A Graphic Designer’s Beef w/ Adobe Creative Cloud Services

After almost 3 weeks away from the blog, it feels good to be back and refreshed. Time flies when you’ve got work coming out your ears.

I’m a daily user of the Adobe Creative Cloud. On any given day I generally have Dreamweaver, Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator open at the same time. Along with every other designer I impatiently weather the slight changes in toolbars or functionality that comes with each iteration (currently at Adobe CC 2014 — way to be creative Adobe!).

That being said, I HATE how much of a monopoly Adobe has when it comes to the whole web/graphic design market. While there are good alternatives to almost each individual product there are no true replacement suites that can match the overall functionality.

Even worse most printers and/or other designers probably don’t have the same alternative programs installed which can lead to headaches when sending files back and forth. This led me to create a list of what drives me crazy about Adobe CC…

My Top 5 Issues with Adobe Creative Cloud Services

1. It’s not all encompassing.

Sure all the big guns (mentioned above) are included. There are also things I have never opened like: Muse, Audition, SpeedGrade, Prelude, InCopy and the list goes on and on. Products I do need (surprise, surprise) cost extra such as Adobe LiveCycle and Adobe Presenter.

2. Learning about these ‘extra’ add-ons is a lesson in frustration.

There’s a huge lack of transparency when it comes to Adobe product pages. I was researching Adobe LiveCycle and while there’s a smattering of info you will find very little on pricing and requirements upfront. EVERYTHING on the page wants to drive you to contact an Adobe representative. What better way to reach out and sell you even more stuff right?

Screenshot

3. Multiple accounts are handled horrendously.

My agency has two separate Adobe CC accounts which works out well now. That wasn’t always the case. I initially had both accounts tied to one email address for billing purposes. It made perfect sense in my head, but that’s what backfired because…

With Adobe’s licensing you can now put the Adobe CC software on two machines — one work computer and one home computer for instance. Instead of foolishly thinking that we could use 4 machines (remember we had two monthly subscriptions) Adobe was only granting logins on 2 computers. This made opening any Adobe CC programs on my laptop generate a warning sign and initiate free trial countdowns which is obviously not what I felt like dealing with at the time!

What’s worse was when I contacted Adobe they couldn’t do anything to separate the subscriptions. I literally had to wait until the year was over to cancel one and restart it using another email address. No big deal right?!?!

4. Customer service is a nightmare.

In addition to the mess detailed in #3, another discrepancy has existed on one of the two monthly subscriptions for over a year now. Apparently being tax-exempt doesn’t really matter to Adobe.

They operate on a ticket based system so you never deal with the same person twice and even if you submit the proper documentation to them nothing gets resolved because the chain of contact gets broken. One account got adjusted properly while the other continues to get charged tax.

5. Updates are temperamental at best.

I’m a user that appreciates automatic update notifications. The Adobe Application Manager that should keep track of all the versions and updates installed on your machine is so intermittent that I have to launch it periodically just to see if anything needs updated.

Oddly enough, most of the time the Application Manager itself is in need of being updated so I’m assuming that is the cause of my notifications not displaying?!?! The bad thing about installing multiple updates at one time is that you generally have to close everything you’re working on before any of the apps can install correctly.

It will force you to close programs before you can proceed. While this entire process might only take a few minutes, it’s still a few minutes of wasted time throughout the workday. Any downtime can be considered money lost.


I’m not saying that I flat out hate Adobe products. I’m relieved to know I don’t have to use Quark Xpress and Microsoft Word for design projects anymore.

My wish is that another company (Google — are you listening…) would offer a competitor to push Adobe to become more customer service friendly and forthcoming with their information. I can’t spend 10 minutes clicking every link on a page to figure out what the pricing for a certain product would be only to come up empty and be directed to a sales rep.

As it stands right now, Adobe can do whatever they want with no opposition. The monopoly will continue to steamroll. It makes me wish Steve Jobs were around to fight the good fight; he was able to almost single-handily defeat Flash and make the push to usher in the era of HTML5. Does anyone still use Flash these days?

By | 2016-10-17T14:41:13+00:00 October 15th, 2014|Business Basics, Design Time Thursday|10 Comments
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