Experience Design Online Conference – Live on Twitch!

Creative Cloud

Join us on Adobe’s Twitch channel March 15th, 16th, and 17th for exclusive content from industry leaders on Experience Design. UX and UI designers will share their knowledge and creative process, creating user interfaces live with Photoshop CC and Project Comet.

We’ll be streaming live on Twitch from 9am PST to 6pm PST for three full days. Engage with speakers using our live chat and participate in our XD Creative Jam. To make sure you’re up to date, follow us on Twitch.

Check out the schedule for each day below and be sure to mark your calendars.

Experience Design Online Conference Schedule (3/15-17)

All times are Pacific Time (PST). Use this online time zone converter to find the right times for your region.

9am to 10am PST – Learn How to Use Project Comet
Every morning, Paul Trani and Michael Chaize will teach you the basics of Experience Design with Project Comet. Comet product managers will also be on set to answers questions in the live chat. Anyone can participate in the XD Creative Jam! Paul will unveil the theme Tuesday, March 15th, at 9am PST. Once he doesyou’ll be able to share your prototypes on social media. Icing on the cake? Everyone will have a chance to win Creative Cloud subscriptions! Follow us on Twitch where we’ll reveal the details.


10am to 11:30am – Experience Design Process with Travis Neilson
Travis Neison
is an Interaction Designer at Google, and hosts
DevTips – one of the most popular web design and development channels on YouTube. He also co-hosts the podcast Late Nights with Trav and Los and writes weekly articles about thriving in the creative industry called “Notes.” Join him every day at 10am PST as he unveils his creative process. From sketches on paper to interactive prototypes with Project Comet, Travis will cover everything user experience designers need to know.


11:30am to 1pm – The World of Experience Design with Ashley Karr

Ashley Karr is a lead UX designer at General Assembly and is recognized as one of the top Experience Design instructors. Join her to discover the world of XD as she works on a case study using Project Comet for the first time.


1pm to 2pm – The Adobe Design Game Show
The Adobe Design Game Show is hosted by Paul Trani and Michael Chaize. Everyday, two designers will be invited to go head to head on the basics of Design: color theory, user interface, compositing and typography. As a viewer, you can join in on the Twitch chat at 1pm to vote for your favorite competitor for the chance to win a prize.

2pm to 4pm – Screen Design with Creative Grenade

Travis Howell and Evan Eckard, the core designers of Creative Grenade. They already host a popular show on Twitch, but this time, they will be live from the Adobe office, and they will include Project Comet in their workflow. Creative Grenade is the leading creative agency for the gaming industry.

4pm to 6pm – Live XD Collaboration with Digital Telepathy + special guests

Two UX designers,
Jessica Moon and Dan Trenkner, from the agency Digital Telepathy will get 90 minutes a day to design an app that solves a common problem. Join these talented designers to understand how they collaborate, using Photoshop CC and Project Comet. A UX design expert will also share industry knowledge while they work.

We can’t wait to have you join us for the first-ever online Experience Design conference. See you on Twitch!


Building Project Comet: Designing the Designer’s Tool

Creative Cloud

“I don’t think this color will work very well,” I said honestly. “Developers really depend on comments to tell them about the code, and the color is just too subtle for something so important.” I sat in a conference room with a designer and our product lead, reviewing the designs for a code editor that was going into a product I was working on.

As a developer, I had a very keen sense of what would be helpful and what wouldn’t for this code editor, and I just knew that the color scheme the designer had chosen wasn’t right. I knew I wouldn’t use a code editor that made me squint at the code, and I felt like I needed to represent the entire development community to make this editor the best it could be.

Fast forward five years, and I’m now on a new product for Adobe, code named Project Comet. But instead of a product by developers, for developers, it’s a product for designers — UX designers, specifically — for quickly designing and prototyping for all sorts of screens sizes.

This time, the designers on our team are placed in the same position I had been in five years ago. These are designers working on a design tool. And while it’s a fair bit of pressure to innovate and make something that many designers will love, it’s also a dream come true; our designers get to work on a tool that they get to use every single day.

So, I asked three of our designers to share what it’s like to make Project Comet a reality, as they’re getting the license to play, rethink, and truly innovate.

