Photoshop CC 2015.1: New user interface lacks contrast and many usability cues, lots of other problems

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I just updated to Photoshop CC(2015) version 2015.1. Adobe changed the UI to the flat look you see on phones and tablets. I do not see any way to select the classic interface, which I'm sure many desktop users of PS prefer.

This feels yet another attempt by Adobe to be trendy without caring about what users want or need. Didn't they learn anything from the dumbed-down Lightroom import fiasco?
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John Isner

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Posted 4 years ago

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Kurt Triffet

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I'm quite surprised that people like Russell Brown, one of the program's creators and senior design director is supporting this. All I can think is that there is something political going on at Adobe that's causing a lot of this dysfunction. The lower level worker bees are merely taking orders.
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Robert Tarabella

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Remember the days when each app developer had its own unique interface? Adobe is trying to make a CC platform that exists outside of the major OS interface paradigms. This hubris leads to nothing good.
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Kurt Triffet

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Thankfully they left AI and ID alone (for now) from this mess. I use PS with these programs in tandem every day and I hate going from nicely designed to this new hodge-podge of poor design. Maybe Russell needs to retire and play by himself with his mobile devices. ;-)
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Carola Clavo

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Agreed, I also use Illustrator and the difference is HUGE between both UIs.
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Robert Tarabella

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AI and ID already have the new open dialogs. Wouldn't be surprised if the rest of the interface "upgrade" is coming soon. Remember, it's so important to make these apps touch friendly.
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Kris Hunt

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Look at what they've done to the ellipse in Illustrator. You can't even change the width with side handles anymore; now side handles scale the entire shape. I suspect this is another case of dumbing down the interface to pander to the 0.1% of people who might use the application on a touch screen.
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Peter Blacksberg

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Photoshop interface typeface (screen font) allow user to change color, or at leas....

Latest version CC uses gray on gray interface. Subtle yes, easy to read for me? No. Why not make typeface 'color' selectable? Background color has limited selection (though it should be user selectable as well). Consistancy would allow user to select or adjust interface text size and color in greater increments.
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Mike Berson

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I'm late to the CC 2015 game because I waited until the holidays (and a lack of ongoing projects) to "upgrade" from CC 2014 just in case there were issues.

2 minutes into using Photoshop 2015 and I was scratching my head is disbelief. How did this flat grey mush of a UI make it past the Adobe creative team? It's neither an aesthetic improvement or a usability improvement. It's bad enough that I've already gone back to CC 2014.

I see comments in this forum about touch interface considerations. What professional retoucher, photographer, or designer would use touch on their desktop computer screen? Reach up and over your mouse and keyboard, trackpad and tablet to get fingerprints on your screen is a "convenience" that justifies this step backwards in usability?

Essential tools for professionals should look and work like they were designed for, and by, professionals.
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John Isner

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The blog post linked to below may give you a clue as to "what professional retoucher, photographer, or designer would use touch."

http://lifehacker.com/im-russell-brow...

Russell Brown is one of the founding fathers of Photoshop and currently Adobe's Senior Creative Director. Notice that he claims to do most of his work on a touch screen and his photography with an iPhone.
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John Isner

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Brown mentions that his software tools are Photoshop, Lightroom Mobile, and Adobe Photoshop Mix, and that he works on an iPad pro. What can you do on an iPad pro? It's certainly not suitable for running Photoshop (a Surface Pro would be a minimum for that). So I doubt he's spending much time working in Photoshop on that couch of his. It's a pity. Brown is a true Photoshop wizard, who has moved to the dark side.
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Ann Shelbourne

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I read the interview and believe that Russell's answers were very much tongue-in-cheek (taking-the-Mickey) responses to a set of rather silly questions.
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John Isner

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Or just towing the company line.
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Peter Blacksberg

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Touch? Here's some pre-Photoshop History. In 1981 I was a founding member of Via Video, a Cupertino Startup which introduced graphics computing to artists, animators, corporate art departments and colleges. At that time the Qantel Paintbox and AMPEX Ava were the only professional electronic paint systems. Like them, we featured a Sumagraphics 'bitpad' ($1000) pen and tablet as an input device.
This is 1981 - the Mouse was new, Apple computers were text only.

Invariably when demonstrating the product artists would ask "how can I draw and not look where my hands are?" I would ask, "Do you watch the steering wheel when you drive?"

