December 03, 2006

Photoshop & Macs: The new shuffleboard?

This week C|NET published findings from MetaFacts indicating that "nearly half of Mac owners are 55 and older–almost double the share for average home PC users."  Apple disputes this claim, though I’d take it as a compliment that my tools can be used by a generation not raised by Grand Theft Auto. 

As it happens, the registered base* of Photoshop customers has skewed older in recent years, due to the exploding popularity of digital photography.  The same folks who in previous generations might’ve sprung for a home darkroom now tend to buy a really nice digital SLR, computer, and the best software to go with it.  These trends prompted my colleague Ashley to quip, "Photoshop & Macs: The new shuffleboard?"

This demographic trend has some practical implications. Most obviously, we need to make a user interface that’s easy to navigate with older eyes.  Given the 20- and 30-something demographics of many visual designers, this isn’t always easy to remember, but we’re working on it.  The emergence of scalable, resolution-independent will be essential here, and in the meantime Photoshop CS2 added the ability to adjust the font size of the interface (a small thing, literally, but a step in the right direction).

*Note: This of course way undercounts all the five-finger-discounting little l33t-speak haxxor-kiddies. (“im in ur base, stealin ur ‘Shop…”)

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