A Focus on the Details

Larz H, a Senior Experience Designer, sports a laconic Australian accent and a dry wit that he brings to every meeting with the Project Comet team. He’s had some big products underneath his belt in his 7 years at Adobe, including Brackets and Creative Cloud Extract. He splits his time between his official cubicle in the designers’ area in Adobe’s San Francisco office and embedded with the engineering team that makes his designs come to life.

When I asked him what feature improvement he loved the most in Project Comet, he pointed out the grouping of the align and distribute buttons. “It’s these details that make the app,” he said. “Every time I look at alignment and distribution icons [in other products], I have to think for a moment because the boxes and lines are kind of hard to parse visually.”


Project Comet’s alignment and distribute buttons

Project Comet’s alignment and distribute buttons

Larz explained, “One of Comet’s design principles is ‘comfort first,’ so we grouped alignment and distribution in a way that’s more comfortable for our users…. Instead of grouping them by function, we grouped them by the orientation of the selected objects.”
Rather than being chained to an existing design, Larz was able to rethink the purpose of the buttons, grouping them in a more logical manner. Larz’ insistence on the tiny details to increase designer efficiency can be seen peppered throughout the product, and the accumulation of these improvements is a sense of workmanship that gives Project Comet a particular polish that our early prerelease users already love.

Constant Innovation as a Continuing Dialogue

Design Lead Talin Wadsworth can often be found in a collared shirt buttoned all the way to the top and a black flat-brimmed cap with his favorite baseball team’s logo emblazoned on the front. Before Project Comet, he spent his five years at Adobe as a designer on Adobe Sketch for iPad, Creative Cloud Libraries, and the Creative Cloud user interface.

gifHis merry blue eyes turned nostalgic one recent Friday afternoon as he talked about the initial days of Project Comet, which began as a quick prototype developed by a handful of people. But what he remembers most is the intense collaboration that resulted in deep innovation. “We talked about repeat grid for about two months, at least every day. Half an hour here, an hour there, sporadically through the day; we’d talk and go back to work, and then come back together, and we’d see where we were and move the conversation forward.”

He related how his unique perspective as a designer meshed tightly with the developers’ implementation of his designs: they would implement the feature in an unexpected way, which in turn opened his eyes to the design possibilities. Through his feedback and use of the feature, the developers began to see more possibilities to increase its value, and the feedback loop circled again. In this cycle was a process of repeated discovery, which ricocheted them in unexpected directions and brought them to such innovative places as repeat grid.

But tight collaboration doesn’t stop with a relationship between design and engineering; insight comes from our product managers, who gather data from customers near and far and from in-product analytics, prioritize the features based on both feedback and common sense, and keep an eye on the bigger picture: the product as a whole. Often, I find myself in meetings with designers, developers, and product managers discussing both the greater ecosystem and very detailed interactions, trying to figure out exactly what behavior to implement.

This attention to the experience of each feature and the collaborative spirit on the Project Comet team are what brings Talin to work every day. “I’m pretty much the luckiest designer at Adobe right now,” he admitted with a grin.

Designing for the Designer

I bumped into Carmen Ruse right after the weekly all-hands meeting with all of the core staff of Project Comet. It was a treat to see her, as Carmen is based in our offices in Bucharest, Romania and was in town for a design conference. With almost five years at Adobe under her belt, she’s worked on a number of “intrapreneurial” initiatives at Adobe. Among other features, she’s been working on the onboarding experience for Project Comet.

“It’s a bit of an inception,” she related to me, talking about what it’s like to work on the team. “I’m designing my own design tool. It’s not an easy task, as I’m usually my hardest critic. But at the same time, it’s an awesome feeling to create something that will be in the hands of the most talented UX designers out there.”

And that is both the privilege and the challenge; we built Project Comet from scratch, from the ground up. From a technical perspective, it allowed us to take advantage of the latest technologies and make sure we developed with the right toolset to make the product performant. But from the design perspective, it allowed us to reimagine what a design tool looks like. We’re walking the fine line between producing high-quality versions of existing paradigms — for instance, text and drawing rectangles — and providing new ways for designers to play and iterate on their designs.

We’re still in the early stages of Project Comet, but we want to continue this iterative innovation process with you, the customer. What we release in our public Preview (coming soon!) is a rock-solid foundation and a whole lot of potential.

We’re a team of people who care about details, who listen carefully, and who want to get things exactly right. We’re looking forward to working with you to make Project Comet our design tool.

