When it comes keeping the growth of design productivity exponential, a key barrier that fell in the past ten years is due to the increasing use of social media, which set free the exchange of focused, expert knowledge, from user to user. On the web we have very helpful company-curated user forums; and often even better, the stack-exchanges which are user curated, where readers up-vote the most helpful content and as a result these are often the very best place to visit to get unstuck from a problem you recognize you have.
These forums and posts are all reactions against the underfunded, or poorly directed tech publishing team, tasked perhaps by marketing (or the simple desire to keep their employment) to only document what works; and never mention an alternative solution.
Of course a web search will also take you to the swampy places where all you find is others who are stuck with similar problems, and they just bemoan that the vendor doesn’t care, or take you through a litany of things they’ve tried that didn’t work. One also finds the beginning of tutorials, part one of what was to be a twenty volume tutorial where the blogger planned to impart the wisdom of the ages for how to build the magical thing – and only part one got written – and even that is now out of date.
So, search works great — when you have an idea what the problem is, and you are following a large crowd who has been there before, and they’ve taken the time to create hints.
Going hands-on at last year’s Designer/IP track session, with no marketeers in sight!