New from Adobe: InDesignLite™ (Finally!)
Have you ever tried to help a new user figure out InDesign? They stare at the interface as though it was the Mars Rover control panel, no idea where to start or what to click.
Well, Adobe has the solution: InDesignLite is being released today, the first in a coming series of simpler versions of their mainstay design programs aimed at easier on-boarding of new users.
The user interface for InDesignLite is definitely simpler than the professional version:
The pricing model is different, too. Instead of the usual $19.95/mo. single-app subscription fee, the program is FREE. You heard us! It’s a happy new day for Adobe fans around the world. Instead, InDesignLite users will just need to deal with unobtrusive pop-up ads that appear during periods of inactivity. We tested a prerelease version, and were relieved to find that the program waits at least 15 seconds before putting up an ad.
Differences Between InDesignCC and InDesignLite
- Tools: InDesign has 35 tools in its Tools panel; InDesignLite offers three tools, with very large icons so they can be selected as easily as possible.
- Colors: Focus group testing with new users (mainly, Powerpoint and Publisher survivors) told the InDesign team that the Pro version had too many colors to choose from, so they reduced the Swatches panel down to 7 colors based on Crayola Crayons. (A margin note indicates they didn’t want to include “Black” because “it’s depressing for newbies.”) TIP: If users need to apply the Registration color, they can just drag 4 different crayon colors over the strokes.
- Menus: Most menus and menu options have been removed in the Lite version, preventing unwanted “major freakouts” because of too many choices, per the focus group leader.
- Preflight: While the new version appears to have a Preflight feature, the document window indicator always shows a green “No errors” symbol. The red circle scared some users and made them feel bad about themselves.
- Pages: InDesignLite bucks the general trend toward adding more artboards so you can now only work with one Letter-sized page per document. “If users need more than one page, then they can just make multiple InDesignLite files and then tape them together,” said April Fewels, the new Product Manager.
It’s all hush-hush for now, but don’t be surprised to see a PhotoshopLite with just two tools: A Brush and Eraser; and an IllustratorLite with one tool: the Symbol Sprayer, because it’s so fun to use and the newbies just love spraying fishes on the screen.