Old and new filmmaking techniques merge in Hail, Caesar!

Creative Cloud

Hail, Caesar! is the highly-anticipated new film from the prolific filmmaking duo of Joel and Ethan Coen. It joins an impressive lineup of Coen Brothers work that includes box office hits, cult classics, and Academy Award winners. The Coen Brothers are known for taking a hands-on approach to all aspects of filmmaking, from writing and directing, to editing and producing, and Hail, Caesar! is no exception.

The Coen Brothers made a commitment two years ago to move to Adobe Premiere Pro CC for editing, and worked closely with Adobe to create their new post-production workflow. Additional Editor Katharine McQuerrey and Post-Production Supervisor Catherine Farrell worked closely with Joel and Ethan to create a post-production workflow that fit their unique style of filmmaking.


How did you approach making the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro CC?

McQuerrey: We met with Adobe a year before we started editing Hail, Caesar! There were certain tools we had to have because Joel and Ethan work in a very specific way. We gave our feedback to Adobe and they were great about including some of the things we felt were necessary to cut comfortably, such as support for embedded keycode , larger waveforms, and instant clip updates in the Media Browser.

How easy was it to learn the new software?

McQuerrey: A couple of months before Hail, Caesar! started I taught myself Premiere Pro using web tutorials and other resources. It was a remarkably smooth and seamless process. There are certain naming conventions and ways that you have to work that are a little bit different, but coming from Final Cut Pro the actual cutting is very similar to what we were used to. We thought we’d need two or three weeks to get Joel up to speed, but within two days it felt like the cutting process was normal.

What is unique about the way the Coen Brothers work?

McQuerrey: Joel and Ethan are known for their process, which includes not cutting any dailies. The entire film is cut after shooting, something that is very rare in filmmaking. Ethan does the assembly, finds the good takes, then rings a bell when he gets to a point in the scene when you can start editing. Joel then picks up the content and cuts it in.

Farrell: Unlike most filmmakers today, Joel and Ethan still like to shoot on traditional 35mm film, so our job starts the minute something is shot. In this case the film was shot in Los Angeles, developed at FotoKem, and sent to EFILM for scanning and color grading. That’s the color we use until the final DI.

Tell us about some of the challenges you encountered.

McQuerrey: The scenes with CG effects that are created during the editorial process are always the ones that tend to be the last scenes cut. There are certain editing rules that are difficult to follow when you don’t have real shots.

Hail, Caesar! is also a movie within a movie so we had lots of transitions going from a film to a studio executive watching the film in a screening room. We used green screens and did a tremendous amount of temp comps in Premiere Pro. We occasionally used Dynamic Link between Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, but the effects in Premiere Pro were really good and easy to use so we often just stuck with that workflow for things like split screens, time remapping, and other manipulations.

What features in Premiere Pro CC helped your workflow?

McQuerrey:  We constantly used the Media Browser to access different versions of cuts and visual effects. I work in Joel and Ethan’s office, and we have another cutting room four blocks north of us, so we have to do a lot of communicating back and forth. The Media Browser makes it easy to look into and open other projects that the team is working on.

Joel liked being able to look at everything Ethan was doing as he worked in a project, and after Ethan rang the bell, we could open it right up on our computer. It was crucial to the editing process. The fact that it is non-destructive was also key because Ethan marks in and outs that are different for audio and video. If different takes are selected, we have to keep the original so we have a history of the edits we’ve made.

What were some things that were the same or different from your previous editing experiences?

McQuerrey: With Final Cut Pro, after 20 minutes we always knew we would have to do some sort of reel break. Working with Premiere Pro we easily cut an hour-and-a-half sequence with no problems.  

Farrell: After the offline edits are complete, we send everything back to EFILM and they go back to all of the original material and make sure every aspect of the cut is preserved to the final product. For this film, they did the assembly, punched in the visual effects and opticals from our in-house people, put everything in order, and then sent it back to the cutting room to be checked. We were worried because it had to match back, and the Adobe video workflow hadn’t been used in this way before, but it worked just fine.

What advice would you give to other filmmakers making the switch?

McQuerrey: How you set up your program, projects, and Media Browser is essential to getting Premiere Pro to work quickly. I would often cull the project so they wouldn’t get so big that we would get bogged down by wait times or render times. In general, Premiere Pro was extremely fast at making outputs and rendering; the amount of content we didn’t have to render was also great. We could do pretty elaborate visual effects in Premiere Pro and they would all be real-time effects, which was terrific.

