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Problems With the Adobe Websites

Posted by Sravan | January 14, 2009 .

I griped about it in the past, but let me rap the Adobe website domain once again. The reason why this has come up is that Adobe is partnering with Broadcom and Intel separately to bring Flash Platform to TVs, and I visited Adobe.com for the original official sources.

The search field continues to be unhelpful, with its hints aimed only at the various Adobe product pages, and the actual search results sorted using some trivial ranking criteria which don’t immediately give the users what they want.

Second, why doesn’t such a big domain not have a site map? The problem is not as problematic because the links (Solutions, Products, Support, Communities, Company, Downloads, Store) are also drop-down lists which contain a number of useful links. Still, don’t you think that the site map is a good idea?

Adobe should visit the Intel website, which also carried a press release related to its partnering with Adobe for bringing Flash Platform to TVs. Its site map makes navigation to obscure locations easier and its search results are useful. On top of it, Intel is still conducting a survey about the usability and information availability of their website. Dear, the Microsoft website should not be one’s role model.

Lastly, look at the Adobe TV. Ryan shared a couple of videos of MAX 2008 Keynotes  on Day 1 and Day 2. Otherwise finding them would have been so difficult. For God’s sake, there isn’t even a timestamp showing when the video has been added. Of what use is the “Sort by Date” option then?

One positive development in recent times has been that the Adobe website loads faster than it used to a few months ago.

Now that our blog gets occasional visits from some important people who are part of the Adobe organization, I hope that our feedback reaches the right ears though there are chances it may be ignored more than the gripes at Dear Adobe.

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4 Comments so far
  1. Marius Zaharia  January 15, 2009 1:23 am

    Hello,

    We are keeping an occasional eye on feedback like this, and your opinion is valued here at Adobe. I will forward the suggestion to add a sitemap to the team in charge of the website. But first, I wanted to make a few clarifications:

    * The Adobe website search is powered by Google, and the ranking of search results is done pretty much the same way as it’s done on Google.com. You can read more about it out this blog: http://blogs.adobe.com/communityhelp/2008/09/introducing_adobe_community_he.html

    * There is a special “channel” on Adobe TV where you can find all content from last year’s conference: http://tv.adobe.com/#ch+MAX

    Can you let us know what search query you used, and why you were not satisfied with the results? We try to continually improve the results, in order to make sure all relevant pages are included in the index and users find what they need, so your specific experience with the search would help us understand better what the problem was.

    Cheers,
    Marius

  2. Anonymous  January 15, 2009 4:45 pm

    You’re right, your blog does get visits from folks here @ Adobe including myself. I run Adobe TV and appreciate your feedback re: date stamping of content. We’re currently rev’ing the front-end and will have this included.

    Cheers,
    Bob Donlon
    General Manager, Adobe TV
    adobetv@adobe.com

  3. Sravan  January 15, 2009 7:33 pm

    Thanks for the visit, Bob. And thank you all for Adobe TV. It has been very useful. Glad you folks are working on the front-end.

    Could you also help us all users by whispering this to the Adobe website owners? I’m sure it can bring positive results.

  4. Sravan  January 16, 2009 7:53 am

    Hi Marius,

    Sorry I missed your comment until now. Thank you for listening to us. I, for one, would really love a sitemap which is low on graphics and load in a jiffy.

    I can see that your search has improved. e.g. A past search for “AIR 1.5″ gave this: http://www.flex888.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/adobe-search.PNG, with extremely repetitive results. I don’t see such redundancy anymore. (Though the updated search shows “Download Flex 3″ as the 28th result. :-) The reason why we go till the 28th result must be obvious.

    Because you include Adobe blogs in Adobe search, and a lot of Adobe folks blog regularly (which is great) an “exclude Adobe blogs” and similar filters would be very useful. And a “sort by date”.

    Improved speeds. A “site:adobe.com” Google search is much faster compared to Adobe search, which may understandably be the reason why the time taken to fetch results is not being displayed.

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