June 18, 2012

Feedback, please: Next steps for Creative Cloud?

Adobe’s just-launched Creative Cloud is off to a tremendous start.  Right now it offers access to Adobe’s line of desktop apps, plus 20GB of storage, Typekit access, and Web site publishing.

So… where to from here?

Right now I think most customers aren’t thinking “cloud” at all; rather, they’re thinking “a different way to purchase Photoshop et al.” That’s fine for now, but we could do so much more. For example, for the past—my God, eight?—years I’ve been pushing the notion of making one’s Photoshop “fingerprint” (preferences, brushes, etc.) portable & network-synced. Creative Cloud provides an architecture & business model to really make that possible. Similarly, it opens all kinds of possibilities for publishing (tablet publications & apps, video), commerce (photography, etc.), team collaboration, and more.

We have a ton of ideas on ways to make Creative Cloud even more compelling, but it’s critical that we get your opinion.  Here’s a brief survey (which should take just a minute or two to complete), and we’d love to hear your thoughts via comments.

Thanks,
J. 

Posted by John Nack at 11:58 AM on June 18, 2012

Comments

  • Jon — 12:40 PM on June 18, 2012

    Having the “team” option ready before any other additions would be the first request of agencies/businesses, who no doubt account for a majority of Adobe’s install base.

    [Understood; stay tuned. –J.]

  • Rob — 12:51 PM on June 18, 2012

    Maybe my memory is failing, but my recollection is that at one time Adobe was talking about offering access to individual apps (as distinguished from the entire Creative Cloud suite of apps) on a monthly or annual basis. That would have been a nice way to use certain Adobe apps that some of us non-professionals need only on an occasional basis. (In my case, I edit video only rarely, and I do it with a less full-featured program than Premier Pro because my occasional use doesn’t justify a $700 purchase.) That option doesn’t seem to be on the table now, or if it is, I haven’t been able to find it. So my suggestion for Creative Cloud is to find a way to make it less all-inclusive than the entire suite of apps, for a lower price.

  • karl — 1:05 PM on June 18, 2012

    Next step: Linux.

  • steve — 1:05 PM on June 18, 2012

    Hi Rob,

    Premiere Pro CS6 is offered via subscription:
    http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/buying-guide-subscriptions.html

    Here’s the full list of individual products offerred:
    http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/cssubscription.html

    regards,
    steve

    [Beat me to it; thanks, Steve. –J.]

    • Rob — 2:02 PM on June 18, 2012

      Thanks, that’s what I was remembering. If you don’t mind my saying so, it wouldn’t hurt if your Creative Cloud page reminded people that if they don’t need all the features and programs included in Creative Cloud, they can purchase subscriptions to individual programs, with a link to a summary subscriptions pages which has links for each program. Maybe your marketing is so balkanized that the CC people don’t want to divert purchasers to the subscription alternative, but from a user point of view it would be useful information.

  • SBG — 1:12 PM on June 18, 2012

    Most of my thoughts on Creative Cloud revolve around trying to protect myself from getting caught with something I need in there when Adobe does something like discontinue a product (think Version Cue) or make another adversarial move against their customers (think “last-version-only upgrades”).
    God knows it needs a whole lot of UX work – particularly for new users.

  • Robin — 1:14 PM on June 18, 2012

    I would like what Stu Maschwitz suggests in this article, please: http://bit.ly/LITqd1

    “Along with CS6, Adobe unveiled Creative Cloud, which includes subscription pricing for the Creative Suite applications. But is that really what After Effects power-users need from “the cloud?” What if that subscription also gave me access to a cloud-based render farm that is constantly Backblaze-syncing with my work directories and is ready to instantaneously render my 1,000-frame animation on 1,000 virtual machines at the push of a button?”

  • Nate — 1:25 PM on June 18, 2012

    Preference syncing would be great!

    Probably a step backwards from what you’re thinking… I would really like access to older versions of the desktop apps with Creative Cloud. There are always these document incompatibilities, and some introduced via. third-party plug-ins that are inescapable, so I wonder how this will be dealt with as CS7 etc. are introduced down the line.

    I’m sure it would afford some peace of mind to those people switching from physical to cloud also, that if they need to rollback for some reason they can.