What reaction did you get when you told people you were editing with Premiere Pro?

Farrell: Everyone we talked to was surprised to hear we were working with Premiere Pro. For many editors it is a leap of faith because it means changing from what they know. But as more people like us are successful, more people will realize the benefits of this workflow.

McQuerrey: Editors may be resistant to it until they realize the fluidity of the editing. It is really intuitive and a good editing tool. People may wonder if Premiere Pro can handle a big film. It can.

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud video and audio tools

Download a free trial of Adobe Premiere Pro CC

The Future of Experience Design (XD) Live

Creative Cloud

Now more than ever, there is a focus on Experience Design (XD). Users are evaluating not just the product or service, but also the experience itself. Designers must develop new strategies, plus account for an ever-increasing influx of new devices and interfaces.

We want to dive deeper into what the future of experience design looks like, so we’ve partnered with the SF Bay Area UX/UI Design Meetup group. We’ll discuss everything from invisible UI to unconventional interfaces, and we’re streaming it all live on February 24th at 6:30PM PT! Tune in to listen to designers and XD experts from companies like IDEO, Pinterest, Google and Amazon discuss where experience design is headed, and their strategies for evolving alongside it.

Follow the conversation and submit your questions with #FutureOfXD on Twitter.

The All-Star Panelists:

  • James De Angelis, Product Designer, Pinterest
  • Nancy Douyon, User Experience Researcher, Google
  • Marisa Gallagher, Head of Design and UX, Digital, Amazon Music
  • Don Goetz, Senior UX Designer, Integrated Computer Solutions
  • Daniel Nacamuli, Interaction Design Lead, Method
  • Burton Rast, Designer, IDEO
  • Talin Wadsworth, Experience Design Lead, Adobe

Moderator: Vincent Hardy, Director of Engineering, Adobe

Subscribe to the YouTube Live Event for a reminder notification and watch live here on Feb. 24th:

We’ll see you online!

Lightroom Collections become videos in seconds with Adobe Premiere Clip

Creative Cloud

If you’re a Lightroom user, you are familiar with the organizational, editing, and sharing abilities that Lightroom for mobile offers. Now Lightroom mobile users on both iOS and Android can take their creativity even further with the ability to create a compelling video from a Lightroom mobile collection in just a few seconds, leveraging the power of Adobe Premiere Clip.

This feature (available today in Lightroom on Android with v2.0 and Premiere Clip on Andriod v1.0.3, and available for Lightroom on iOS  & Premiere Clip on iOS) enables you to export entire collections from Lightroom mobile to Premiere Clip to create a story that you’ll want to share with others. From within Lightroom, all you have to do is pick a collection and select “Create a Video in Clip” and Premiere Clip will automatically create an awesome video for you, synced to the beat of the music.

Ready to get started? Download Lightroom (Android or iOS) and Adobe Premiere Clip (Android or iOS).

Here’s how simple it is: Open Lightroom on mobile. Pick a collection. Click on More Options.


Select “Create a Video in Clip”. This will automatically launch Adobe Premiere Clip and create a video from your collection matched with one of Clip’s royalty-free soundtracks.  Note that to enable this multi-app workflow, you’ll need to log in to Lightroom with your Adobe ID. Log in with your existing Creative Cloud account, or create an Adobe ID for free.


You can customize your video by choosing a different soundtrack, adjusting the pace of the soundtrack sync, rearranging the order of photos, or adding more media.  Want more creative control? Move into the freeform editor by tapping the film icon to make more refined edits, add Looks, and more.


In this video, Terry White shows off just how easy it is to create a video using your Lightroom assets:

Check out this tutorial about creating videos automatically with Premiere Clip

Signing up for a free trial of Lightroom or Premiere Pro on your desktop or laptop computer adds the ability to synchronize files, edits, and projects from your mobile device to your desktop or laptop computer.  Start a free trial today!

If you have large Lightroom collections, please note that Premiere Clip currently imports the first 100 photos in a collection.  If you have more images than that, once you are in your Premiere Clip video project, tap on the “+” icon and select “Lightroom” to add additional assets from your collection.