In the 34 years since, we have learned to accept what was so clear at the time, looking up while working makes sense, resting the hand comfortably make sense, keeping the neck and back straight makes sense.

The ergonomics of pen/tablet/monitor are so compelling as to be a case to INVENT IT IF IT DIDN'T EXIST.
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Kurt Triffet

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You make valid points. The pen/tablet is the right direction, no argument against that. The problem is still designing an intuitive UI that satisfies a professional's needs. Form follows function - always. Photoshop's new UI was not well conceived, even for those who plan to use it only on tablets. I draw classically standing up as well as prefer my computer the same way. You involve more of your body into the mechanical, artistic process, especially if you draw.
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Mike Berson

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So the exception proves the rule?

Thanks for the link, it's an interesting read. Especially the fact that Brown's drone copter is his favorite tool and that he eschews "all the fancy cameras in the world" for an iPhone.

So, you haven't given me "a clue as to 'what professional retoucher, photographer, or designer would use touch.'" so much as an example of a fringe case, "evangelist for Adobe’s creative suite", who's current computer is an iPad Pro (a device /meant for/ touch input as opposed to a laptop or desktop computer) and who's workspace is a couch.

Some of us professionals sit at a desk, work in front of a vertical monitor, and lunge with the ferocity of an angry tiger if anyone, /anyone/, tries to touch our screens.
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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Here is an example of the last remaining color in the new User Interface. I think it could be elegantly expanded throughout the menus and still look modern.
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grauenwölfe

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John, not trying to stir anything up but I'm confused. Did you have a change of heart after actually using for it a while or were you acting as forum Devil's Advocate?

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

"I love the new Photoshop User Interface!

Referring to the new "flat" user interface in Photoshop 15.1, David Tristram (Adobe Employee) said that "for some users the changes are not positive." From that, I infer that for other users, the changes are positive. I thought it was only fair to start a new topic so people who feel positive about the new UI can comment."
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Bob Laughton

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I too have an iPhone and an iPad and even a GoPro - they're all great fun, but I'm buggered if I'd even come close to using any of them in a professional capacity.

So come on Adobe - I understand that we've had the Christmas and New Year break, but we all have to start work again on Monday, so when are you going to begin to put right all of this nonsense? Monday? Brilliant - thank you.
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Kurt Triffet

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These are toys. You are so right.
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John Isner

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@Michael Katz. I just wanted to see how many people actually love it. So far, only one (not me!)
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grauenwölfe

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Ah, got it. Was a very quite thread.
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Philip Fuchslocher

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I just installed the 2015.1 update. My first thouht after launching Photoshop, when I saw the new welcome screen was: Is this a bug?

It took me about 10 minutes to roll back to PS 2014. Usually I'm keen on new stuff and I don't mind changes at all, but this interface is an insult for the professionals who work each day as creatives and/or UX-Designer. Why isn't there at least an option to choose between the old and the new interface...

I started with Photoshop in 1997 and I really liked the software, Adobe created for many many years. I became a Photoshop A.C.E. because I've been really convinced of this product and working with it was like a passion. But seeing what Adobe offered during the last 2, 3 years, makes me really wish that Macromedia would still exist and there was more competition, concerning professional software for creatives...

In June my subscription will end. Maybe I will even switch back to my old CS6 licence. I'm sure, this version won't change anymore ...
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Ann Shelbourne

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I strongly believe that the immaturity of the UX Team (which is so clearly illustrated by the lamentable design-decisions which were made for the new UI) is also the reason for their total misunderstanding of the software market.

Only a minute percentage of the people who rely on cell phones and iPads for their photographic activities are ever likely to be interested in using anything more complex than Instagram. The majority of those users want instant gratification from a single button-click and are never going to consider the purchase of a CC subscription or of making the effort to learn how to use advanced editing programs.

Inexperienced and uneducated theorizing; and the total misreading of the economic realities of the professional software market, which resulted in this move to an iOS-flavoured UI; was a seriously flawed concept from the onset.

The result is far more likely to be the loss of many existing Subscribers but with no gain in new subscribers from the iGadget crowd.
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grauenwölfe

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Apple did it with iOS and OS X and it's unfortunately the case that Adobe is more than likely justifying this move with "Well, Apple did it...", not realizing or caring that OS X has been a downhill trainwreck since Apple starting bluring the lines between a proper desktop system and gadgets for talking to people.