    Also, there’s so much room for you guys to innovate in typography! This is such a central aspect to graphic design. Character and Paragraph styles are things being used across many CS apps and documents. We need a central way to create, save, view and move those around independently of working files. The ability to pick a file and see the styles in it, to extract, modify, save and sync them. This would be tremendously useful to me and many others I’m sure. I’ve been vying for a new ATM Deluxe for a long time now (that app was really done right) and this is clearly something that could be a part of it. If you offered a type manager that was also a ‘Bridge’ and author environment for char + par styles, or even a new more extensible style, it would be huge.

    CC has been great so far. Excited to see how the platform develops. Keep up the good work guys :)

  • Kevin Zupp — 1:48 PM on June 18, 2012

    Would be great if Adobe Creative Cloud offered similiar functionality to Dropbox. A place to shares some of your work online is good, the ability to easily upload it to and from mobile is even better.

    Other ideas :
    the ability to create photo galleries from Lightroom direct to
    an Adobe hosted solution.

    same for video. the ability to export from Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects to Adobe hosted solution watch out Vimeo/YouTube.

    make creative cloud website more of a personal portal.
    would be great if you could search and find extensions, download things you normally would grab from Adobe Labs
    and pull in rss/twitter feeds that interest you. would be your personal adobe !

    and while we are at it how about Adobe Lightroom tether to Adobe Creatice Cloud ??? I know the files would be huge
    ESP from my Canon 5D Mark III, but maybe someday zzz

    all for now.

    Kevin Zupp
    Commercial Photographer, NYC

  • ArtDzot — 2:21 PM on June 18, 2012

    Why only?
    “Memberships are available in the following countries:

    Australia
    Austria
    Belgium
    Brazil§
    Bulgaria§
    Canada
    Cyprus§
    Czech Republic§
    Denmark
    Estonia§
    Finland
    France
    Germany
    Greece§
    Hungary§
    Ireland
    Italy
    Japan
    Latvia§
    Lithuania§
    Luxembourg§
    Malta§
    Mexico
    Netherlands
    New Zealand
    Norway
    Poland§
    Portugal
    Romania§
    Slovakia§
    Slovenia§
    Spain
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    United Kingdom
    United States”

  • Enrique Flouret — 2:26 PM on June 18, 2012

    Well, I could point some improvements if only I could just use it in my country, Argentina. So, my first suggestion is to allow more countries to access the Creative Cloud. Thanks!

  • BJ Nicholls — 5:07 PM on June 18, 2012

    You could fix the SOB so that I don’t have to reactivate nearly every time I launch PS CS6, or fix the known and really problematic bugs, or make the apps obey standard interface rules and window behavior.

    I’m spending too much time trying to help Adobe tech support fix serious problems to engage in a helpful survey.

  • FSG — 5:14 PM on June 18, 2012

    Please stop carrying over the old way of doing licensing. I have multiple machines with multiple OS’s for multiple uses. Why can’t I install CS6 on whatever machines and OS’s I have and when ready to work simply login and go for it. Especially if you want to push CS6 for cross-plattform app development then being able to install more freely on dual boot systems is a must.

    I’m sure there are ways to quietly check for concurrent use and abuse in the background and contact these individuals for an explanation. For example wielding 2 mice at the same time I have yet to see someone do successfully. But keeping an After Effects render running while working on some graphics on a laptop shouldn’t require two accounts.

    I find it hard to understand how Adobe on the one hand talks up the importance of creativity and the creative individual at work and how important it is all to give access to the tools etc. and then says BUT we don’t trust you lot there one tiny bit. Saying “We don’t trust you.” is a lousy way to connect to a community. The fastest way to get bad behaviour is to make it an expectation, any parent/teacher/psychologist can tell you that. Peace.

  • Alex — 6:59 PM on June 18, 2012

    John, with CS6 and now this, I am blown away by the energy, excitement of what this year will be the beginning of…. a new incredible era in imagery. Full 3D without a screen is how far away?

  • James — 9:06 PM on June 18, 2012

    I think it would be nice if our preferences weren’t A) being constantly corrupted, B) so integral to the program that when they are corrupted important features (like photomerge) stop working, C) easily restorable in toto, rather than the half-assed way that they work in CS5.5, and D) transferred to upgraded versions.

