What’s Next for Your Government Website? Let A/B Testing Tell You.

By Kumar Rachuri, Director of State and Local Government Solutions
Ever find yourself in a debate with a colleague over what banner will work best? Or what headline or button copy will be most effective? These are both essential questions for every online experience. But sometimes, the loudest person in the room wins the debate.
With A/B testing, you can rely on measured results—not loud voices—to determine the best results.

Through testing, everything can be made into a contest, which is enjoyable for your internal team and motivates people to share data and ideas. The whole testing process is all about working toward an optimized goal. However you get there, a platform that can test everyone’s theories can transform the creative and collaborative energy of the room. (Tip: The best agency employees to work on this are those who naturally question everything.)
For example, let’s take the average job search on a local government website. Is it more effective to search for jobs prioritizing location or by job category/requirements? We know, of course, that “both are important.” But what is more important?
For any online experience, agencies must prioritize requirements and set them into a hierarchical flow to achieve the best user experience. Otherwise, everything is set at the same level of importance in a design, and then the user’s eye won’t know where to look (or what to do) first, second, third, and so on.
Remember, every user is begging, “Don’t make me think” (taken from a book by Steve Krug). Every step must be effortless and clearly laid out—one at a time—with minimal distractions.

Example of button test from “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” by Steve Krug
In order to test for and determine the priorities of government job seekers, come up with a question and hypothesis based on your research on the target market. What kind of people apply for government jobs? What do they care about most when deciding to apply to a job?
Start with your hypotheses of those questions—what you think might be true– and test the to see whether a hypothesis (A) of a different hypothesis, or counter (B), is more true.
In the job search example, your approach might look like this:
Hypothesis (A): If you think job seekers are looking for convenience in jobs, such as working nearby their home, test a map view of the search results. The user can add their address to see how far each job option would be, how much travel is required, and other details such as salary and commitment required.
Counter (B): Job seekers care more about job details and requirements than location. Perhaps they don’t even know what job they want. In that case, test a job match of the search results. Allow people to enter their skills and requirements in an easy-to-use interface, and show a recommended list of the jobs that match their needs.
Then, you split-test these two variations of approaches. Half of the users see one variation, and the other half sees variation B. See which interface converts better. One measure of conversion is number of job applications received. Another can be length of time spent on the page.
This is just one high-level example out of endless ways you can test what’s best for your citizen, but the principles hold throughout. Once you have results dictating what’s best for your specific citizens, you can design a more personalized experience that helps them.

Adobe Target gives agencies the power to quickly experiment with various personalized experiences to figure out the most effective experience for their specific audience. It even allows you to decide what you count as effective—whether that’s conversion rate or revenue.
Target allows you to easily change and alter pages or pieces of a page in order to see which design works best. It specifies the top five most predictable variables to show why one test is performing better than the other. You can then build upon your theories and segments by simply changing elements of your page. That allows you to improve every stage of the user’s journey.
The goal is to find out what works for your audience, discover deeper audience segments, and uncover creative opportunities yourself. Target also offers geo-targeting features, automated personalization of content and design, and gives optimized creative recommendations based on your user’s behavior and data.
Using Target, Marriott was able to increase enrollments to Marriott Rewards by 50 percent. The hotel captured all their customer data within Adobe, built the brand via social media, and improved the overall digital experience. In the end, Adobe helped Marriott prioritize and personalize their goals, including what to push to what customer at the individual stages of their particular journey.
These same discoveries can be made using Target with government sites today, which empowers agencies to deliver an experience to citizens that is leaps and bounds ahead of what they offer today. The only way to know where to invest your money and labor, is to analyze and test intelligently with your team, and strike the magical combination of copy and creative that cause citizens to respond.
Test and improve with your team using Adobe Target.

