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Reflections on the Photoshop CS6 beta

3D LayoutAs a quality engineer here at Adobe it is the team’s number one priority to deliver a high quality product. Why? You, our customers, our fans…demand and deserve it.

We remain focused on the customer in every meeting, every brainstorming and planning session. What are we solving for? What is the customer impact? What will our customers expect? What do they need to improve their workflows? How can we better help our users be more creative and productive?

With Photoshop CS6 now shipping, I wanted to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of what it took to deliver Photoshop CS6 and the hugely successful Photoshop CS6 beta. It was an absolute thrill to be able to get a beta into our customer’s hands – over one million of you that took the time to download and explore the beta for yourself!

Some Fun Facts About Photoshop CS6

  •  Photoshop CS6 was code named Superstition because it was the 13th version of the product.
  •  We fueled the team with 312 cases of beer over the two years it took to create Photoshop CS6. (I lost track of the amount of other spirits consumed…)
  •  We produced 9 babies. (A record!) You can find them listed under “production babies” in the “about” screen. (If you visit us on the 10th floor of Adobe HQ, think twice before drinking the water!)

  • Because everyone checked in their features on time, Seetha Narayanan proclaimed the last few months of Photoshop CS6 development to be “the most boring end game ever!”
  • During the CS6 shipping celebration, the San Francisco Fire Department was called twice. (So, we burnt a little toast during the cooking competition!)

The Photoshop CS6 beta

Just as we pour over details of building a feature, our goal is to make certain you have a consistent, smooth and well-tested experience and this is precisely the benefit of a beta.

We knew Photoshop CS6 was shaping up to be one of our best releases to date. And for only the second time ever (Photoshop CS3 was our first public beta), we decided to share all that Photoshop CS6 contained before ship - from GPU technical innovations, keen focus on improved UI, productivity and stability enhancements and of course some Photoshop “magic,” to name just a few. Every feature of Photoshop was used at least once during the beta, and most of them were used many, many times. Here are the top ten features used during the beta:

1)    Painting
2)    Paths
3)    Type
4)    Crop
5)    Transform
6)    Blur
7)    Layer Styles
8)    3D
9)    Auto Tone
10)  Content-Aware Move

Preparing the beta for Prime Time

As we prepared for the beta, we tracked every single detail to ensure consistency and accuracy and the best experience for you when you went to download the beta and learn to use the new features. (Yes, really: We are very picky.)  We pre-populated the beta forums with FAQs, checked, double-checked and re-checked everything on the staging server before pushing the beta live.

We place a high importance on interacting with our customers and the beta was no exception. Once the beta went live, we had team members assigned exclusively to be on the front lines monitoring the Photoshop CS6 beta forum – with the rest of the team participating where needed and focusing on finishing up CS6.

At the end of the beta, we racked up over 8,963 total forum posts on 1,690 threads alone. Your suggestions and input were invaluable allowing us to tighten up our product and documentation to ensure customers would be successful by the time CS6 launched.

Thank You

Thanks to our over 4 million Facebook fans and all who contributed to our Photoshop CS6 beta, which exceeded our wildest expectations: hitting 500,000 beta downloads in less than one week after launch. I was actively tracking our beta download count and constantly checking the server stats to try to predict when we would we hit one million. Sure enough, we saw over 1,086,187 downloads and page views totaled well beyond 4 million.

We are grateful to you for your Photoshop beta participation. Your keen feedback helped to not only shape CS6, but has primed the pump for future releases.

Whether it’s a Public beta, our CS6 final release or countless other things, we can’t do this without your involvement in the entire process. Thank you for making our Photoshop CS6 beta a success!

If you missed the beta, check out the 30-day trial of Photoshop CS6 or get your copy today.

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Using one more opportunity,would like to say a BIG thank you for Photoshop CS6. This is an AMAZING version that will bring the user’s technical skill and inspiration to a HIGHER lever. BRAVO Adobe!

    Thank you! It’s customers and their passion and enjoyment that drives us each day.

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Beta version, and hope to actually buy the upgrade to the non-Extended version at some point (my computer doesn’t have enough VRAM for the Extended version, but that’s okay because I don’t use the 3D or video features). One of the reviews that I read said that this was the first serious overhaul of the program in a long time, and therefore was a must-get. I agree.

i didn’T dO thE beta buT i bought PS13 aNd i LOVE iT!!

Wowww

liki___liki

What a great release by a great and inclusive team, thank you!!

fouadcecena

Great write-up!

Out of curiosity how many users participate in the PreRelease program before you let it rip on the public. I must say that this is the most solid release of Photoshop that I have ever seen and I have been buying for a few decades now. Are there some unhappy users, sure but overall I think it is great. On another forum there is one user who is upset at losing the picture package II and I have seen a couple of similar comments. If this is as bad as it gets you should give yourself a pat on the back (or another whack of beer).

    We start off small very early in the process with just dozens of users – and then ramp up to the very end where we have hundreds to thousands of users. We do our best to get a broad spectrum of folks from different walks of life and professions. You’re right, some folks were disappointed with certain changes, so you can’t please everyone 100% of the time, but we try our best.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 is incredible! Thank you for all your hard work.

I absolutely love that Photoshop now works with video. Very cool!!!

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