Usability – Take Two

While we’re on the subject of poor software design, I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Herbie’s rant about Adobe’s developers. They just don’t seem to understand what makes good design. And it’s not just confined to the install process of the Acrobat Reader. The malaise of piss-poor design seemingly crops up all over the place in Adobe’s products. I’ve ranted on about this before, writing about Adobe’s Organizer in Photoshop Elements version 3.0. It didn’t improve much with version 4.0 – in fact, in one significant area it got a lot worse. At least with version 3.0 I could apply batch edits to my photo metadata. Adobe pulled that in version 4.0. Gee, thanks, Adobe, I found that out once I had paid for the upgrade – you certainly didn’t bother to tell us in your feature list. Needless to say I have not bothered to upgrade to version 5.0 as a result.

Now Adobe are playing around with another product that does many of the same things as Photoshop Elements: Lightroom. It’s still in beta form. Because it’s still a beta, I can understand that a) it’s not feature complete and b) performance is not optimised. But on my system, performance is non-existent. It is totally unusable, and I’m not the only person who is experiencing this. The laughable thing is that Lightroom is currently at beta version 4.1. The difference between this beta 4.1 and, for example, Microsoft’s beta 2 for Office 2007 is chalk and cheese. Office 2007 beta 2 feels solid and absolutely usable. Lightroom beta 4.1 is a dog. I’ve kicked it off my system.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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