July 16, 2007

Photoshop: Show us where it hurts

Faster performance is the best possible "feature": you don’t have to learn a thing in order to get the benefits.  Consequently, the Photoshop team is in a never-ending quest to make the application run as fast as possible.  What’s important to one person, however, may be irrelevant to another, and we need to do periodic reality checks to make sure we’re focusing on the right areas.

To that end we’ve created a survey to identify your priorities for improving the speed of Photoshop & Bridge.  Performance expert Adam Jerugim writes, "The survey is an opportunity
for users to give us – the Photoshop engineering team – specific feedback that we
can then use to make PS a better and more productive tool for everyone."  If you’ve got a couple of spare minutes (shouldn’t be more than 5), please let us know your priorities for making things faster.

Thanks in advance,
J.

Posted by John Nack at 5:04 PM on July 16, 2007

Comments

  • Make Money With Blog — 7:14 PM on July 16, 2007

    Finished the survey (although the thank you page did not show up properly). I hope it will really help Adobe team to improve the performance criteria i was looking for (I know everyone’s expectation might be different but still, thats why the survey is).

  • Josh — 6:18 AM on July 17, 2007

    Also noticed the thank you page didn’t work. John, can you please encourage the Illustrator and InDesign teams to do the same thing? I’d love to give my thoughts on these (and other) apps as well…
    [Great idea; will do. --J.]

  • Trevor Morris — 6:22 AM on July 17, 2007

    First, to be fair, the survey takes more like 15 mins (if you answer all the questions). ;)
    Second, I too did not see the confirmation/thank-you page. (I’m using Firefox 2, in case that helps).
    I hope the feedback is useful.
    Cheers!

  • Leon — 8:05 AM on July 17, 2007

    Thanks, John for all you do for us users. It seems like the great divide we once experienced is not so… gaping anymore. You all are pretty accessible, which helps ease our pains however great or small.
    -Leon
    [Thanks, Leon. :-) --J.]

  • Fred — 11:05 AM on July 17, 2007

    Very useful survey. Can you ask the Lightroom team to do the same! I want to ask for lens correction and perspective correction tools within Lightroom. And plugin support for better integration with 3rd party tools (or other Adobe products for that matter). Lightroom is a bit “lonely” in the Adobe landscape right now. Don’t change the GUI though – it’s sleek and well thought out – copy that design to other Adobe apps..
    [Yes, there are a number of aspects of the Lightroom UI that we'd like to replicate in Photoshop and elsewhere. --J.]
    PS.: If you forget your email address for your comment in this blog, you don’t get a chance to reenter the SpamBot secret on the following page.

  • dd — 1:42 PM on July 17, 2007

    damn these fade ins/outs when swithing the apps.. probably ate half hour of my life already :(
    John- some time ago when I already asked, you said there’s almost no hope to fix that until next big revision (you said- you just can’t implement features in free updates). however- I just saw acrobat 8.1 free update which brings new things, bridge 2.1, lightroom 1.1 there are serious improvements provided.
    [Ah yes--each of those is an interesting case, all of which get into the vagaries of Adobe Finance. I don't want to get the details here, but believe me when I tell you that our general lack of feature-enhancing free updates is not due to lack of desire. --J.]
    would that be too hard for 10.0.1 (when/if it comes) to get an option to be able to work without fades?
    flash cs3 ui fades should be next on the list as it even more jerky :(
    [I *think* the fade thing is mostly a matter of perception, not one where the feature is really costing a lot of time, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be good to provide control. That's not planned, however. --J.]
    thanks for all your work. I’ll try to fill the survey really hard- got a lot to say. somehow up to cs3 I quite liked adobe, but lately I sadly find myself abusing your name quite frequently.. :o
    [Sorry to hear that. Please do let us know the details. --J.]

  • jimhere — 9:18 AM on July 18, 2007

    I was impressed when I first realized how smooth PSCS3 worked on my aging G4 (except for Pattern Maker). This is always a great “feature” to enhance.
    Well, I know your topic was about speed as in functions executed per second but to the users, speed is also dealing with unnecessary UI niftiness. The app-fade thing dd mentioned, John said I *think* the fade thing is mostly a matter of perception, not one where the feature is really costing a lot of time
    You can’t really be that out-of date with the “deadline” system. Remember when something had to be sent “today at 3″ or else? Those cool fades may be nifty to Adobe employees who’s deadlines are not ad agency dictated, but they are in fact a job-speed problem.
    [I'm not saying there shouldn't be an option to turn off unwanted effects, but can you honestly tell me, hand on heart, that a >.5s UI fade is a "job speed problem"? If that half second is a make-or-break matter for you, you must be a far more efficient designer than I ever was.
    I think the cross fade happens to be occuring at a moment when you want immediate results, and when those results may not be forthcoming, for unrelated reasons. The real issue is that modern apps want a lot of RAM. (Each Dashboard widget on my OS X box is eating 25MB of RAM (!!). That's 75MB of RAM for me to see the weather and some stock quotes, for God's sake!) Therefore on all but the highest-end machines, they need to get swapped in and out of memory. When you switch back to Photoshop or another app, there may be a pause, during which you may see the fade effect stutter. But the pause is not *caused* by the fade effect.
    That's why I say this is a matter of perception: Adobe has added an effect that seems to be taking processor cycles at just the time when you don't want to be giving them up. I totally get that, whether or not eliminating the fade would have any *actual* impact on runtime performance. Make sense? --J.]

  • jimhere — 12:04 PM on July 18, 2007

    This and the Panel Sets are my only complaints about pscs3!
    Photoshop is a work app and if I have a blank gray desktop and a dark office for color balance, maybe a quarter of a second is just a bit too much fluff. No, a couple batches of .5 seconds per click-off won’t “make-or-break” a deadline. Just irritate it with a 2003-looking _alpha ease when the producer is right behind me.
    [Point taken. --J.]

  • Lalo Greiner — 3:26 PM on July 18, 2007

    Nice survey! Friendly, straightforward, doesn’t force you to answer stuff and is mostly quite honest in asking and pointing to feeble aspects of the program. I missed a question asking what I would port over to other Adobe apps, cause that would illustrate positive points, but, heck…
    Nice interface too. Made me realize that there’s a lot of good that’s been improved already. It’s not like I had hundred things to get out of the sleeve immediately.

  • Joergen Geerds — 6:21 AM on July 24, 2007

    I do really appreciate that Adobe is making the effort to find the pain-points of the users. What was missing was a question about the nature of the work, i.e. webdesign, photo editing, print etc. or, the size of the average project (x by x pixel with y layers) together with the ram allocation in %.
    my main performance issue with photoshop is that it is chocking on my massive files. after 6 months of testing, i found that files above 250 megapixels (stitched panoramas with more than 50 tiles in 16 bit) are choking the system for no reason. 100 megapixel panoramas are no problem for photoshop. i’m so frustrated about the lack of performance that i’m volunteering performance data to Adobe, maybe the memory management code group could use. contact me if you’re interested. there are many more people like me in the panorama group at yahoo, and elsewhere.

  • M Glasgow — 9:15 PM on September 15, 2008

    Here’s one that’s consumed seeming eons of my time over the years… make the magic wand work with black and white images -> if I select white, select white; if I select black, select black. For some reason, Photoshop insists that I always go back into grayscale mode to make this selection, even though the data remains effectively the same.

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