What are your biggest software grips as a graphic designer? Some examples might be software that:

  • is unnecessarily complicated
  • doesn't allow you to accomplish what you really want to do
  • doesn't have very good documentation or customer support
  • crashes or malfunctions

Why I'm Asking

I'm doing some preliminary anecdotal research into how software limitations limit the creativity of creative professionals. I thought I'd ask here to see what kind of response I'd get.

  • This is a "list" question. Why do you need to know what the biggest complaints are? Are you trying to solve them? Are you looking for reasons not to become a graphic designer? Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 18:10
  • Sorry, I should have explained why I wanted this information. I'm doing some preliminary anecdotal research into how software limitations limit the creativity of creative professionals. I thought I'd ask here to see what kind of response I'd get.
    – gloop5004
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 20:41
  • 2
    Can you please edit the question to reflect this ^^ comment? Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 10:23
  • When you say, "limit the creativity", do you mean that generally - anything stopping a creative professional getting stuff done - or do you mean specifically software problems making people less creative by the literal meaning of the word: less able to come up with innovative or original ideas? I can't think of any software issue that limits creativity in that sense (except maybe the fact that internet explorer exists). Creativity in the strict sense is generally best done away from or not depending on the computer. Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 21:27
  • 1
    @user568458 What I mean is something that degrades your ability to create what you invision. An architect might want to walk through a 3D version of a building while they're working on it. What if the software only supported 2d views of it? I would consider that limiting the architect's creativity because the software impedes his or her thought process.
    – gloop5004
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 6:18

4 Answers 4

  • Cost for upgrades given that they always have bugs. (Adobe)
  • Release cycles which focus on revenue rather than delivering solid products. (Adobe)
  • no printed manuals (Adobe)
  • feature sets which are years behind competitors (Adobe and Quark)
  • Poor integration when multiple apps are form the same company (Adobe)
  • Feature sets targeted and a very, very, very small percentage of users (Adobe & Quark)
  • Tech and customer support located in a non-native-English speaking countries. (any)
  • Moronic "cloud" delivery of software driven by media hype and revenue greed, not driven by user demands (Adobe).
  • Lack of customer loyalty. Most businesses appreciate a customer who's been a steady revenue stream for years or decades and they offer those customers special rewards. Not software vendors. They have the "one and done' mindset even though a customer may spend tens of thousands of dollars on their software over their career.
  • Customer incentives decreasing while software costs increase. There was a time when you received all sorts of goodies for your thousand dollar purchase - manuals, fonts, artwork, t-shirts, a nice aluminum tin with discs, etc. Now you get none of that but the software costs more.
  • Licensing hoops. I realize piracy is a problem. But has any of the licensing features prevented it? Not from what I see. All it does is force legitimate customers to jump through hoops generally at less-than-optimal times - like with a deadline looming.
  • Typo: form should be from. (Also, your full stops come sometimes after the parenthesis, sometimes before, and sometimes are missing altogether. Yes, I know I'm being petty.)
    – TRiG
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 21:59

Anything by Adobe due to:

  • their business model revolves around perpetual beta releases disguised as 'upgrades'
  • bloatware
  • they buy companies and kill their good software products (I'll never forgive them for killing Freehand, even though I realize Macromedia had a large part in that too...)
  • Acrobat Reader

I could go on.

I half kid. They do make good software and they are an industry standard for many good reasons as well as the few bad ones.

As a web designer, anything by Microsoft due to:

  • inventing sharepoint
  • inventing IE
  • 1
    Ha ha. If someone put you in charge of Adobe and told you you could make the world a better place for graphic designers, what would you do differently?
    – gloop5004
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 6:22

Crashes! The worst that can happen is that you loose all the work of a productive day... :_(

  • And, closely related, file corruption, which can happen frustratingly often. Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 21:28
  • Do software crashes happen frequently for you? What operating system/software do you normally work with? Is file corruption also common?
    – gloop5004
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 6:20
  • Precisely, Photoshop CS6 crashed yesterday twice, and now Flash CS5 crashes every time I try to work with a file (Windows 7) Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 17:14
  • Related "Which version of Adobe Flash is the stablest?" Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 17:17

Besides licensing models, which is always tricky, my biggest gripe has to do with annoying bugs. We all know bugs are a fact of software, but bugs can waste more designers time then anything else. Now-a-days with YouTube one can quickly figure out how to do this or that without a manual, but when something does not work as advertised, that is a big time-sucker for me, especially on the video production side.

Peace - David

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