Sunday, October 11, 2015

Lightroom 6.2’s Import Dialog


Customers were universally unable to decipher the Import dialog without getting frustrated. Some people pushed forward, bolstered by spending time searching the web for help. They might have been successful in importing files, but they didn’t feel successful. Others gave up, deciding that Lightroom might not be the right product for them.

The previous Import experience literally made people push back from their computers in frustration. Keeping the existing Import experience isn’t an option, and we needed to evolve the Import experience.

Tom Hogarty:

The simplification of the import experience was also handled poorly. Our customers, educators and research team have been clear on this topic: The import experience in Lightroom is daunting. It’s a step that every customer must successfully take in order to use the product and overwhelming customers with every option in a single screen was not a tenable path forward. We made decisions on sensible defaults and placed many of the controls behind a settings panel. At the same time we removed some of our very low usage features to further reduce complexity and improve quality. These changes were not communicated properly or openly before launch. Lightroom was created in 2006 via a 14 month public beta in a dialog with the photography community. In making these changes without a broader dialog I’ve failed the original core values of the product and the team.

The team will continue to work hard to earn your trust back in subsequent releases and I look forward to reigniting the type of dialog we started in 2006.

We already knew that Apple no longer cares to make software for professional or even prosumer photographers. Now Adobe is dumbing down the best remaining photography app. Lightroom’s old import dialog had its problems. The biggest one, in my opinion, was that it took so long to display lots of thumbnails only to hide most of them later when the window finished loading. But the new dialog buries some of the most important options (Copy as DNG/Copy/Move/Add) and removes others (various destination folder options), while making even the basic functionality worse (covering the bulk of each thumbnail with a giant checkbox).

Adobe has already committed not to provide new features for those of us who don’t subscribe to Creative Cloud. But it never said they wouldn’t take them away.

Update (2015-10-16): Tom Hogarty:

I’d like to thank our customers for their patience while the team reviewed several options for restoring import workflows and addressing quality in Lightroom. We can now confirm that, in our next dot release, we will restore the previous import experience.

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