Adobe Creative Suite's Design Guide or Scenarios instead of Manuals

Subject: Adobe Creative Suite's Design Guide or Scenarios instead of Manuals
From: Keri Morgret <kerilists -at- morgret -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 08:39:38 -0800

I just received my copy of Adobe's new Creative Suite (the new Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign programs). Instead of shipping with printed manuals (now a $50 option of the suite), it ships with a 92 page Design Guide.

I like it. But I also wonder the history behind this decision, and if other companies are doing the same thing.

I do wish that they wouldn't charge extra for manuals, but I found myself reading through the Design Guide before I even started messing around in the programs. The design guide goes through six scenarios (making a poster, brochure, illustration, web banner, animation, and web site) and how a team used the suite of software to make each product. This isn't a deep how to for each thing, but it does talk about the tools available in each program and some of the options available.

The Guide seems to address something that I frequently encountered when I provided in-person technical support. I found that people learned what they needed to do to get their job done, but they didn't "go exploring" in the software. They didn't know that you COULD do a certain task, so of course they never looked up HOW to do that certain task. This Guide shows the COULD part of this, and gives you a little bit of the HOW (and also the WHY - why CMYK vs. RGB, etc.)

Does anyone have any comments on this? Anyone that worked on this project on this list? As I was thinking about this, I wondered if the writers were frustrated that they had to produce something with more of a marketing angle, or if they enjoyed writing something that people were more likely to read. I did send a comment to Adobe that I liked the Guide, and received a response ten minutes later thanking me for the comment, and that "The Design Guide was something new for Adobe Creative Suite."

Keri Morgret


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