Should you switch from Adobe CC to another software app package?

Last week I wrote a blog post about some of the software alternatives for Adobe's Creative Cloud (if you haven't read it yet, you can do so here). In this article I want to talk about the question that seems to be on everyone's mind who has been thinking about switching to another software package: "Is it worth switching from Adobe to XXX?". This question can of course also be applied if you are considering to switch from/to a different software application - such as MS Paint to Photoshop! :) And it of course doesn't only apply to Webflow Designers but also to other Designers from print to digital. In order to answer the question we have to look at some of the pros and cons and that's what I want to do here...

Why you should switch

  • Saving money. This seems to be one of the major concerns for many Designers, especially the ones who are just starting out. Adobe's offerings can get quite expensive. While being students, Designers often still get special educational pricing which ceases when you are finished with your course. And since Adobe works via the SaaS (software as a service) model, which means you have to pay a monthly fee to access their tools. Many competitors such as Affinity Designer/Publisher/Photo offer their software as a "pay once" tool, and you only have to fork out money once instead of every single month. Of course this argument is also relevant if you are considering to switch from another subscription model software to a pay-once model. Definitely a great advantage for freelancers who don't want to be tied down by a subscription service!
  • Glitches, errors and issues. Some people have reported stability issues with a variety of the Adobe tools such as sluggishness, programs quitting unexpectedly etc. which can seriously affect ones ability to work effectively. However I have to say for myself that I haven't experienced major problems myself yet. But if you have, I consider this to be a major pro for switching to another toolset.

Why you shouldn't switch

  • Learning curve. Starting out with a new software often requires you to fist learn the basics and then get up to speed with it. This means you won't be as quick and efficient to start with, especially if you have worked with the Adobe tools for years and know them inside out. Sometimes you might have to take an (online) course to help you pick up the new tool more quickly.
  • Collaboration with others. If you are often working with other Designers, agencies or others who you have to exchange files with, you might run into difficulties if your new tool can't open any of the Adobe file formats or if the resulting document looks vastly different after conversion. If on the other hand you work in a silo and don't really need to collaborate much with others, this might be less of a problem for you.
  • Features. If your new, chosen software doesn't offer the same features (or a different way of achieving the same thing) you might be in trouble. This is why it is usually not advisable to switch from Adobe to one of the "consumer" designer tools that are made for non-professionals. For example if you are a Print Designer you have to make sure your new software can set up and create professional print-ready files - something that isn't always possible for beginner tools.

There might as well be lots of different reasons why you would like (or wouldn't like) to switch software, so don't see this as a conclusive list. Instead this should get you started and help you consider if moving from Adobe CC to XXX is the right move for you. As you might have gathered from the list above it really depends on your personal (work) circumstances and what you are willing to deal with. Questions or comments? Get in touch with me!

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