Government Website Analytics: One Place to Manage All Your Data and Learn Citizens’ Real Needs

By Kumar Rachuri, Director of State and Local Government Solutions
 “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” – Peter Drucker
Today’s marketing geniuses ensure their most important decisions are guided by data.
The numbers give you the power to understand what your audience is interested in—what they’re clicking on and what they’re skipping—as well as what displays work. With tools to understand what engages them the most, you can create the tailored online experience that delights them, helps them, and keeps them coming back.
Data is important and powerful to government agencies in particular because it gives deeper insights into what the various and diverse number of citizens are concerned with. Data can show whether more people are coming to an agency to seek help with filing taxes, setting up businesses, or asking questions regarding public health or construction.
With those insights, an agency can decide how to best display information to help the people they are serving. It’s a key step and an effective tool to making the information on your website more tailored and personalized.
If citizens don’t understand something or can’t find what they need online, they will likely want to call the agency and speak to a human. But staffing an agency or call center with actual people is cumbersome and expensive.
Better data helps solve this problem even before it occurs. By understanding audience needs before they arise, you provide targeted customer service to your customers. That’s the power of data. That’s why the numbers should inform all of your decisions, not just in the marketing department.
This can be a big mental shift for some agencies that are not yet used to the power of data. But getting an entire agency up to speed on the insights the numbers provide will save time, money and effort in the long run.
In order to foster a culture where data is at the heart of every decision, an agency ought to provide access for your entire staff to the analytics platform you use. That way, everyone is empowered to gather his or her own insights and theories.
Analytics platforms that help you do this have evolved greatly in the past few years. The best analytics platforms today don’t just show a graph with a spreadsheet of numbers. They also guide you toward insights and actions gathered from the smart algorithms.
Remember, data is there to help you make targeted business decisions. They’re useless just on their own. Without the analysis and insight drawn from them, they’re just meaningless numbers. With today’s new technology, you can ask more useful questions that inform your next action. How does that result impact your user experience? What does that say about your page?
The worst habit is to collect data and never check it. Leverage the insights that you are sitting on—they are itching for action. Instead of simply showing the number of clicks, shares, or likes on a page, share theories to test and execute based upon the conclusions you draw from that data.

Adobe Analytics gives you a full picture of your users as people—what they like, what they need and what they want. It does this all in an elegant interface. For example, it shows a graph of your key metrics at-a-glance. You can then dive deeper.
Analytics also allows you to explore frequent users, segmentation, and customize reports. You can identify issues in how people are interacting with your digital experiences across multiple devices. You can also take advantage of machine learning and AI to generate more insights and offer more creative experiences to your audiences.
Adobe Analytics partnered with The Home Depot to help the fix-it giant carry its core tenets of customer service from their physical stores to the digital space. The platform helps the home-improvement retailer understand their customers better and what the friction points online were. It focused on helping their customers find what they need by highlighting the specific products they need for projects they’re working on in their homes.
Though government is a not-for-profit, its mission for online experiences is similar to those of retailers. Agencies must prioritize delivering quality service for the public. This, in turn, increases the satisfaction of its citizens, builds trust and solidifies relationships within communities. Enriching the citizen experience with government online is vital to serving the public today.
Adobe Analytics is key in moving forward and getting an edge in doing so.

The Tale of Three PRIs


There has been a flurry of IVD (Ideographic Variation Database) activity this year.
First, UTS #37 (Unicode Ideographic Variation Database) was updated at the end of January to allow characters with the “Ideographic” property to serve as valid base characters in an IVS (Ideographic Variation Sequence). This effectively means that the Tangut (西夏文) and Nüshu (女书/女書) scripts can now participate in the IVD.

