Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adobe: Now With Even More Features You Don't Need

Perhaps its a symptom of a disease, but when you've got "designer" running through your blood, you can't help but look at it, see it, in everything around you. You always find yourself evaluating design. Does this work? Why did they do that? Or the ever popular, I see what's wrong here. It's a blessing and a curse.

Several years ago, software publishers began adding these "home screen" elements to their software. When you're in Word or Powerpoint and you get ready to create a new document, a screen will pop open with a host of graphic options for you to choose from. More recently, that evolved into this idea that, you know what might be faster? If you didn't have a document open, they could pre-load this home screen with those document creation options so that you didn't have to click "New" before the screen popped up.

Adobe took this concept in their Creative Cloud series and began popping windows with promotional tiles of 'Tool Tips' and 'New Feature Guides'. Essentially, when running in idle with no documents open, Adobe applications started to look like an XBox One interface. Of course, the problem with this kind of interface is that, if you use Photoshop all the time, you probably aren't particularly interested in Tool Tips or New Feature Guides. "Ah software, I grow tired of you trying to teach me basics when I've been using this software for 20 years".

Fortunately, somebody with some insight at Adobe included a preference setting that allowed you to disable the Home Screen interface. But that didn't last for very long. Somewhere (probably in the department where they are focused on making each version of Adobe software worse than the previous one - a tradition since Photoshop 5), they decided to eliminate the opt-out box. Don't like that Home Screen interface? Bummer. You can't turn it off, otherwise you might miss how you could load all of your images into their cloud sharing interface. Or something. Maybe they hope to expand into renting movies and a streaming music service too. Because if all the other software companies jump off a bridge should you jump off it too?

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