And Ann, I could not agree with you more. The phone/tablet hysteria has infested everything, everywhere, every day. Another issue not to forget is that we are dealing with a monopolized segment of the professional software market here too. Not good. We can count on less concern from Adobe over users actual needs and a decrease in any creativity, product advancement and innovation. Why bother, no one is around to take business from them, at least for now. Adobe's Marketing Department has engulfed every aspect of the company and this also is not good. I have had to worked side by side with Marketing my entire career. I despise, loathe, whatever word you want, them. They amaze and disgust me at the same time. It's like watching mob mentality falling over a group of 3rd graders going after the wrong thing, then congratulating themselves profusely for it.

So in the end we get stuck with a monopoly that's being run and directed by it's marketing department. There aren't many scenarios worse than this.
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Mike Berson

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I agree, it sure feels like Adobe knows that the pros are stuck with them so they're turning their attention to appealing to the home users, at our expense both financially and productivity-wise.
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Kurt Triffet

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Michael, I couldn't agree more, and now that Adobe only rents the programs, they have the professionals users right where they want them with no where to run.
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Mike Berson

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Adobe has little to fear right now but with high subscription prices and dissatisfied pro customers, there's room in the market for competition. I'd have switched already but there's no /good/ replacement for InDesign yet.
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Robert Tarabella

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I doubt we're going to get any action from Adobe on this at all. Very different situation than the import dialogue fiasco. That dialogue actually changed the way things worked, which surely caused 10 times the outcry over changing the interface which is only the way things look.

If I order hot coffee and the waitress brings me tea I'm going to surely send it back. But if I order hot coffee and the waitress just brings me lukewarm coffee,I may or may not even notice. This new interface is lukewarm coffee.
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Richard Earney

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"This new interface is lukewarm coffee."

More like Mushroom Soup. Shades of Grey.
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Bruce Thomas

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As someone using the Windows 7 platform, I hate the way PS now jumps between light and dark dialog boxes depending on the task. Why do the 'File, Edit, Image, etc' options bring up the readable white interface and then further steps such as the 'Jpeg quality' revert to the murky PS interface. Just stupid.
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Patrik

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Dear Adobe,

The type is not centered horizontally in the boxes. Is there any reason?

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eartho, Champion

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it's not centered vertically, and i'm guessing it has something to do with Adobe placing a junior designer in the lead position.
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GenErik

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Bingo.
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Bob Laughton

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Kurt Triffet wrote: "Michael, I couldn't agree more, and now that Adobe only rents the programs, they have the professionals users right where they want them with no where to run."

Well, if Adobe haven't sorted this out by June when my annual subscription expires, I will most definitely be cancelling it and reverting to Photoshop 5.5 - that worked OK.

Such a shame though.
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Peter Blacksberg

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The irony is this: Our customer base is the best positioned ANYWHERE to comment on UI. . We can only hope ADOBE listens. We created the market for photoshop. (I used the prototype in 1988). Listen up folks
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Kris Hunt

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The irony is that the world's leading design software is poorly designed.
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Peter Blacksberg

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Well said. Now our challenge is how to make this clear to the decision makers. What strategic and tactical goals were set which created this outcome?
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Bruce Thomas

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I totally agree the above comment by Kris Hunt but I'll go even further: the world's best photo imaging and design software now has the world's worst interface.

Any software should be intuitive and easy to use, the UI should be have contrast, be legible, allow fast decisions and be accurate. This interface is just so far off the mark it is almost laughable, no other software I have ever used looks as bad.

No doubt there is much back slapping and mutual admiration amongst the designers but us users (customers) have been sorely neglected. The comments on this page should be presented to all senior management of Adobe.
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Kurt Triffet

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The mods are now deleting posts here. Not a good sign.
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Chris Cox

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Off topic posts and posts that violate the terms of use will be removed.
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Kurt Triffet

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To be fair, I posted nothing worse than many of the other frustrated Adobe customers. I encourage you to help take positive action to help us with this farily serious problem.
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Chris Cox

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We are trying to take action. But please stay on topic, and within the terms of use for the site.
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Kevin Longo

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled New Photoshop CC 2015 UI.

