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?


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
  • Oh my goodness, YES. I keep saying I wish there was some competition
    because as much as I love using illustrator, I’m annoyed by being forced
    to use the creative cloud. I’ve still got CS6 on my computer, but at my
    day job they’ve got creative cloud. And you’re right, it’s so
    frustrating to have to close out every adobe program just to run an
    update on one. And it’s even more frustrating that now on my computer I
    have CS6, CC and CC 2014. Why wouldn’t CC just update to CC 2014? That
    makes no sense. And CC 2014 aren’t compatible with CS6 unless you
    downsaved. I’ve also got other files that open in CC instead of CC 2014
    so then I’m running 2 different Illustrators at one time. I will totally
    second your shout out to Google!

    • Not to mention keeping all the different versions on your machine eats up so much space. There’s no easy uninstall either (you have to go one at a time) unless you run a script which always leaves me a little uneasy.

  • I fully agree on the competition aspect. I do like the convenience of a single monthly fee for most of their products (It would take me a loan to afford to buy the products I use if they still sold everything individually), but I wish there was competition. The Creative Cloud update system bugs me.

  • Todd Dolce

    My company has an enterprise license and after painfully waiting for the CCloud desktop installer app to install,…It just felt all wrong and I quickly uninstalled it and will never go back to it. I will just employ the last version of Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat that I have on my desktop and be happy with that. There is NOTHING wrong with them and I just hate the intrusion of the Cloud as well as the space hungry way it runs the programs on your system. I am so thankful that I didn’t dive in.

    • You’re lucky…I have to push forward with the Cloud at this point. A few months back I had versions of CS6, CC & CC 2014 for all the main suite applications! My SSD was thankful when I deleted the bulk of the outdated versions. I still have to keep an older version of Acrobat active in order to use LiveCycle. It’s never easy!

      • Todd Dolce

        I hear ya loud and clear. There’s just something about Adobe that rubs me the wrong way. I mean,..I do understand that Photoshop is a great product,…I’d be an idiot if I denied it, but I just don’t like their business approach at Adobe. I know many snub their noses at Corel, but I may go back to CDraw again after my long hiatus from it. It really has improved from years ago when it seemed like after CD7 it had some really big issues with instability etc.

        My issue with CorelDraw stemmed back many, many years ago when I ran into print shops that detested it and couldn’t (or wouldn’t) accept my files for print work. It was a nightmare. They basically said that if I wasn’t using Illustrator and a MAC then I wasn’t a serious artist. THAT alone fueled my hatred for both, although I have softened up some in my old age.

        As it is today, I use Xara and Illustrator for various applications in the vector department, and Photoshop in the image manipulation and cleanup department with all things raster.

        For illustration,…I use Sketchbook Pro and Manga Studio as well as some ArtRage.

        Adobe Premier Pro was an old fave of mine back when I did some video work, but again,…I don’t see the benefit of dealing with the resource hog and ill fated updates of the CC just for the privilege to “rent” some programs I really don’t need.

        Adobe Muse seems interesting,..but again,….not worth the jump.

        I do wonder if in a few years, Adobe will concede a bit and return to at least offering some programs “offline” for those that just don’t want to be tethered to them at all times.

        • Love the response! It’s interesting to hear about the alternate programs you’re using to achieve similar results to Adobe products.

          When I worked at a printshop they sneered at QuarkXpress so I feel your pain when it comes to the “majority” of printers and designers relying solely on Adobe.

          I have always wanted to try Sketchbook Pro, but have never got around to it.

          Adobe Muse is interesting, but it’s not a fully fledged piece of software in its current state. Like most things Adobe, the program could sink or swim depending on how many resources they put behind it. My guess is it gets abandoned or transforms into something else — probably another Adobe program. 😉

  • arthur schwartz

    To do this better and far easier you need other Adobe programs besides just Photoshop. Buy Adobe CS6 Master Collection for Only $151.00 which has Photoshop CS6 Extended, Illustrator CS6, InDesign CS6 and just about all Adobe software and it downloads right from Adobe who makes this Adobe software. 

    • Sonny Moon

      Looks illegal to me!

      • arthur schwartz

        The company has an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau since 2001. You Can not fake that. Plus the ADOBE Software downloads directly from Adobe.