Second, two PRIs (Public Review Issues), #349 and #351, were issued earlier this year and have since closed. These will result in four additional registered IVSes for the Adobe-Japan1 IVD collection, and the registration of the new KRName IVD collection.
Third, PRI #354 was issued today (2017-08-15), which proposes 674 additional IVSes for the registered Moji_Joho IVD collection, 181 of which are to be shared with registered Hanyo-Denshi IVSes. An excerpt is shown at the beginning of this article. A new version of the IVD will be published shortly after this PRI closes, and will include the results of all three PRIs.
Fourth, the draft version of IRG P&P (Principles & Procedures) Version 10, which will be discussed and hopefully approved at WG2 #66 next month, includes much stronger language about the IVD, such as encouraging member bodies to handle unifiable characters by registering new IVSes in a new or existing IVD collection. For those who are interested in the details, two drafts are available on the IRG #48 landing page as IRG N2222.
Fifth, though not directly related to the IVD, I noticed that Unicode Version 9.0 added an SVS (Standardized Variation Sequence) for a slashed version of U+0030 0 DIGIT ZERO, <U+0030,U+FE00>, and given that the Adobe-Japan1-6 glyph set includes multiple “slashed zero” glyphs, including one that is based on U+FF10 0 FULLWIDTH DIGIT ZERO, I decided to propose a new SVS for the latter via L2/17-294, which will be discussed at UTC #153 in October. Once accepted, both SVSes will be added to the Adobe-Japan1-6 UVS (Unicode Variation Sequence) definition file.
Although it is keeping me busy, I am very pleased to see increased IVD-related interest and activity.

Visual Trends im August: Auf dem Weg in die dritte Dimension

In diesem Monat schauen wir uns ein paar Künstler an, die scheinbar über eine zusätzliche Dimension verfügen. 3D beschäftigt uns aus zwei wichtigen Gründen: Neue kreative Tools bieten allen Designern, die es einfach mal ausprobieren wollen, Zugriff auf 3D. Mehr und mehr 2D-Designer und Marken entdecken die Möglichkeiten, die in 3D stecken – jetzt und in nicht allzu ferner Zukunft.
Auch wenn ihr es vielleicht gar nicht bemerkt habt: Wahrscheinlich seid ihr schon oft mit 3D-Design in Berührung gekommen. Nehmen wir Autowerbung: Sie wird inzwischen meistens mit 3D-Tools erstellt, die 3D-Modelle mit 2D- und 3D-Grafiken verbinden, sodass realistisch anmutende Szenen entstehen, die es in der Wirklichkeit nie gegeben hat. Auch Ikea hat schon früh begonnen, diese Technologie zu verwenden. Der größte Teil des Ikea-Katalogs ist computergeneriert, und aus dem Unternehmen heißt es, dass bald alles virtuell sein werde.
Nach Ansicht von Chantel Benson, Produktmanagerin bei Adobe und Veteranin der 3D-Branche, hat die Nutzung von 3D viele Vorteile. Abgesehen davon, dass man keine Foto-Shootings mit einem echten Auto machen muss und dem Hersteller damit erhebliche Kosten erspart, bietet 3D auch eine ganze Reihe von zukünftigen Möglichkeiten. Nehmen wir Ikea: „Sie springen auf diesen Zug auf, weil sie ihren Content nicht nur als Ergänzung für statisches Marketing nutzen können, etwa auf 2D-Seiten – nein, sie können den gleichen Stuhl, die gleiche Tasse und die gleiche Jalousie auch für Shopping-Erlebnisse verwenden, bei denen man virtuell zwischen den Produkten herumlaufen kann.“
Auf zur dritten Dimension
Wer ist sonst noch auf dem Weg ins 3D-Design? Zu den frühesten Nutzern gehörten Grafikdesigner, die mit Branding arbeiteten. Sie verwendeten 3D-Tools, um ein Logo oder ein Verpackungsdesign auf der Flasche oder auf dem Karton zu zeigen. Designer verwenden diese Tools auch zur Entwicklung von Infografiken. Und Digitalkünstler erkunden die kreative Seite des 3D-Designs.
Grafikdesigner Michael Dolan hat mit 3D-Kunst experimentiert – sowohl aus künstlerischem Ansporn als auch im Auftrag seiner Kunden. „Es macht immer Spaß, wenn man mal einen Schritt von der Arbeit zurücktritt und einfach etwas Kreatives erschafft. Ich sehe etwas, was mich inspiriert und sage mir: Das kann ich auch“, sagt Michael. „Ich verwende 3D auch für kommerzielle Projekte. Es ist hilfreich, wenn man Modelle von Telefonen und anderen Geräten virtuell auf einem Tisch platzieren will. Ich kaufe Bilder und setze Nutzerschnittstellen von Apps ein. Man kann das Bild eines Tisches nehmen und dann einfach ein Gerät drauflegen.“
Wie schwer ist es, zu 3D zu wechseln, wenn man aus dem 2D-Design kommt? Wir haben Chantel gefragt. Sie arbeitet mit unserem Project Felix-Team zusammen. Dort werden Tools für Designer erschaffen, die keine 3D-Experten sind, aber 2D- und 3D-Assets zusammensetzen wollen, um fotorealistische Szenen, Produktbilder und abstrakte Kunstwerke zu erschaffen. Sie sagte uns, dass der Übergang zunächst einschüchternd sein könne, die 2D-Skills der Designer sich aber gut übertragen ließen und den Einstieg erheblich erleichterten.
„Ich sage den Designern, dass sie eigentlich schon in 3D denken, weil sie so tief in die Bilder eintauchen und eine genaue Vorstellung davon haben, wie sie aussehen sollen. Sie wissen intuitiv, wo Schatten und Licht nicht richtig zusammenpassen und ob die Farbwerte daneben liegen“, so Chantel. „Designer sind Experten darin, Fehler in 2D-Kominationen zu finden, weil sie alle mit denselben Herausforderungen zu tun haben, wenn sie mehrere flache Bilder zusammenfügen. Wie simuliert man diesen Schatten? Wie findet man Fotos des Bildgegenstandes in genau der richtigen Position? Wenn sie mit einer Anwendung wie Felix arbeiten, lösen sich die Designer von diesen Problemen und befassen sich mit Positionierungen, Platzierungen, Licht und Schatten, anstatt mit Tricks zu arbeiten, damit es so aussieht, als sei etwas aus einem ganz bestimmten Winkel aufgenommen worden.“
Wie geht es mit 3D weiter?
Die Arbeit mit Felix gibt Chantel die Möglichkeit nachzuverfolgen, wie die Leute 3D-Tools nutzen. Sie war fasziniert davon, wie schnell diese Arbeit sich weiterentwickelt. „Es war wirklich befriedigend zu sehen, dass die Content-Leute etwas erschaffen haben. Im vergangenen Jahr wurde das Feature-Set von Felix erweitert. Varietät und Tiefe der mit der App geschaffenen Bilder sind ebenfalls gewachsen“, erklärt sie. Werft doch einfach selbst einen Blick auf die wachsenden Sammlungen – unter Instagram und Behance.
Wenn Chantel nach vorn blickt, sieht sie große Entwicklungen im Bereich des 3D-Designs, darunter weitere Anwendungen zum Eintauchen wie Pokémon GO und Augment for Salesforce. „Es beginnt schon jetzt – Augmented Reality wird ein Teil unserer Navigationsgewohnheiten mit dem Smartphone und der Interaktion mit unserer Lieblings-IP.“
Bleibt dabei – im Blog reden wir diesen Monat mit Designern darüber, wie es ist, mit 3D zu beginnen. Und wir blicken mit einem Insider hinter die Kulissen der Entwicklung von Modellen, Materialien, Licht und Texturen für das 3D-Design. Und verpasst nicht den Marktplatz von Adobe Stock für 3D-Assets  oder die Galerie des Monats mit 3D-inspirierten Stock-Bildern.