    Maybe some of that’s been fixed in CS6, but given how long the whole preferences thing been broken, somehow I doubt it…

  • DARYL BUTCHER — 10:17 PM on June 18, 2012

    This was posted in reply to RC Conception in error.

    +Scott Kelby Scott Kelby just pulled back the veil on the proprietary nature of DROBO. I AGREE ENTIRELY. Now, how about Adobe. Clearly Adobe duplicates, modifies and sells legions of pieces of software that could be FAR BETTER integrated. They are clearly duplicating profits on sales of hugely overlapping software. They also (I think intentionally) occlude and mystify packages by barely adequate documentation and help files. This makes for a good living (I hope) for people including Scott Kelby and others (if the shoe fits, wear it, if not, throw it away) who provide “teaching tools and aids”. I see the “cloud” thing as just another move to dilute the entire effort, make it less understandable and propagate decentralized support by throwing it into the realm of the “gurus”. I am unimpressed. At the same time I can see the benefit for having on-demand software as rental. The Adobe packages are, unfortunately, obtuse enough to almost guarantee continuous trips to the well to support projects. Few people lease cars. Doesn’t make sense if you can do something else. For those that have a benefit I have no quarrel. But “clouds” (no shape, no definition, no beginning, no end) are not for me. I would like to see documentation clarification and much more transparency from Adobe. I have been using the suites now since near the beginning. I don’t know what I could do without it. But the Adobe approach to business could improve a great deal.

  • Tomas Fjetland — 11:14 PM on June 18, 2012

    Support for installation on at least one more machine (still limited to one user).
    Oh, and fair relative pricing in the small part of the world that isn’t the US (I know it’s really hard to spot, but if you study a map really hard, it’s there – all the other software companies have discovered it)

  • Dave — 12:12 AM on June 19, 2012

    Sigh, still no stand alone subscription for photoshop cs6 extended.

  • Luis — 7:01 AM on June 19, 2012

    Hi John,
    I like your blog and I usually check into it from time to time, now that you asked about the cloud seems that Adobe only has 2 options: PERPETUAL PAYMENT (Creative Cloud) or PERPETUAL LICENSE. I signed up on the cloud but I’m not convinced I want to keep it longer more than a few months or past a year. Do you know if there will be an option to upgrade from the cloud to an actual license? Thank you

  • Chuck Uebele — 7:18 AM on June 19, 2012

    The company I work for, which is a very large company, will never go to the cloud. There are just too many security risk, they have a strict policy of not allowing any upgrades unless they’re tested, we even have firewalls within the company so that certain parts can’t see what other parts are doing. While a lot of the aspects of the cloud seem appealing, I worry that we will be left in the cold.

  • Chuck Uebele — 8:39 AM on June 19, 2012

    Another thing that I think is making people hesitant to sign up for the cloud is the fact that if you fall on hard times, you lose your subscription to the apps that you depend upon. While it might be against Adobe’s marketing plan to keep people upgrading by signing up for the cloud, you might consider a hardship option where if the subscriber has paid into the cloud more than the total price of all the apps, they can get a perpetual license. Of course you can also have this if they take this option, they have to start all over again in building up their equity in the apps. While you may lose some people to this offer, you might gain more than you lose and the total net might be better than if you didn’t offer it.

  • John Dabarno — 9:25 AM on June 19, 2012

    I was not aware that you could get a subscription for Photoshop CS6 individually, I went out and bought the upgrade because I thought you had to subscribe to the entire creative cloud, and other than Lightroom I don’t really use at all. Too bad I would have looked more closely considering the advantages, oh well, too late now, next upgrade I will switch to the subscription version.

  • Alex — 5:51 PM on June 19, 2012

    I am not going to start a “holier than thou” attitude here , but, to those being so critical of Adobe and it’s business practices and venting their frustrations on John here. Come on guys, get real. This is 2012. America is on the edge of being a third world country. Business in general is barely staying alive. We are being lied to by politicians as to the state of our country. Real unemployment is close to 20%. Let us all work together and help and support each other and make America get back on top where it was. Let “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” be the only question we try to answer.

  • Toby Fairchild — 7:21 PM on June 19, 2012

    I would just like to be clear on what the creative cloud CAN do. I have no idea how I would use it. What does it do exactly? I hear phrases like “create collaboratively” and such but what do I do? How do I do it? How do I access and utilize it? I’d like Adobe to be more specific and post some tutorials and introduce some clarity to what the creative cloud is and how we (the user’s) can leverage it and how it’s suppose to help us do our work better and more efficiently.

