Photoshop toolbar evolution

This is an eye-opening example of how software can become bloated over time.  These images represent around 10 years of Adobe software development.  It’s ironic to me that the earlier toolbars appear more user-friendly than the new ones.  I suspect the UI & UX gurus at Adobe made a conscious effort to simplify the CS3 toolbar (bottom one) and stop the madness.

Which toolbar would you rather use?

Photoshop tool bar

(Image credit –

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6 Responses to Photoshop toolbar evolution

  1. groovehouse says:

    I dig this graphic! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  2. Dave says:

    @groovehouse – Glad you liked it. I am mystified by Photoshop on a regular basis…so many layers of complexity I never even touch.

  3. sean808080 says:

    No surprise there, humans have a natural inclination to fill up on the buffet line in life and fill up on features in software.

    a belated hny to you and your family!


  4. It took 10 versions before they realized that boxes are too much…

  5. Dave says:

    Mike, yeah, I would love to see Adobe’s usability notes for these toolbars. I always wonder how much brain power and time go into decisions like this. Interesting stuff.

  6. Jeff says:

    Once upon a time, Extensis provided the ability to create your own tools bars as part of it’s PhotoTools package. I think that Photoshop v7 was the last version that worked with this wonderous (to me, anyway) tool.

    Any one heard of a similar product that works with CS3 or CS4?


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