Why does Adobe insist on using the application UI to advertise features?

No longer am I able to discover new features the old-fashioned way: by learning about them when I actually give a shit.

In my opinion, one of the surest signs of a product that has key stakeholders who are out of touch with the concept of good user experience is when you find that the application interface is being used to market features to you at inopportune or irrelevant moments.

I have strongly argued against this practice in my professional work as I truly hate being on the receiving end of it.

Adobe products have recently begun to provide some of the worst examples of this ill-conceived strategy.

It seems that every time I open one of the Creative Suite applications there is a new dialog or palette that I don’t want or need trumpeting some new feature that I am not currently interested in using.

Screenshot of Adobe libraries feature related dialog
Example of an uninvited feature peddling itself in the UI

I’m sure there’s probably a way to turn this nonsense off, but I’d rather spend time writing this post to express my frustration that I will again have to spend time searching for the means of disabling what are essentially application feature pop-up ads.

I have to imagine that the source of this madness is the internal politics of Adobe. Product feature team leaders are desperately trying to promote their particular team’s work within the interface in order increase the adoption and usage of their specific feature within the larger application.

Here’s a crazy idea: people will find out about a feature when it is relevant to them. Maybe they will read about it on any of thousands of industry related blogs. Perhaps they’ll find out about it on Adobe’s website. Maybe their colleagues will recommend it to them. Perhaps they will start searching interface options for that very feature when they need it.

The biggest issue with promoting the feature via the actual application interface is quite obvious: we already bought the software and we are trying to work here!

The moment and means to make me aware of the new feature is not in the middle of my urgent and unrelated task. Using precious screen real estate in the application for feature promotion adds usability insult to injury.

The punchline: I’m paying a hefty monthly subscription fee for this software. 🙁

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