Dear Adobe,

In your lengthy Creative Cloud survey (in which you mistakenly addressed me as a former customer), I was struck by what was missing in the list of possible answers to the question “how did you learn to use Adobe creative tools?”: books.

Apparently the kids you’ve got running the game now are so hooked on the web that they’ve forgotten that Adobe software used to ship with manuals, and that third parties used to write entire books on how to use the stuff. Or perhaps they’re too young to have ever known.

Also, I was amused when the surveydroids referred to the process of installing the CC tools as “onboarding”, and then immediately had to explain their jargon, but what the fuck does this statement mean, which I’m supposed to rank my agreement with: “I have been able to meet the objectives I set for using Adobe Creative Cloud”? The correct answer would be “you stopped selling products, so I had to start renting them, which I’m not a big fan of”.

And I love this question toward the end:

“What methods would have been helpful to you in getting started to use Adobe applications or use the applications more?”

  • A call from customer support to provide more information
  • More emails explaining the benefits of applications
  • A learning game
  • Live chat online to provide more information
  • A five minute how-to video
  • A prominent 800 number to call Adobe customer support
  • Included access to a 3rd party training provider such as
  • A social network connection e.g. via Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.
  • Step-by-step tutorials (just text and graphics, rather than "how to" videos)
  • Online or in-product tutorials
  • Access to an Adobe learning resource center
  • Links to CC user forums
  • A 30 minute webinar/online seminar
  • Other (specify):
  • None/no other resources needed/none would be helpful

Odd how none of these options are related to the quality of the documentation, which defaults to online help pages these days. In fact, you have to manually download the actual PDF reference manuals separately from the CC applications; it isn’t even a clickable link in the help options.