An Identity Designer Returns to His Roots with Adobe Mobile Apps

Creative Cloud

Spencer Watson designs event identities. That’s roughly eight hours a day of creating web and print collateral for corporate conferences and enormous events. It means being agile enough to meet the needs of printers, clients and sponsors as they evolve. All while adhering to the ever-looming deadline. When your day to day is made up of equal parts of excitement and chaos, you’ve got to find a way to unwind.

So Spencer paints. But he isn’t bound to locational constraints that using traditional brushes and canvas bring. He shared how Adobe mobile apps like Photoshop Sketch and Adobe Capture CC enable him to create wherever his next event takes him. Plus, all of his art can be sent to desktop apps like Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC, so he can add any extra touches when he’s ready.

NewImage1Tell us a bit about your background as a designer.

My career in art and design started in high school. I was painting a lot of things that really excited me from a structure, material and texture perspective. After high school I got heavily into graphic design. I graduated from the Art Institute of Vancouver a year later and began working for Vancouver’s most prominent event companies, creating graphics for street posters and building creative design for major international brands. The fast-paced event, culture and social environment constantly inspires my urban sketch style.

But it wasn’t until the Adobe mobile apps came out that I got back into painting. Adobe mobile apps bring my current role together with my background in art and design in a new kind of way.

How did you begin drawNewImage2ing with Photoshop Sketch and other Adobe mobile apps?

Being a graphic designer I am already heavily involved with Adobe desktop apps, so it didn’t take me long to move to their mobile apps. I was drawing on my Wacom, but felt confined to my office space. I needed a way to draw, share content and take notes on the go.

How has mobile changed your workflow?

I work freelance, so Capture CC and Photoshop Sketch really help me be mobile. Moving from event to event as often as I do, I needed something that I could carry around to quickly show clients sketches and ideas without having to bring along my computer. Also, the mobile apps have introduced the ability for me to bring outdoor inspiration into my designs.

Can you walk us through the steps you take to create a portrait in Photoshop Sketch?img4-2xresize

First I find an interesting looking model. I begin by roughly tracing over the subject with a light pencil tool while also separating the shadows and highlights. I then add a color theme from Adobe Capture CC and use it to draw around the model. Things get messy from here… I begin with a thick, dark brush for the hair and shadows. I then move into the model’s facial features with a thinner, lighter brush. I add accent colors and custom splatters. Lots of scribbling is key here.

What kinds of challenges do you run into during your design process? How do you resolve them?

These types of illustrations are always hit or miss. A lot of scribbling goes on, so the illustration will either turn out or be a total mess. A challenge I always run into are lips. Lips to me are the hardest part of the face to draw and they always give me a hard time. But having the ability to go back to previous steps in Photoshop Sketch definitely helps resolve this issue.

How much time do you usually spend on a piece?img11

These illustrations can take anywhere from an hour to five hours since they are mostly scribbles. It really just comes down to the piece and how much detail it needs to look its best.

What’s your favorite part of the design process?

Finishing the piece. A lot of the time these paintings drive me nuts, so finishing them is always a great feeling. I will usually only finish one out of every ten pieces.

Any tips you can pass along to a designer looking to get out of the office and explore mobile illustration?

The biggest tip I have is to remember that for once you’re not wasting any paper, paints or inks, so the possibilities are endless. And free of charge. If an illustration isn’t working out, just keep adding until it does.

How Comp CC Empowers Digital Designer Randy Rodriguez to Be a True ‘Mobile Creative’

Creative Cloud

Blog 3If you want to create layouts and explore wireframe concepts on-the-go, Adobe Comp CC is a your secret weapon. Whether it’s on the subway, in the office, or on your comfy couch, the app is there to help you turn your ideas into fully-realized drafts. This combination of power and portability is getting worldwide attention: Apple has named Comp CC one the best apps of 2015. We asked UX designer Jason Robinson  and eBooks creator Dave Lewis how the app is helping them, now a true pioneer in digital design is weighing in.

Randy Rodriguez has been a communications designer (and legendary graffiti artist) for decades. From e-Publications to mobile apps, he works his own hand-drawn art into the digital products he delivers to his clients.

Blog 2“It’s incredibly useful to hash out an idea”

Randy starts his projects by putting pencil to paper, but jumps onto Comp CC soon after. He says his designs often need “more fidelity” than a sketch can provide, especially when he’s creating for mobile platforms. The app is becoming more and more useful for all his projects.