In the 20 years I've been using Photoshop, I've never felt the need to publicly share any feelings of discontent about the software. Like Illustrator and InDesign alike, they are incredibly powerful, intelligently throughout applications that have served me and my designer peers incredibly well. However, I'm truly appalled at the user interface changes to Photoshop in the last Creative Cloud update. Seriously I want to go back - I don't care what other features were added - I've lived well without them. On my Mac, the interface just looks like a mistake and has so many weird bugs. It doesn't feel intelligently thought out - it just appears to be designed to "look good." I don't doubt the changes help touch screen users with the larger buttons and more touch-contexual iconography, but for desktop users (your largest user base) it's terrible. Please consider rolling back some of the user interface changes (the new file browser/dialogue box is the worst offender) or at least make the "classic" interface an option. I also feel I wasn't well informed about these massive changes before hitting "update" or else I wouldn't have done it. If this is the direction in which all CC apps are headed, I will absolutely be looking into the Affinity apps in place of Creative Cloud.
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Ann Shelbourne

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Your Screen Shot shows the new "Recent Files" dialogue.

This abomination can be turned off in your Ps Prefs.

Recent Files still show up in the traditional "File menu/Open Recent" fly out.

There is also an Extensions icon, which you can add to a sidebar, should you ever want to access the new "Recents" panel (which in reality seems to be an Adobe Advertising Billboard and an attempt by Adobe Marketing to thrust extra Cloud-purchasable Services in our faces?!).

I have disabled both the "Start" and the new "Recents" panels in my Prefs..
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Kevin Longo

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Thanks so much for the tip - I've turned both off and things are already worlds better!
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Philip Fuchslocher

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I gave the 2015.1 a second try (next to a closer look to Affinity Photo) and immediately found a bug (or a feature?):

I configured the tool bar and disabled the icon for the screen mode (don't know the exact name in the english version. lowest icon on my screenshot) as I always use the shortcut "F".
Unfortunately, it is not just the icon that is not shown anymore, but the whole functionality is gone. Pressing "F" has no effect. Activating the icon makes this function work again.

All the other icons that I remove from the "official" toolbar to the "..." tray still work. Why not the view mode? Is this a bug or did your developers have something certain in mind with it?

Thanks
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Chris Cox

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This is a great conversation that's separate from the one you posted on, so I created a new conversation to continue the discussion.

Please reference the new conversation here: Photoshop cc 2015 - switching screen modes doesn't work if icon from toolbar is h...
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grauenwölfe

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From another active thread, this is the exctly kind of thing we should be getting in interface updates. Functionality and efficiency improvements.

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

Everything is just gray, there's no other way to explain it or spin it. The only vision seems to have been to simply make it flat and gray. Nothing was improved (already making it pointless) and astonishingly you've made it worse. It fails to be innovative, inspiring, or even as low as just cool looking. It's dull, boring, uninspired, and uninviting. And you guys never even mentioned this change anywhere that I ever saw. That seems odd, shouldn't Adobe have been proud to tout the new interface?

On a positive note; the custom Toolbar is cool. You actually did that just for the users, and you did it in a way that wasn't forced upon everyone like it or not. It's a nice option for us to use if we feel it will help us. More thinking like this will always be welcome.

Whether or not your "millions of users" are raising a fuss on this forum or in some other way does not necessarily mean that it's been received well. I've yet to find anyone that's a fan, most dislike it and dislike the way it was slammed on them with no warning. Others have just dismissed it as "typical of Adobe today" or something similar. I kind of think people (advertising + design) are losing faith.

A well-earned reputation can provide a buffer only so long.
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Mark V.

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Adobe: your new Photoshop (CC 2015.1.1) interface sucks. Who's in charge there? Fire them.
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mike cahill

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Can we get some kind of and update on this? I'd like to know if I should continue this subscription or cancel and roll back to cs6.
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MilP

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I've also noticed that in Photoshop v2015.1.1 different filters have different appearance of sliders (like different vertical position of an indicator or its look):

And there's, of course, the Camera Raw Filter which also has a different appearance of its sliders.

I think the sliders appearance should be more consistent across the application.
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Bruce Thomas

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And here I was, hoping that some news on a usable PS CC interface would be forthcoming in early 2016. Oh well, the designers of the last UI 'downdate' (opposite of update) are probably still partying and patting themselves on the back for producing the atrocious trendy look.

Please Adobe...bring back an interface with contrast, hover states on buttons and the user friendly touches (as opposed to touch screens which pro customers don't use) that were an integral part of Photoshop. Send the current design team off to work on apps for phones/tablets and get a real design team that uses your products on real desktops. That would help the new year become a great year.