August 31, 2009

Feedback, please: Task-based workspaces in Photoshop

Ever wish that Adobe made a “Photoshop for Photographers?” Or maybe a version with just what you need for Web design, or video?

If so, I’m guessing it’s because Photoshop is so packed with features that the ones you need are needles in a stack of needles. The sheer volume of choices can be paralyzing, and people don’t feel they’re doing things the best way.

Most customers use only a fraction of Photoshop, yet every part of Photoshop is used by a lot of people. Therefore it’s difficult and painful to remove any features. How, then, can we make Photoshop fit your needs precisely without disadvantaging others?

Here’s an idea. We could revise Photoshop’s approach to workspaces with two goals in mind:

  • Present a more streamlined interface (“everything you need, nothing you don’t”), showing only the tools and commands that are relevant to the task at hand
  • Present best-practice guidance on how to accomplish specific tasks (“not just yet another way to do something, but the *right* way”)

We plan to use an upgraded version of Configurator to create custom panels that are associated with each workspace. Please see this PDF walk-through (note the explanatory annotations) and let us know what you think.

Let me be clear up front: This feature needs to be valuable to pros, not just beginners. For some reason people see “help” or “guidance” and think “newbie,” but there’s much more to the story here.

So, what do you think?

[Related philosophical background: Photoshop as seen through Johnny Cash]

4:42 PM | Permalink | Comments [77]

InDesign turns 10!

Wow, has it been that long? The tool that started with great hype & some big teething problems has matured into an industry-standard, multi-channel (print, PDF, & Web), automated publishing powerhouse. Congrats, guys! Adobe evangelist Rufus Deuchler and longtime print maven David Blatner share some brief reminiscences.

10:36 AM | Permalink | Comments [19]
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