“Comp CC lends itself not just to website design or app design, but it also builds into print. I’m always pushing the boundaries, so I even try to use it for creating backgrounds for animations.”

He loves how easy it is to concept with real assets on his iPhone as soon as “inspiration arises,” then he sends his work to Illustrator CC or Photoshop CC on his desktop to transform his ideas into finished designs. He says many of his clients are surprised to learn his web pages, app screen layouts, graphics, and animated pieces all originate on a mobile device.

“The ability to create really on a whim is the greatest plus.”

“I’d rather sit [in a park] than at a desk”

For years, Randy has strived to be truly mobile in his work. He likes to create where and when he’s te most-inspired, and that’s not always at his desk between the hours of 9 to 5. Now with Comp CC, he’s finally been able to achieve the freedom he’s been looking for when laying out pages and brainstorming ideas.

“I’m strictly a mobile creative. I use the iPhone 90 per cent of the time in comparison to my laptop and desktop. I’m always in transit somewhere, so [my computer] isn’t always accessible. On the iPad, it becomes more than mobile application: it replaces having to create something at a desk.”Blog 1

Randy says you can often him find him where he wants to be, not at his desk. He credits that to having Comp CC on his iPhone and iPad.

“There’s nothing more inviting or satisfying than to be able to [be outside of your studio] and create something as opposed to sitting in a stiff chair…to have the luxury of working in a very simple fashion.”

Since he often designs publications for mobile devices, Comp CC’s intuitive design for iPhone and iPad has become a major advantage.

“It caters to the screen size. What I’m doing is what I’m going to end up getting.”

“It just makes a lot of sense”

With decades of experience as a digital designer, Randy says he’s grateful Adobe and Apple, the two major players in his professional life, have come together harmoniously.

“It just makes a lot of sense…the two brands that have always been pivotal and pinnacle elements of my life as a creative professional. For them to win the award is awesome.”

Curious how Comp CC can help you from inspiration to production in a mobile world? Click here to find out more.

How Adobe Is Advancing Design-Led Innovation in the Public Sector

Creative Cloud

Jerry Silverman has been evangelist for creativity for as long as he can remember. While growing up in the Orlando, Florida area, you could find Silverman doing everything from making text-based “choose your own adventure” computer games to drawing illustrations for comics to making films.

The first Adobe tool he ever used was Photoshop v4. While playing around with rudimentary bitmaps, he never imagined that he’d join Adobe in 2008 first as a Sales Engineer, and then move up to his current role as Principal Solutions Consultant on the Public Sector Digital Media team eight years later. In 2015, he was an Adobe Founders Award recipient.

In his role supporting Adobe’s Public Sector business, Silverman travels around the US presenting to defense, civilian, state and local government agencies about how Creative Cloud products can help communications teams be more impactful, innovative, and design-focused in their work. His clients range from NASA and The Smithsonian to the State of Missouri and city of San Francisco, among others.

In recent years, Silverman has been witness to a “quiet renaissance” happening in the government sector where design-led innovation is becoming the rule rather than the exception.

In the condensed and edited interview below, Silverman talks about why he’s excited about the state of design-led innovation, how Adobe is helping further the movementand how anyone can be a visual storyteller using basic tools.


Adobe: What’s been surprising so far about working with the government sector?

Silverman: I’m constantly surprised by the minions of bright, motivated creative types in every government agency who are doing fantastic work and eroding the well-worn stereotypes that have accrued around government communications. There is a real desire and emphasis to innovate via design thinking.

Adobe: What’s design-led innovation, and how have you seen it have an impact?

Silverman:  Design-led innovation is about solving problems in a holistic way that takes the entire experience of the solution into account. It’s about making things simple and intuitive, understanding and prioritizing the user’s needs, and addressing the whole experience from start to finish.

A great example from years ago is the ClearRX bottle at Target pharmacies. Deborah Adler, a now famous designer, was a student at the School of Visual Arts when her grandmother accidentally mistook her prescription bottle for another and wound up hospitalized.

Deborah redesigned the entire bottle experience and labeling system – made it much easier to read and differentiate one bottle from the next using better color, layout, and type treatment. Target then adopted those ideas into their nationally available prescription system!