Das ist Adobe Stock: #AdobeStockNacht – Expert Tutorials Teil 2/6

90 Millionen Medien, eine einzigartige Suchfunktion, die alles ändert, und schier endloser Content dank einer ganzen Reihe neuer Partnerschaften. Mit Adobe Stock wollen wir den weltweit besten Marktplatz für Stockmedien aufbauen, der euch Fotos, Videos, Illustrationen, 3D-Elemente und Vorlagen für jedes Kreativprojekt bietet. Durch die Integration in Adobe Creative Cloud sind dabei wesentlich effektivere Workflows möglich.
Alle Höhepunkte unseres neuen Marktplatzes, egal, ob ihr als Kreative mit Stockmedien arbeitet oder selbst welche produziert, haben wir euch in der ersten großen #AdobeStockNacht in Hamburg vorgestellt. Wenn ihr den Event verpasst habt, erfahrt im ersten Teil unserer Expert Tutorials alles über die Hintergründe und Neuerungen von Adobe Stock.
Adobe Stock. Bildgewaltig.
Im zweiten Teil unserer Serie geht es um die Besonderheiten der Stockfotografie und wie euer Workflow im Umgang mit Stockmedien durch die enge Verzahnung mit Creative Cloud deutlich effizienter wird. Gemeinsam mit unseren Adobe-Experten Sven Doelle und Murat Erimel sprachen die Fotografinnen Anna Cor, Alina Schessler und Kristina Hader über ihren außergewöhnlichen Bildstil und wie sie den Weg zu Adobe Stock gefunden haben.