  • Daniel Bachler — 1:20 AM on June 20, 2012

    I am quite surprised by the lack of innovative ideas here in the comments so far. I think it is pretty obvious that besides storing preferences etc, the real advantage of the cloud would be collaboration.

    For this, two main areas come to mind: first to augment the workflow of reviews and comments across the suite. A lot of creatives using your software have to get client approval on their work, or get feedback from colleagues or need customers to pick from a range of design options. The cloud should make this easy. Write good web interfaces that need no further software at the client where possible and that let you send stuff to a client for review with the click of a button. Be it video, hundreds of photos, indesign documents or websites. All of course with easy to set up security in mind.

    The other avenue is to make all your native file formats (from premiere projects to indesign to photoshop tiffs) a lot more diff friendly and provide version control in the cloud. A bit like github, where designers can work on different parts of the same project and only deal with merge conflicts where they really overlap. If docuements could be easily branched from a public repository this would enable designers to contribute a lot more to open source projects because the tools would provide better support for the required workflows.

  • Jim Harmer — 6:26 AM on June 21, 2012

    I am using creative cloud for my studio. The price is good. Two things would help it go mainstream: First, include Lightroom. I understand that it has not been traditionally included in the suites, but this is not a traditional product. Second, make a yearly price at a reduced rate as an additional option to the monthly price. Everyone hates monthly fees.

    Oh, and it’s annoying that type kit is limited to five hundred thousand views per month. Don’t punish us for having a successful website.

  • Jim Harmer — 6:31 AM on June 21, 2012

    Oh, and you should include more details on how creative cloud connects on the web to make sure your subscription is valid. If I go do a shoot in the sticks for two weeks and that happens to fall on the day that it checks, then I will be forever done with creative cloud.

    And it’s annoying that I don’t get a discount for buying two subscriptions for me and my employee.

  • Skyler Kline — 2:41 PM on June 21, 2012

    I just noticed that the proof quality in browser for the Creative Cloud is atrocious. I just noticed this after sending a client a link to it. Thankfully they can still download the PDF, but now I’m wondering what the advantages are over just sending them a PDF.
    I’m noticing too, that there is no quality zoom in the browser, in spite of having a zoom button. I would be happy with the lower quality preview, if it zoomed in on an actual PDF.

    I would also like to request that it package InDesign files for collaboration if I upload an .indd. Or at least have a Package for CC option. Also a package for previous versions option would be awsome. Even better, have that happen at a server level, so all I have to do is upload the file I’m working on.

  • Jessica Sideways — 4:41 PM on June 25, 2012

    How about releasing Lightroom? I think that’ll be a good move for Creative Cloud.

  • Brad Gerrard — 10:04 AM on June 26, 2012

    It’s too expensive from the UK. If you could equal the price I would be paying in Dollars from the States, me and allot more of the followers in the UK would be interested.
    It’s the same though for the rest of Adobe software the price from foreign shores no where near equates to the price one pays from the States. Just check the price you pay from Australia.
    In England, we know it as ‘rip off Britian’.
    Shame.

  • Robert Bethune — 7:57 AM on October 02, 2012

    It’s a small thing, but it sure is annoying. Why isn’t the Adobe Application Manager window re-sizable? It’s insane to have to scroll up and down in the thing. The list of apps is just not that long! Trust me, it will fit on our screens! Or if it won’t, hey, we’ll resize it! I promise!

  • Bryan Stoughton — 3:27 PM on October 10, 2012

    I am not a big fan of any of the “clouds” and don’t like to be restricted to download an application tied to a subscription. Do you have any plans to offer Adobe Edge (Animate) as “regular” software for purchase. I had started to use it in its various pre-release versions and I felt it had potential to become a useful tool. As it is I will not be using it as a part of the “Cloud”. If you don’t plan on selling it as a standalone or part of a physical suite, I guess I will need to start looking for an alternative from other software developers. I use the Adobe Master Suite in my position as Creative Director and I was hoping to add Edge to my existing tools. And one comment on adobe.com, you must not take criticism well as you make it a real bugger to submit feedback.

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