What's the most effective way to request product improvements?

In brief, tell product creators what you’re trying to accomplish, then give them a chance to figure out how to help you accomplish it.

Lightroom creator & longtime Photoshop leader Mark Hamburg puts things really well:

Lists of desired features are interesting because they let us know what it is you want. Descriptions of what these features should do are interesting because it provides clarity around how you think about the features.

But what really scores points are use cases. Tell us what you are trying to do because that tells us what problem we need to go solve.

For example:

“I shoot pictures of sunsets. Almost always this generates a lot of photos — 10, 20, 30, 100. I want to share the photos but I want to just share a few so as not to overwhelm my audience. I need Revel to make it easier to go from 10 to 100 photos down to 2 to 5 photos.”

Note that that didn’t specify particular features. It specified a problem and what it gave us was a use case that we can reference and judge features against. It sets us up to ask “how well does the image review feature work for solving the sunset problem”?

Sometimes the use case for a feature is obvious. But that’s not always true, and by couching requests and discussions in terms of use cases, we have another way to check and confirm that we are all on the same wavelength.

14 thoughts on “What's the most effective way to request product improvements?

  1. all on the same wavelenght.. mhm.
    well we saw how much adobe cares about that as they introduced Adobe CC. adobe did knew that MANY people don´t like the cloud only approach.
    you really think people believe that the management at Adobe cares?
    Adobe tries to make as much money with as little effort as possible.
    sorry that i have to bring this up again.. but look at Photoshop CC.
    the new features are counted with the fingers of one hand.
    that´s only possible because adobe has no real competition when it comes to photoshop.
    and adobe knows that.
    that´s why they drop ACR support for older photoshop versions. ACR is just a plugin that delivers pixel data too PS.
    there is no reason ACR 8 could not be available for lets say CS4.
    and why is support dropped…?
    because it´s the only way to force some user to buy a new photoshop version!
    and please….don´t deny that… we are not that stupid.

  2. John, first of all allow me to thank you for publishing all opinions here no matter how constructive the criticism is.
    I am afraid that before talking about improvements, your teams must fix a bunch of CC issues.
    I am sitting here before my computer, and I am left speechless with the number of bugs, errors, problems I and my colleagues have found. And I have already emailed Adobe a number of times about these.
    Now that I am typing these words, I have uninstalled the German version of PS CC and I am trying to install the English version. No luck; the CC application manager informs me that Photoshop is “up to date”.
    And then we are talking about improvements…. 🙁

  3. Hi
    About print module in LR5, i’d like to have the possibilities to put the photo border and the stroke at one image a times instead of at all the images in the layout.
    Another improvement could be related to the positioning of images in print layout.
    now you cant move the cell out of the page..but its better if we could do that, of course i could create a virtual copy and crop it ,but i take less time moving it out of the border of the page…

  4. John, where is the best point of contact for the inputs you’re seeking – not a public post at the community support forums; not a contact customer care message (in the following categories only:
    – Downloading, installing and setting up
    – Using my product or service
    – Serial number issues, or Activating my product
    – Signing in to my account, or registering my product
    – Managing my membership, subscriptions and online services
    – Orders, refunds, and exchanges);
    but, a real product improvement center where dialog can be etsablished and things can happen with – as you term it – the “product creators” …

  5. I’m looking forward to a day in the near future when the the “CC grumblers” have given up their petty rants and scuttled off to find other rocks under which to live.
    I agree heartily with telling product creators what we users want to accomplish.
    There are three divisions of this business of living in which we are all involved: be, do, and have.
    If we first determine what we want to have, then we can assume the appropriate “beingness” in order to “do” what is necessary to achieve that “havingness.”
    I want beautiful and functional digital artwork for my software products.
    I (as a computer artist (the “being” part)) have been using (the “doing” part) Adobe software tools for over 25 years and am very excited to use the new CC versions of those tools to be even more productive.
    I love the new crop tool in PS CC, for example.

    1. only because you are a simpleton that swallows everything corporations offer you does not mean others have to be that dumb….
      and maybe you live under a rock .. i sure do not.

    2. I fail to understand how resorting to name calling offers any credibility to your review of a software product, or shall I rephrase that …software service. We who are not in favour of the new model have every right to voice our opinions without being labelled “rock dwellers”.

  6. I have to admit that, at first, the idea of CC did not appeal but I decided, perhaps against better judgement, to give it a go on the basis that I could always drop back to CS6.
    I’ve read with interest all the comments – mostly negative and occasionally derogatory – about CC but I do, despite being a doubter in the first instance, have to say that I am happy with CC as it stands. I know I am probably in a minority but, taking the broader view, I can now justify the expense (and I am a small, one man band, business).
    You could argue (endlessly) about Adobe’s business model and their delivery of CC which could hardly be described as a PR success. I think Adobe should work hard welcome back the hitherto loyal and unshakable band of supporters it has had for many years now. My only comment to Adobe would be, please don’t make it so hard for us to all go with you from here on in.
    Like your other correspondent (above) I’ve had quite a few crashes but I’m not surprised by this….every new product…
    Now is the time for Adobe to really swing into action and show us what they’re made of.
    As far as CC is concerned, I’m delighted with it and would ask the doubters out there to take a second look…(and please don’t shout at me or be rude!)

    1. Richard, I’m sure I would be delighted too. But I cannot go along with getting tied into a subscription scam, I mean scheme that doesn’t have a way out. There are plenty of other software companies that have successfully brought out subscriptions (to updates) while letting the customer stop and retain their software. Autodesk does this with a majority of their offerings…
      Just out of curiosity, do you lease or buy your cars?

  7. I do not make a $ with my photography by choioce. The Photoshop CC and Lightroom software will develop on their own. I question the marketing. Today, I can get PS CC on its own for $10/month the first year. I can upgrade to LR 5 standalone or I have to buy the big CC package to get LR. Since I use both in my post processing I have been waiting for a bundle announcement since the trial periods are ending this week. Without the bundle I will forever wonder if Adobe remembers me and values me as a customer. I and lots of others have been very vocal from day 1 about the Adobe direction and whether we would jump on the CC bus. The Adobe silence on the bundle screams out to us about our position in the Adobe world. Please say something or we will be forever out of sync with your software releases and our need for any new software. In the world of marketing, timing does matter.

  8. God bless you John 🙂 You remind me of a “Whack a Mole” arcaid game. You keep sticking your head up and it keeps getting whacked. I do admire your courage and tenacity. Personally I’m still on the fence with CC, but I will need to make a decision soon.

  9. In Lightroom have the ablity to choice in presences to have the files sorted by file name/number as your own default. Now the default is by date. So when you have to leave lightroom and go to photoshop and return the files are pushed to the end of the film strip while in the develop module. Which means stopping your work flow and go the library module. Change the sort order preference. Then go back to Develop/you work flow. Each time you restart the program it reverts back to lightrooms preference. Yuck!
    2nd request. Multiple text boxes in the print module.

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