Die drei Adobe Stock Contributor setzen auf einen lässigen Lifestyle-Look, der vor allem von Authentizität geprägt ist und sich durch seine Vielfältigkeit auszeichnet. Gerade weil sich die drei so von klassischen Stockmotiven entfernen, sind ihre Aufnahmen am Puls der Zeit. „Gerade am Anfang habe ich sehr viel ausprobiert, aber am Ende ist die Persönlichkeit in der Bildsprache immer erkennbar“, erklärt Anna Cor. Diese Individualität und der Fokus auf ihren kreativen Prozess führte die drei Fotografinnen zu Adobe Stock.
Wie Motive der drei direkt in Photoshop und InDesign bearbeitet werden können, zeigte Art Director DomQuichotte in der Live-Session. Der Photoshop-Guru lizensierte eines der Fotos direkt aus Adobe Stock und bearbeitete es anschließend in einem der vielen kostenlosen Magazin-Templates per Creative Cloud. Dabei erklärte er, wie wichtig eine einheitliche Bildsprache ist und wie der Workflow durch Adobe Stock deutlich erleichtert wird.
Ihr wollt die gesamte #AdobeStockNacht im Relive verfolgen und alles über Adobe Stock erfahren? Dann findet ihr hier die Playlist auf Youtube.
Wenn ihr jetzt Lust auf Adobe Stock bekommen habt, könnt ihr euch derzeit bei der Erstanmeldung im ersten Monat 10 Downloads sichern.
Viel Spaß beim Testen wünscht euch das Adobe Stock-Team.

Interview with Johann Brangeon, the winner of Hidden Treasures of Creativity

Our Hidden Treasures of Creativity #MunchContest recently finished. The contest, in collaboration with the Munch Museum and Kyle T. Webster, challenged artists worldwide to digitally recreate a 5th version of Edvard Munch’s iconic masterpiece “The Scream” using brushes which had been digitally recreated and made available in Photoshop and Sketch.
We’ve now sat down with the winner of the competition, Johann Brangeon, to find more about how he created the winning piece and tell us more about himself, his live and his work. Read more below!
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from? What do you do for a living?
I am a soon-to-be 34 year old graphic designer and illustrator from France, and have lived and freelanced in a co-working creative studio with a fellow freelancer in a town near Angers since 2010. Most of the work I do consists of posters and cultural programming in partnership with festivals that I work with throughout the year.
2. How did you first get drawn into creative design? What is your creative background?
I got in to creative design at quite a young age; I have always liked to draw. When I was 16 I got a CAP diploma in arts and crafts, learnt the basics of graphic design and then did a graphic communication Baccalaureate where I discovered Adobe tools. Finally, I did a BTS in applied arts at LISAA Nantes. I started working in several design agencies while continuing to develop my personal sense of creativity, I used a variety of different ways to work in a more enriching manner, taking inspiration from different design areas such as: packaging design, cosmetics, brand images, tourism communications and web design.
Fox biker by Johann Brangeon
3. What was your inspiration for the piece you submitted for the Hidden Treasures Munch Contest? Is there a particular style that you use across your work?
My inspiration was Edvard Munch’s piece itself. I really tried to study it and reinterpret the vigour of the scream. I tried to treat it like in the original version, making the face the main focus, with geometric forms, a composition of colour and shading that emulates the original piece. I’m currently going through a phase where I enjoy creating a visual diary using simple geometric shapes and different textures in the composition. I tried to capture this in the piece that I designed.
4. What is your previous experience with Creative Cloud? Have you used it for your job before or for creating your own projects outside of work?
I have been using Creative Cloud professionally for a number of years after having used Creative Suite. I like the fact that Creative Cloud is updated frequently and I use the Photoshop / Illustrator / InDesign trio daily. I still have some gaps in my knowledge when it comes to managing some of the interactions of the cloud, but I think that I am going to learn a lot in the sessions I will attend at Adobe MAX.
Terre de Culture by Johann Brangeon
5. What was your experience like with working with the Munch brushes? How do you foresee yourself using these for future projects?
Kyle T. Webster’s work was incredible; he was able to beautifully recreate the textures of Edvard Munch’s brushes. I found being able to use replicas of Munch’s brushes, that are over 100 years old, quite unique. Looking at all of the other participants’ pieces, it is really noticeable that so many different things can be done with the same tools! I plan on using these brushes in the future as I felt comfortable using them and, not to be superstitious, they brought me good luck!
Find out more about Johann here:
Online portfolio: http://www.johannbrangeon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johannbrangeon/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/johannbrangeon/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrangeonJohann
Behance: https://www.behance.net/johannbrangeon
As part of his prize, Johann will get his work exhibited in the Munch Museum in Oslo and travel to MAX in Las Vegas, Adobe’s Creativity Conference in Las Vegas, October 18-20. We’ll be following him during his travels so stay tuned!
There’s still time to download Munch’s brushes for Photoshop and Sketch, you can do so here.