Adobe_Gov_Assembly (1)

Speaking at the Adobe Digital Government Assembly

Adobe: What’s challenging for creatives in government?

Silverman: We recently surveyed government communications professionals, and found that while most believe being creative and innovative is part of their mandate, they feel restricted by outdated IT policies, lengthy approval processes, and emphasis on efficiency over creativity

Turning those constraints into opportunities is the main challenge for any government creative right now. Our team is publishing our survey results along with a guidebook containing some practical recommendations in late February, and hosting a live talk and webinar to promote them.

Adobe: How are things changing?

Silverman: Best practices are being standardized at the federal level by the US Digital Service.They’ve created a playbook through which any government agency’s IT and communications offices can understand how to architect services that think from the customer-out, not agency-out.

They’ve also created a set of free and open-source web design standards and a style guide to go along with the playbook. Some government agencies have already started creating their own style guides – look at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the US Patent and Trademark Office, and Healthcare.gov.

Seeing these examples and many more popping up gives me confidence that this transformation is well underway.


Receiving the Adobe Founders Award from Chuck Geshke

Adobe: Tell me about Adobe’s Creativity in Government Awards, and how it’s helping showcase design-led innovation.

Silverman: We wanted to engage these government agencies competitively so that the best work could be recognized across a broader audience of designers. We solicited entries via the Behance community, where many customers already had accounts, and had many hundreds of entries spanning across the US and Canada.

It culminated in an Awards ceremony at the MAX 2015 conference where we awarded winners in four categories: Most Engaging Citizen-Facing Campaign, Honoring Heroes, Best Integrated/Cross-Channel Campaign, and Community Choice. We had winners from the US Air Force, the National Cancer Institute, the US Architect of the Capitol, and the National Parks Service, among others.

One of my favorite winners was The Art of Data project for the city of Kansas City, Missouri. They visualized their civic data around crime, population growth, housing, utilities, etc. as a physical art installation and displayed it in a gallery setting. It was a very refreshing and innovative way to break loose from Powerpoint and PDF.AdobeMAX_02

Adobe: How do your presentations for state and city governments help seed more out-of-the box, creative thinking?

My goal is to show these customers how you no longer have to be a professional designer, or even well-organized, to easily create compelling visual stories

The day before my presentation, I’ll walk around the city for a couple hours snapping pictures of landmarks and local arts culture with my phone.

There’s a vibrant texture to every state capitol I’ve visited, from Helena to Phoenix to Honolulu.

While I’m in transit, I’ll load my photos into Lightroom Mobile and start picking the best shots, and do quick retouching with Photoshop Fix — all on my phone. Also, using Adobe Capture, I’ll make a library of colors, vectors, brushes, and patterns based on the city landscape.

During my presentation, I’ll show the audience how to combine all of these raw materials into a simple yet professional looking layout with Adobe Comp, and make a cool, responsive HTML5 travelogue using Adobe Slate in a web browser.

It’s fun to hear them gasp when they realize I made this very professional-looking presentation right before their eyes within minutes, using simple tools.

Artist Jenean Morrison Turns Captured Shapes into a Valentine’s Day Coloring Book

Creative Cloud

A few weeks ago we asked the question, what do you love? Your answers came, but not in the form of words. You took pics of things you were fond of and used Adobe Capture CC to turn them into vector shapes. You sent us shapes of the cutest babies we’ve ever seen. Trees with reaching limbs and dogs with panting tongues came too. We saw tasty-looking mushrooms and a bird’s silhouette gliding through calm water.

Illustrator and textile designer Jenean Morrison was waiting in the wings to take it from there. In just a few days, your shapes were fitted, layered and woven into a coloring book that we hope you love.

Jenean sat down with design lifestyle destination Brit + Co to give them an exclusive first look at how she used Capture and Illustrator CC to incorporate dozens of individual vector shapes into an intricately patterned coloring sheet. Read the full article by Kimberly Wang of Brit+Co.

Our lovely coloring book is ready just in time for Valentine’s Day. Grab it here. All it needs it needs now is a bit of color. Try creating vector shapes of your own! Get Capture CC now.



UX Is Not Enough

Creative Cloud

Digital has changed everything. Business models, consumer expectations, working patterns. For awhile it seemed nothing was sacred, or would be left untouched. Companies scrambled to keep up, to build apps, to go responsive. Usability, design, and UX were in the spotlight as differentiators and must haves.

