Design goes on…

Since the trauma of Adobe announcing the end of life of Muse and Business Catalyst (yes, very much first world problems, but I’m not apologising for that), it’s good to know that there is life after Adobe and it’s not a total rip-off!

Around September last year I came across Affinity Designer (AD) and Photo (AP), just by chance, not because I was necessarily searching for an alternative for Illustrator  (AI) and Photoshop (PS). However, it’s proven to be somewhat of an offering from the Universe (it sometimes knows more about what we want and need than we do). I was interested in the fact that there were people out there who were actually doing something that challenged the big guys and doing a damn good job of it. I kept them in the forefront of my mind as an option to trial between first discovering them and when the Adobe announcement was announced. I’m now an Affinity user and am loving it.

AffinityDesignerAffinityPhotoI can’t pretend it’s not a challenge to learn a new version of something that you’re very familiar with, but to be honest, it’s a pleasure to dip one’s toes into a new pond and discover that it’s not so dark, deep and scary below the surface as you first thought.

On announcement of the Muse and BC death, and the way that it was done, I decided that the £73/month spent on my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription was better spent on software that I could buy outright, still get support for but not feel totally ripped off. I started the search of replacing all my Adobe software as much as I possibly could, so that I could continue to work in my chosen profession, still ensuring a quality product.

The first to go was InDesign – heading back to my roots as a designer, I humbly returned to Quark. After investigating the costs, purchasing options, upgrades going forward etc, I rang them and actually had a converstation with a lovely human being who offered me a very good deal as a past customer (after 10 years they still had evidence of me being a past Quark user and acknowledged my humbleness in returning to the platform that got me started). Quark

Enter Affinity – what a delight! I downloaded the Affinity Photo for iPad app to start with and loved it, it was a natural step to go the whole way and purchase the desktop apps. At £48.99 for each app, it was a no brainer – it’s superb software and does so much more, in a more intuitve way, than AI and PS every did. Yes folks there is software that competes with Adobe.

I could wax lyrical about how amazing the guys at Affinity are, but the only way to prove this is to use it (no, I’m not being paid to say this). I bought both Designer and Photo outright at the same time I went back to Quark – my dock now looks like it’s in conflict, but it’s a lovely, satisfying little takeover. MBP-DockMy Creative Cloud subsctiption runs out in October 2018, so from now until then I’ll be converting as much of the work I’ve done for the past 10 years to AD and AP files so that I can continue to work seamlessly and explore the possibilities of my new software. Although AP & AD both import AI & PS files no problem so there’s no major panic to convert everything.

My last dilemma is replacing Muse. Quite a big one and a rather annoying one. There is simply no other software on the market that did what Muse did. Why oh why is this not up for sale for another company to take over and develop further? Adobe’s arrogance and lack of allegiance to their vast customer base is quite bewildering – the least they could do is offer up this software for someone else to continue to develop. But no, that won’t happen as they would rather see it die than someone else make a success of it.

I’m moving on with what my business is now offering, I won’t be making websites like I used to as I quite simply can’t without bowing down to the techie world of coding. None of the other options out there assume you know nothing about html or css (I know the most miniscule amount of both, it’s hardly worth acknowledging). However, after discovering the wonders of Shopify, I’m now moving in that direction and loving it. Full on e-commerce for businesses big and small.

The upside of Adobe being a total arse is that they have opened an enormous, castle size door for me and my business. There’s nothing quite like embracing change, opening one’s mind to a challenge and grabbing it by the horns. Yes there is life after Adobe – get out there and enjoy it (and if you do, you’ll find you have a lot more money in your bank account every month to throw at the important stuff). Good luck wih your journey into the unknown – it’s not as scary as it first appears.

Bye Bye Adobe!

 

On Monday the 26th March,  Adobe announced they are dropping the very popular Muse software that us designers use to build websites. Along with that they are ditching Business Catalyst – the website hosting side of the business.

Maybe this seems a bit melodramatic and an insignificant issue to many people, but for the hundreds of thousands of us who have invested time and money in learning, using and buying add-ons for Muse, we are devastated.

The first thing I did was contact my clients who I’ve built websites for using Muse. The doom and gloom of all of this shutting down for good is a couple of years off, but without the support of Adobe and further development of the product, there is little point considering that Muse can be a viable option for much longer.

I was left in quite a quandary – it’s a case of all those sites having to be re-built on another platform, but as a designer and not a coder, there really is no other platform that does what Muse allows me to do. There’s not another piece of software out there that I can simply switch over too. Yes there are options, but none that ticked all the boxes that us designers loved about Muse.

I will endeavour to offer my clients a solution to this problem, once I’ve done the research and found a platform that suits me as a designer and doesn’t require having to learn code – too old for that and really not an option for me. (If one more person suggests this to me I may be heard screaming, rather loudly and using lots of rude words!) This may in due course, mean that I lose some business. I can’t expect all those clients who I built websites for to pay up for me to build another site for them but I’m hoping they will.  I will then work out a way to do this at a discount for them, it’s not their choice to have to have a new site. This was thrust upon us by Adobe – thanks for that!

Trying to stay positive about my own situation, I’m in a fortunate position in that I don’t have a huge portfolio of websites, it’s not the main area of my business. Some people bought into Muse as a way of starting a whole new business. This news will have totally ruined them and their business. Adobe lead us to believe this software was to become a main feature of their Creative Suite. What Adobe have done, without warning, without reason and without a viable alternative, is highly unethical and downright arrogant.

I’ve decided that a company that no longer has their customers as their core reason for existing, but instead favours their share-holders, doesn’t deserve my business. I’m out!

The next few months are going to be on a huge learning curve as I attempt to move all my Adobe software to other companies. I’ve already re-bought Quark to replace InDesign and am trialling Affinity Photo and Designer to replace Photoshop and Illustrator. Finding alternatives to Bridge and Acrobat might prove to be tricky and I will miss all these familiar software applications, but on principal, and sheer determination, I’m not going to support a business that no longer supports me. My monthly subscription for Adobe just keeps going up and up and I’m getting less and less for it.

Bye Bye Adobe – I’m not even going to wish you good luck. It’s not luck you need, it’s a conscience. Find your human side – in the end, money doesn’t make you happy.young beautiful business woman suffering stress working at office asking for help feeling tired