Meet Adobe’s new Vice President of Adobe.com Experience, Nathan Etter

Today, Nathan Etter starts at Adobe as our VP of Adobe.com Experience. Nathan will help create a unified, best-in-class Adobe web experience that facilitates customer success, drives growth and serves as a showcase for Adobe technology. 
Nathan brings a wealth of experience in product management, strategy, design and engineering. He has a passion for identifying product solutions that create great user experiences and exceed customer expectations. He’s a Stanford University alumni and joins us from The Walt Disney Company, where he worked on launching and developing interactive gaming experiences.
We got a chance to sit down with Nathan and learn more about his background, what led him to Adobe and why an octopus is his spirit animal (yes, really).
You studied Biological Sciences at Stanford. How’d you decide to pursue product management?
Even though I was a Bio major, I took as many computer science courses as I could. When I graduated, I applied for jobs in both biotech and technology. Since I was in Silicon Valley, there were so many opportunities in tech that it was the natural route forward. I spent the first 10 years of my career writing a lot of code, but I found that I loved interacting with customers and influencing the future direction of products. Product management offered the perfect blend of technology and customer interaction, and I haven’t looked back since.
Your professional experience spans consumer and enterprise – how do you plan to use this background in your new role?
I’ve worked on some of the largest consumer applications on the market so I know how to design at scale, but I’ve also spent time in the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, going through full sales cycles. This diversity of experience is important because Adobe’s customers span everyone from individual creators to large multinational enterprises, and Adobe.com must deliver experiences that cater to each customer’s unique needs.
What attracted you to Adobe and this role?
I’ve followed Adobe for years and I’ve always admired its products. I’m an amateur photographer so I have a lot of experience with Creative Cloud. But Adobe is not only a technology leader, it’s also leading cultural transformations in things like performance management, serving as an example for other companies looking to do the same. And during my interview process, I appreciated the people I met most – all of whom were warm, welcoming and extremely bright. I would leave every interview thinking about how I wanted to work alongside each person I met. The role excites me because I love designing new ways of doing things and creating new partnerships that have so much potential to positively affect the business and the customer experience.
What do you see as some of the biggest trends that will disrupt digital experiences?
What a monster question! There are so many dramatic changes underway, but artificial intelligence and machine learning stand out. They’re profoundly forcing us to change how we think about building products and delivering experiences to our customers, but we’re still just scratching the surface of what’s possible. I’m taking a few courses now and it’s making me re-think everything I’ve learned. Then there’s also augmented reality, which I think has the potential to really disrupt the way people interact, not just with technology, but with the world and those around them.
Now let’s get into some fun facts about you. What’s one thing that people will be surprised to learn?
When I was studying bio at Stanford, I spent 4 months in Monterey Bay doing my thesis on the local octopuses. This led to two things that may be surprising: I’ve spent more time underwater scuba diving at night than in the daytime because octopuses are nocturnal. And, I no longer eat octopus – I think they’re some of the most fascinating and clever creatures on the planet. I call them my spirit animal.
What was your first job?
Cashier at a movie theater! I sold a lot of popcorn.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Teleportation. I love traveling but hate being on planes. If I could be somewhere instantly that’d be amazing.
What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Learn how to tell a good story: I received this advice early on and it’s always stuck with me. It’s so important to communicate your vision and ideas clearly.
This story originally appeared on the Adobe Life blog.

