September 21, 2006

Iconfactory talks, Illustrator listens

In case you don’t know ‘em, the guys at Iconfactory have been making some top-notch pixel art for more than 10 years. (I seem to remember using their stuff back in the System 7 days to get that ultra-mod “Copland” look.) Anyway, they’ve been migrating from FreeHand to Illustrator & posted their Top 5 Adobe Illustrator CS Pet Peeves, plus the provocatively titled follow-on “Et tu, Adobe?”. It’s all good feedback, if a little frustrating (only because we’re always needling one another about these things already).

So, a bit of good news: Illustrator PM Phil Guindi dropped these guys a note to let them know of some welcome changes coming down the pike, prompting Gedeon Maheux to write, “Phil, all we can say is…wow! We had our finger’s crossed that someone at Adobe would see our post so your email has made our day, and probably our year. :-)” Nice! It sounds like we’ve kicked off what should be a very fruitful dialog with these talented artists.

The other key point here, I think, is that what Gedeon & co. want isn’t more features per se; it’s functionality that simply works better. This is true across the board: no one says, “Oh, Photoshop? Yeah, I’d buy that, but there just isn’t enough stuff in there…” Rather, people mainly want things to work more smoothly, to just flow. I’m happy to report that the Illustrator team has a whole bunch of spit & polish tasks on their list, and I’m keeping a list of “Brain-dead things we fixed in Photoshop CS3″–now somewhere around 20 items. And that’s the goal: saving the world, one non-slapped forehead at a time. ;-)

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