The verdict on Adobe Creative Cloud for teams: FindLaw’s Abraham Bumpus
An American Bar Association survey found that half of Americans would search online to find a lawyer if they needed one. One of their likely destinations is FindLaw.com, the world’s most popular destination for consumers looking for legal information or an attorney. Or they may end up at one of the websites designed by FindLaw for attorneys and small law firms. FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business, specializes in designing award-winning websites that help law firms connect with qualified clients. Design manager Abraham Bumpus says his team of 27 designers uses Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to develop both traditional web and mobile solutions. Abe estimates each designer works on at least 100 sites every year using solutions such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, delivering properly layered PSD files without writing code. The team may also produce associated identity materials using Adobe InDesign and Acrobat Pro.
As design manager, Abe recommended purchasing Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to accommodate his diverse and dispersed staff of full-time employees, which include flex-time, in-office, and remote-access designers. So far, Abe says the transition to the Cloud has been great—for him and his staff.
Adobe – Tell us about yourself.
Abe – I have a multimedia degree in visual communications from Collins College in Tempe, Arizona. I’ve worked for printers, agencies, and corporations doing design, project management, and operations. I have a freelance business building websites, too.
After I moved to Minnesota, I applied at FindLaw as a design team lead. I saw a lot of opportunity as Thomson Reuters is a huge proponent of technology. I do a lot of management and provide direction for the team. I manage mobile processes and work with the product and marketing teams to bring new products to market. The best part is mentoring employees and working with others to get the right products to FindLaw’s customers.
Adobe – Why is Adobe Creative Cloud for teams such a good solution for FindLaw?
Abe – First, Creative Cloud is amazing because you get all the software in one seat. Because I do freelance work at home, I got a Creative Cloud membership for myself for $29 a month and have been using it consistently. That’s how I knew Creative Cloud for teams would be a great solution for FindLaw. Employees have access to their day-to-day tools, plus other tools that they may use less frequently. We can experiment with what’s new and learn about different tools and improve the way we do things. That’s why Creative Cloud is sweet.
Adobe – How has the team responded to working in the Cloud?
Abe – The experience has been huge for the design team. It is especially great for employees who work remotely, or split their time between our office and their home office, because they have the same access no matter where they are. They love that they can more easily share files.
We’ve also been able to apply it to initiatives we’re doing here. We’re establishing more of a collaborative, agency-style workflow. The Cloud is awesome because the team can review and approve projects and send them right back—it saves a lot of time.
Adobe – How did your team previously handle approvals?
Abe – It was a bit of an outdated process. We’d send an email with an attachment, which could be very large. Or we’d Skype and share screens. If we put the file on an in-house file server, it could be slow to access, especially when you have to wait to upload a 50 megabyte file and then have to download it on the other end.
With Creative Cloud, this process is eliminated. We can view files in the browser, add notes, and shoot them back to the folder. I think it cuts half an hour to an hour out of review and approval for each project.
Adobe – You’ve been handling administration personally. What has that experience been like?
Abe – It’s really been pretty easy. I simply enter the email address of the person I need to add into Team Management. The employee gets an email and sign’s up. I can also reassign seats easily. I have done that quite a bit. We have contractors that we bring in and I just add them to the team, and reassign the seats when they’re done. We don’t have to buy new software, so it’s a huge benefit from a financial standpoint.
Adobe – What was it like in the past when it came time to upgrade?
Abe – I went through the upgrade to Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver CS5. We had to get approval of $30,000 for the whole team, which is a big request. It was a complicated process to get everything approved and to justify the upgrade to management. Then we had to go through installation. Now, I can pay the monthly fee and I don’t have to wait for access codes or someone to install it. We just manage everything through the browser.
Plus, it makes sense financially. I pitched using Creative Cloud to my management and explained how easy and cost-effective it would be to leverage new technology. It’s great to be able to offer a solution that leads to efficiency and cost-savings.
Adobe – Besides the design team members, who else benefits from FindLaw’s Adobe Creative Cloud for teams membership?
Abe – We have our design team of approximately 30 employees plus our support and maintenance teams, which is nearly 40 licenses. We’ve also have a development team of 17 employees that have Adobe Photoshop licenses for the Cloud. All they need is Photoshop, but I encouraged them to use Creative Cloud.
Adobe – What are your favorite tools in Adobe Creative Cloud?
Abe – I love Adobe InDesign. I have since my first job. Right now, I’m just digging in to Adobe Edge Tools & Services. I’m particularly interested in Edge Reflow for responsive design work. I’ve also put a site together in Adobe Muse. I’m looking at all of those solutions right now. I’m always on the lookout for better tools.