Contributor Spotlight: Daniela Mangiuca AKA 3000ad

Browsing through the portfolio of 3000ad is like taking a glimpse into the distant future – spaceships hovering over cities, ultra-modern buildings reaching towards the sky, and alien structures from out of space. The artist behind these futuristic visions is Romanian-born architect Daniela Mangiuca. We spoke with Daniela about the process behind her sci-fi-influenced renderings, as well as her journey into the stock marketplace and beyond.
ADOBE STOCK: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Daniela Mangiuca: I was born and raised in a small town in Romania. I remember wanting to become an architect since elementary school when I understood this was the only occupation that would require a combination of mathematics (my first love) and drawing skills (my second). In college, I realized that architecture is much more than science plus art. It is a worldview based in endless creative search. Together with Adrian, my lifetime partner and best friend, we were lucky enough to pursue our creative explorations in the US.
AS: How did you get started in stock, and why did you decide to sell you work?
DM: After several years working as designers in leading architectural offices, we decided it was time to explore the American dream. In our case, this was creative ownership. It was the late nineties, so we took advantage of the 3D modeling and illustration software boom. I remember first reading about Photoshop during a lunch break. I immediately told Adrian: “This is it! This is how we’ll do it.” And so, with our former employers’ invaluable help and mentoring, we opened our architectural visualization company.
The initial decision to sell stock was economical since, as a small firm, one never stops looking for business opportunities. Lingering on our hard drives were lots of 3D assets done while testing software, as well as those we made purely for our own enjoyment. Microstock seemed like the must-ride new-wave.
AS: How does stock complement the work you do at your firm, AND?
DM: I feel we evolved with the market. As of today, stock makes for almost half of our work at AND, especially due to the advent of microstock videos coupled with motion graphics as AfterEffects templates. Accessibility and the exploding number of devices and social media outlets where our assets are viewed and sold created this extraordinary demand – and opportunity – for the type of work we used to call a “hobby.”

AS: Your portfolio contains a lot of sci-fi and futuristic elements – where do you look for inspiration?
DM: Who would have thought serious architects would specialize in spaceships, right? It actually makes sense, and it goes back to the basics: visualizing architecture is the creative way to look at a structure before anyone attempts to build it. In the end, every object is architecture, since it occupies or creates a space. It’s a wonderful thing when creators of these objects have child-like wonder in their hearts, and the scope of their imagination goes beyond what is logical and scientifically possible. Our inspiration is science fiction and the extraordinary discoveries and scientific facts we come across every day. Human curiosity and creativity never cease to amaze.
AS: Can you tell us about the process of creating one of your renderings available on Adobe Stock?
DM: It starts with a story: it could be something we read about, or one that we’re making up entirely. The next step is to discuss the geometry from the “what if” point of view rather than a scientific one. Then it’s just natural to stop by the NASA website for the extra boost of inspiration, before starting the actual 3D modeling and, if the case, animation.
AS: What is the most difficult part about creating a rendering? And the most rewarding?
DM: The difficult part is the unexpected design flaw, visible only after you spent an entire day rendering. It gets exponentially frustrating when the end product is an animation, and you spent several days struggling over the concept and path.
The most rewarding part is when a buyer asks you to customize an illustration or animation because they liked your model and it inspired their own artwork. Receiving the link to the final product or their motion graphics DVD – with the little “Thank You!” note – are all worth the extra effort in dealing with the inevitable hiccups in the creative process.

