November 09, 2007

Clarification on “Johnny Cash”

Ooh, I’ve been Slashdotted.  I wondered why the blog had gotten more visitors before 7AM than it usually gets all day.  Thanks for all the comments.

I need to clarify a couple of things.  A commenter on the Slashdot story said, “Well, Adobe just told you themselves that the Photoshop UI sucks.”  Er, no.  Two things:

  1. “Adobe” didn’t say anything; I said something (see disclaimer about these opinions being my own, etc.).  Yes, I sometimes get lazy and conflate myself with the team/product/company, but I’m really just the Simple Unfrozen Caveman Web Designer they happened to hire to work on Photoshop.  But more importantly…
  2. I didn’t say that the Photoshop UI sucks.  I said that it’s not good enough (which is to say, it’s never “good enough”).  If the UI sucked, I somehow doubt that millions of people would rely on it every day for mission-critical work.  And, incidentally, every time we survey customers, we find that the number reporting themselves “satisfied” or “very satisfied” comes in above 90%.

It’s my job to be somewhat hard on the product, pushing like mad to eke out every improvement possible.  Without dissatisfaction, why change?  I hate the idea that “good enough is good enough,” that we can and should just putter around the edges.  To remain groundbreaking, Photoshop has to mess with success.

Okay, second part: I don’t want people to be disappointed if the next Photoshop interface doesn’t look like some Martian voodoo lovechild driven by foot pedals & ocular implants.  Yes, we’re working (as we have been) to open the door to some really nice improvements, but change takes time.  I believe we can deliver a better experience without breaking the interface people already know & like.  Just don’t be mad if the next version of PS doesn’t cook you breakfast.  (That’s for CS5. ;-))

Posted by John Nack at 8:53 AM on November 09, 2007
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