Now it seems, the mobile revolution is over. There is no digital strategy, only strategy. Amazon has a physical store. Hotels are using AirBnB to fill rooms. Retailers are putting energy into their flagship spaces.

Lots of attention has been paid to UX over the past few years, and rightly so. The ability to craft the digital touch points of an experience, and ensure that they are usable and delightful, requires careful attention to user experience. User experience design is a key tool in the digital world, one that can improve conversion rates, reduce user’s frustration, and overall get us closer to technological nirvana.

But UX is not enough. Today’s consumer, citizen, and user has high expectations and little time. People expect seamless experiences, start to finish, including the digital and non-digital bits. This seamlessness requires complex orchestration of all the components involved. UX is simply the thin end of the wedge, and most often, poor user experience or unusable interfaces are symptomatic of organizational challenges and misalignment.

Many people who work in the digital space are realizing that digital is one piece of the puzzle, and that the tool kit for driving value and staying in business goes beyond some UX hocus pocus. There is renewed interest and focus on holistic customer journeys as companies recognize that time and attention spent on their digital channels are limited by poor alignment with the rest of the offering.

There is growing curiosity about what the future of UX, and indeed design, might hold.

Some think service design will address the challenges, and that UX is on course to morph into service design. Indeed, service design offers tools and methodologies to zoom out and look at a holistic picture, such as service blueprinting and customer journey mapping. However, service design does not hold all of the pieces of the puzzle.

Customer experience is another field which takes a look at overall interactions a person has with a brand or service. Often from a marketing lens, customer experience seeks to understand, measure and drive customer loyalty, advocacy and satisfaction.

What we are in fact seeing is a convergence, where in a complex world, many more pieces have to fit together, with digital one component of a larger system. Digital is merely one channel among several – thus the idea of omnichannel experience is relevant here.

“In my opinion, User Experience, Service Design (this should really be Service Experience) and Customer Experience have always worked together and the terms have been used interchangeably across industries. It is the corporate world that has not realized, up until now, the nuances that differentiate these disciplines and the skills therein. Moreover, the industry is just starting to realize the business value we can generate by bringing these disciplines together.”

~Rahul Verma, Global VP of Experience Innovation and Design at Citi

Truly innovative experiences like Disney’s magic band, or the Cooper Hewitt pen, add layers of experiential delight on to how people use the service. For these to come together, user experience (UX), service design (SD), customer experience (CX), technology, and industrial design all play a role.


Image via TechnoBuffalo


Technology enables a level of invisible magic to take place. For a Disney visitor who has connected their credit card, the step of paying for anything during their visit is eliminated. This can be seen as ‘frictionless’ experience, where the unpleasant or time consuming steps are removed, leaving only  fun and fulfilling moments. There is of course risk associated with this, as it is easy to over spend when the act of taking out your wallet is done with.

The Pen in use on the interactive tables and the "digital river" of collection objects. Concetp, design, and production by Local Projects LLC. Initial Pen concept by Local Projects with Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Image via We Are Museums


At the Cooper Hewitt, the pen brings a personalized, curatorial lens to each visitor’s time at the museum. Objects on display can be ‘saved’ by touching the pen to the NFC tagged spot on the information display. The user can then access their collection at a personalized URL, long after the day of the visit. A physical object acts as the intermediary to a personalized online collection. While in the museum, the online portion of the experience is not front and centre, and in a way one could say that the core aspect is that of being in the museum in person.

However, this is augmented by a digital, online interface. UX is not enough – the entire experience has to be considered, and the collection available on the website afterwards is an extension of the visit. The bridge from digital to physical and back again becomes a well trodden one, facilitated by a view of the whole journey a user takes.


“If you envision three concentric circles, the innermost will be UX – the emotional response triggered by a user of a product or service, just outside that will be SX (service experience, delivered via service design) – the consistent emotional response generated by a user of many channels (omni-channel) and then the outermost will be CX – the emotional response that is generated as a result of realizing business value for the buyer of a product or service.”

Rahul Verma – Global VP of Experience Innovation and Design at Citi

While for some businesses, digital and online touch points will remain front and centre to their value proposition, for many, thinking about digital as one channel or one service within a service will be key to building value. Call it what you may, CX, UX, and service design are all ingredients to a successful experience for people and the organizations that deliver them.