AS: Do you have any tips to pass on to contributors who are trying to build out their stock portfolio?
DM: At the risk of sounding cliché: do something you like and, eventually, it will pay off. Avoid reinventing the wheel. I tried and it works only until you realize it isn’t nearly as profitable as doing what you know and what makes you happy. Find your own unique, visual “voice” and use others as inspiration for their process, not their actual product.
AS: How about for someone who is trying to improve their 3D skills?
DM: Work. That’s all there is. Work, and the knowledge that whoever tries to bring up the with-a-click-of-a-button magic notion has no idea what they are talking about.
See more of Daniela and Adrian’s work on Adobe Stock.

Im Handumdrehen zur eigenen Visitenkarte

Ihr seid selber nicht so kreativ oder euch fehlt einfach die Zeit eine stylische Visitenkarte zu erstellen? Dazu benötigt ihr gar keine teuren Designs. Wir zeigen euch, wie ihr auch ohne großen Ideenreichtum im Handumdrehen eure eigene Karte erstellen könnt:

Hier könnt ihr die Vorlage herunterladen*:
Hier geht es zum Download der Monogramm Vorlagen: Monogram Template.ait – https://adobe.ly/2uLHOi7
Hier geht es zum Download der Visitenkarten Vorlagen: Business Card Template.ait – https://adobe.ly/2tCiJb6
Schritt 1:
Monogrammvorlage (Datei: Monogram Template.ait) herunterladen

Schritt 2:
Monogramm auswählen, anpassen und in deiner Creative Cloud-Bibliothek speichern

Schritt 3:
Vorlage für Visitenkarte (Datei: Business Card Template.ait) herunterladen und öffnen

Schritt 4:  
Visitenkarte mit Monogramm aus der Creative Cloud-Bibliothek personalisieren

Ladet unsere kostenlosen Vorlagen herunter und entwerft eure eigene professionelle Visitenkarte. Wir wünschen euch viel Spaß beim designen.
*Mit dem Herunterladen der Vorlagen stimmt ihr den Nutzungsbedingungen von Adobe Stock zu.

Adobe India’s Grassroots Innovation Challengers Invent Digital Solutions for Social Issues

India is in the middle of a digital revolution—they have the second-largest population of internet subscribers (over 420 million) and they’re projected to become the world’s second largest smartphone market by 2020 with over one billion unique subscribers. So it makes sense tackle the country’s biggest social challenges with digital solutions. And that’s just what teams at Adobe India have been up to.
Adobe India recently hosted the Grassroots Innovation Challenge, a government-sponsored competition that asks participants to ideate and innovate solutions for a wide range of issues, from citizen engagement to digitization, smart cities, government workflow and process simplification, and women and child welfare. The Adobe teams developed nearly 600 unique digital solutions.
“The Challenge was the culmination of almost two quarters of planning and coming together of Adobe India employees for a first-of-its-kind theme of nation building. The Adobe offices were brimming with enthusiasm and a genuine zeal for creation,” said Shanmugh Natarajan, managing director and vice president of products for Adobe.
In the first round, teams worked with mentors to develop their solutions. Their concepts were screened by a panel of judges and 45 teams moved on to develop a solution document and a prototype. A jury of senior government officials and thought leaders then selected the top 12 concepts to advance to the Product Shootout at Adobe Noida.
The winning idea, Machine Learning-led Intelligent Core Judicial Solution, optimizes judicial bandwidth, helping address the tremendous challenges faced by the world’s largest common law system. The tool uses machine learning and a natural language processing (NLP)-based service for judgment assistance and intelligent case dossiers. The runner up, Fully Automated Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, uses deep learning to streamline government processes.
“Grassroots was a great platform for showcasing innovation to solve problems that we as citizens commonly observe and don’t feel great about,” said Sachin Soni, senior engineering manager at Adobe. “It demonstrated that technology can solve the challenges government and various authorities face.”
Adobe India will continue to develop the ideas into scalable solutions in collaboration with the Government of India.
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