The Psychological Impact of Last Week’s Import Workflow Changes

Back to basics paper speech bubbles and some paper person under them.

Hi Gang: Greetings from Washington DC — I’m up here for my sold out seminar today, and I hope to meet a bunch of you here in person and get to shake your hand. OK, on to Lightroom stuff. 🙂

To wrap this “Week of Lightroom Suffering” up, I’m just going to share a comment I received over on my Facebook page about this whole import workflow change situation.

It’s a comment from one of my readers, Brian Clary, who wrote the comment below and he looks at this evolution from a very different perspective. It’s wonderfully articulated and he makes some really great points. Here’s his comment:

“Adobe is missing the PSYCHOLOGICAL ramifications of what they did.
Sure there are some technical issues and missing functionality or impaired functionality with the new Import. But you know what? Most of the criticism (including my own) really has a different core issue, a psychological issue. For me and probably many others, the core issue is Adobe ‘dumbing down’ the software and insulting their fans and biggest supporters.

Photographers work hard to learn new software, and are proud of what they accomplish. A product with no learning curve to be accessible to everyone in the world is frankly insulting.

Photographers love to learn.
Photographers love challenges.
Photographers love configurations and options.
Photographers appreciate control. Look at how many settings our cameras have, allowing us to create in infinite ways.

This UI change is an affront to all of those.

Barring hearing from Adobe, we can only assume Adobe is not satisfied with having only serious photographers as their customers. They want to expand and make ‘Lightroom’ as well known to the general public as the word ‘Photoshop.’ This move by Adobe insinuates that more UI simplifications are coming. And while they can argue that higher sales of Lightroom are good for all its users, it’s only good if the core product is still something the veterans want to use. Honestly, I don’t want one of my core software pieces of my business (along with Photoshop) to be the same one taught to 3rd graders in school (if that’s the end-game for Adobe here). 

Most photographers suffer, and we sacrifice. We get beat up constantly, by people outside of our industry, industry insiders, peers, clients and ourselves. But we don’t expect to be beat up by Adobe. Adobe, please support us the way we support you. We simply want you to keep making great software that reflects WHO WE ARE…intelligent, resourceful and above all, creative. Don’t dumb us down – let us think, learn and create, while being treated as serious photographers.” — Brian Clary
My thanks to Brian for taking the time to share this view, and to have done so, so eloquently.

I’m hoping for better news next week from Adobe. I know they’re listening. I know they know the community is upset. They know we’re not happy, and I know they’re not happy about it. These things usually have a way of straightening themselves out, and I’m going to hope for the best. If I hear anything new on this topic, I’ll be sure to share it here.

Hope you all have a less stressful weekend. 🙂