyone ever heard of the invisible hand? The market will determine what people want and what people will pay for them.

    The fact that things like Sketch, Axure, Framer show that the market is moving away from Adobe and it's products. Adobe needs to push it as much as they can, every single time because if not, someone else will. Right now, Adobe is loosing market share to these companies because these smaller tools are listening to and addressing our needs.

    What strikes me so profoundly is that Adobe is asking an industry to bear with them as they adjust and change. It's not the industry that needs to wait around for Adobe to change, it's Adobe who needs to change and meet the needs of our industry. It's funny that companies think we have an allegiance to them just because they give us the product that they think we are looking for. That is not the case at all.

    I don't care who makes my software, honestly. What it boils down to is that I want to create the best apps, sites and experiences possible, and I want tools that will help me do that. Wether Adobe, or Microsoft, or Sketch makes that tool, I don't think that matters. What matters is that those companies listen to the market and work to give us exactly what we are asking for.

    Case in point, I remember when Muse came out. I thought it was going to be awesome. It was kind of wonky and didn't really fit my needs. Then Sketch and Macaw came out. I played around with Macaw and it was so buggy that I couldn't even use it. When I played around with Sketch, it was like magic. It was everything I wanted. And I started wondering if the people who make Muse would notice and start making improvements. As I watched this years keynote, I got excited when they started talking about Muse. And then when I saw what improvements were made, I became furious. It was awful. Not only was the UI/UX terrible, but the thing produced code that was slow and clunky. Furthermore, it was exactly the opposite of what anyone was wanting. Maybe a few print designers who want to transition to the web, but anyone who makes digital products can take one look at it and know that they were completely left out. And that's how it is with Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign.

    And now the invisible hand has moved, and the market is responding. We're getting products we want from small companies, that, who knows might grow up to be as complacent as Adobe. I certainly hope not thought. But what matters is that our needs are being fulfilled by other than the industry leader anymore. And that industry leader just wants us to sit around and wait for them to catch up. Sadly, I don't think that's going to happen.

    I appreciate you folks at Adobe reaching out. I really do. And I'll certainly let you know if I have any ideas and suggestions. But until then, I have just one: fix the UI of your products. Given the immense resources Adobe has, there's no reason that from here on out every two weeks we can't expect to see at least something cleaned up in the UI of any of these three application. Make a board dedicated specifically to UX/UI improvements and let us vote up and down on issues. Show us that you're working to resolve these pain points. I'm sure that once you do that, the market might start tot sway once again in Adobe's favor.

    Best, Yeti

    4 points
    • Lloyd WonderLloyd Wonder, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

      I believe you're addressing some of your own issues in this post.

      You call Sketch and the other tools smaller because that's what they are. Smaller tools that do exact things. Photoshop and other tools are monolithic that do a number of things. Photoshop specifically has to be a lot of things for a lot of people.

      It also looks as if Adobe is trying to change no matter how many missteps they seem to be taking. But again, monolithic entity. With what we know about older tech companies they generally end up with a lot of managers and voices coming out of everywhere before things move.

      I linked this below under Sacha's comment but I'll do it again here: Photoshop is a city for everyone

      Edit: And this graphic, while I don't agree with some of them, shows that once you get big enough it's easy for smaller companies to pick off pieces. And in the case of some, can even use the platform to piggyback and vault yourself into a viable position.


      1 point
    • Charles PearsonCharles Pearson, 7 years ago

      Hi Yeti.

      I just want to say the LAST thing I was trying to convey in my post was, “hey, wait around for Adobe cause we’re Adobe and we’re doing things”. I was only trying to say that we (PS) get the frustration, we get that there are a number of workflow gaps and painpoints, and we get that there’s a lot of work to do for screen design. I just wanted to say that we’re moving forward with that in mind. Some evidence of what we’re doing has been offered in the last few releases and our focus on UI design will only intensify in future releases. Whether or not what we’re doing appeals to anybody is another matter — that will be judged and we’ll move forward with whatever feedback we get. Like any team we'll get it right at certain points, and struggle at others. Who knows where it all will end up though. UI workflows won’t settle for a long time, but we hope we can contribute positively. Believe me though when I say we’re approaching this with a lot of humility.

      I really wish we could release fixes every few weeks, but there’s no way. CC tho, does allow us to release multiple times a year instead of every 18 months, and iterate a little faster. But it would be great to connect if you’re game, Yeti. You’re hungry for UI/UX fixes, but what exactly? Getting specifics would help us understand what you and others are hungry for. Details on deliverables and workflows are hugely valuable to us in providing context, ultimately defining and implementing fixes — especially when it comes to something as big as creating a working experience across Ps/ Ai/ Id.

      Anyway, this is a great thread and conversation and I'm going to forward to relevant folks on the PS team as well as elsewhere in Adobe.

      happy monday, charles

      0 points