Creative Cloud – 2014 account signup

These screens show my first time user experience with Adobe Creative Cloud (CC). This includes my signing up for a CC trial; downloading the CC client for my desktop; and downloading/installing Photoshop CC through the client.

The good bits:

  • Adobe provides a free trial with an ability to try out multiple apps at the same time.
  • I downloaded the CC client after I had chosen to try Photoshop on the website, and the client seamlessly passed this context so that Photoshop began downloading right when I opened the freshly-installed client.
  • The CC client made use of the lull time during Photoshop’s installation process, letting me browse its interface and start parallel tasks. Instead of forcing me to page through an intro tutorial or other canned content, each tab (Home, Apps, Files, Fonts, Behance) had inline information and activities. The Behance tab, in particular, showed examples of the type of content it aggregates. This helps to show its value via the content itself. In general, this approach allowed me to learn and move at my own speed. A point of improvement: consider surfacing the link to Photoshop tutorials before the app was done installing.

To be improved:

  • The experience suffered from “signupitis”. During the flow I was prompted to sign up/in 3 different times. The first time was the request to sign up on the website; the second was a prompt after opening the CC client; and the third was when I opened Photoshop for the first time. It seems as though I could have downloaded the CC client without needing an ID, as seen by the option to “Create an Adobe ID” at the bottom of the CC sign in screen, so at least one of these prompts could be cut.
  • Despite all the times I was asked to sign in/up, the website seemed to have forgotten what I’d been doing with my account. For example, when I opened the Photoshop Tutorials webpage via the CC client, there was a button suggesting I “Download Photoshop CC” (I already had).
  • It was unclear how to open Photoshop after its installation was complete. The Home and Apps tabs in the CC client only had a link to view tutorials. Finally, I tried searching through Spotlight but, since it was a new app, I had to type all the way to “photosho” before Photoshop CC even showed up in the list. Opening the app should be a consideration in the design of the CC client.
  • The purpose of the home screen of the CC client wasn’t initially clear. During the Photoshop download process it showed a 2-item checklist. The first item (“Install or update an application”) was checked, and the other (“Link your account with Behance”) was not. When I skipped the Behance step, the screen reverted to an empty state with those same two options, now as buttons. It wasn’t until Photoshop finished downloading that I understood it was going to be a timeline of my activity. Adobe should consider setting this stage early; perhaps the to-do list could be formatted as a timeline.
  • The direct link to “View tutorials” for Photoshop only showed up in the client after Photoshop was installed. It would have been helpful to have had this direct access link them while I was waiting, since they’re simply videos.
  • There was no inline guidance after I opened Photoshop, and I confused the intro screen (which had some links to tutorials) as a marketing upsell screen, and quickly dismissed it. Even if I had used the tutorials, these opened on a webpage, out of context of the product. I found the lack of inline guidance at odds with the inline content of the CC client.