03 June 2006

[design] Quark, Inc + QuarkXPress 7 = Not good enough?

When one talks of QuarkXPress (and the company Quark) one will invariably get into a discussion of how screwed up Quark, Inc has been.

For a long time, Quark had a distant, disdainful attitude toward its customers, and it could afford it, for reasons I've delved in depth many a time. The bad will built up during those days still sits like hard stone with some people.

Of course, it's easy to conceptualize it, but occaisionally an example reminds you that "hey! they really did crap all over thier customer base for a while" in a way so palpable that one can see that Quark, despite an improved XPress, has a job of work to do.

I'm going to go out on a limb here: gut feeling. I'd say that Quark has at most two years left before it's vaunted customer base erodes to make it the equal of InDesign in every way.

Certainly, as I've said, QuarkXPress 7 is a much, much improved XPress. But these are changes that XPress should have been through back in, say, 2002 or 2001. If they had adopted an impove the program at any cost strategy then, InDesign might still be a distant second, instead of only that way in installed base (last three years of buzz have it that Indy has outsold XPress).

Among the greatest improvements were interface changes that included docking palettes, a context-sensitive Measurements palette (with live changes) and a funadmental workflow change that renders the need to go to dialog boxes to change attributes (one of the most touted "advantages" of QXP) a matter of taste.

These are things that make QuarkXPress behave more like...InDesign.

QuarkXPress is listening to its customers, as it turns out.

Technorati Tags: , ,

No comments: