Beyond the Walls
At Adobe, we believe collaboration is a fundamental component of the design process. If you ever have the opportunity to take a tour of our corporate headquarters, you’ll see that reflected right down to our physical work environment.
A visit to the design floor shows off the results of a recent renovation during which we gutted the traditional mix of office spaces and meeting rooms. Instead you will find a dynamic open workspace. Offices were replaced with desks, couches, smart boards, display stations and multiple surfaces covered with whiteboards. The result is a space that not only accommodates a collaborative team but actually promotes it.
Last week Adobe announced the availability of Adobe Reader 9. This new version of Reader has several exciting new features and capabilities. Steve Gottwals, product manager for Adobe Reader, did an extensive review of the new features of Reader 9 in his blog entry. From the Adobe website you can download a copy of Adobe Reader 9.0 now.
Adobe Reader 9 provides many simple ways to work with Acrobat.com. It includes the Acrobat.com desktop application built on the Adobe AIR technology. The Acrobat.com desktop application provides an easy way of interacting with Acrobat.com by dragging and dropping files and folders from your local computer directly into your Acrobat.com account, and browsing, previewing, sharing or publishing files directly from your desktop computer. The application can be minimized to a widget on your desktop providing one-click access to the Acrobat.com services.
There are myriad different opinions on what the best conditions are for reading text on a screen. Debates rage about whether or not to use serif fonts and how long a line of text should be. A surprisingly sensitive issue, and possibly without a clear resolution.ﾠ
Here we’ve tried to delineate a few of the more widely accepted tips on how to optimize readability. Although they can be forsaken in the name of personal style, they’re generally considered the most conducive to easy reading. Here are a few key points plucked from various takes on the subject:ﾠ
This week’s seminar on Document Services will be hosted by Fang Chang, and directed more toward developers and technical management.
Acrobat.com’s Document Services provide a standards-based way for developers to easily add collaboration features – store, manage, and share documents – to new and existing applications. Using our Document Services, developers and their users can access files from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Learn more at our Developer Center.
Today’s seminar is at 11:30 EDT / 8:30 PDT. To join the seminar, simply go to http://my.adobe.acrobat.com/aclearn/. Sign in as a guest and you will be taken to a ConnectPro room. The room will be opened 15 minutes before the start of the session. Conference call information will be provided inside the Connect room.
There’s more information about these seminars on our forum, including the schedule for future sessions.
The second Acrobat.com podcast again features a discussion with David Coletta, and includes the following topics:
Buzzword design process
• Feedback email as source for new features
• Visual design and functional specifications
• Designer-developer interaction: how to interpret static designs
• The value of a good spec
• Buzzword excellent for writing specs
New feature discussion
• Focus on reducing speed bumps, improving the invitation process
• New language dictionaries
Vignette about ConnectNow:
• Remote tech support
You can listen to or download the MP3 file here.
We’ve also added the ability to subscribe to the podcasts, either by your RSS feed reader or iTunes.
Yesterday Karen Tomlinson, our ConnectNow product manager, wrote an excellent post on the functionality and value of our new web conferencing application.
Today, Karen followed up by delivering our weekly seminar – again, focused on ConnectNow. For those interested who couldn’t make it, we recorded the session using ConnectPro. You can view the seminar by going to the recorded session here. It’s 43 minutes long, and definitely worth the time. Everyone who has seen ConnectNow in action has been really impressed; Karen’s session will show you what everyone’s been so excited about.
We’re holding these seminars weekly all summer, every Tuesday at 11:30 EDT, 8:30 PDT. Next week, we’ll be focusing on a more technical subject: Fang Chang, product manager for our developer tools and document APIs, will provide an in-depth view at the ways that developers can make use of our platform to build rich collaboration capabilities into their own applications.
For more information on the seminars, including the schedule and the logisitics for these seminars, follow this link to the posting on our forum.
Today’s Workplace Challenges
These days it’s becoming much more common for people to work with other people who aren’t in the same location. There are many challenges that come with this. You no longer have the luxury of walking over to someone’s office or cube and having a face-to-face conversation. You no longer have team meetings in the same room where you can gauge people’s reactions to what you are saying, see if they are following along, or brainstorm new ideas on a white board. You can’t help feeling one step removed from the people you are meeting with when all you hear is their voice and try to follow along with what people are talking about.
So what can you do to improve the quality of your day-to-day interactions and meetings? That’s where using web conferencing comes in. It can dramatically improve your meetings and ad hoc collaboration by providing a visual representation of what you are talking about, bring the physical presence of the people to the meeting with web cams, and provide a place to capture meeting notes, share files and brainstorm ideas. With ConnectNow, web conferencing is now accessible to anyone. It’s free, sign up now!
For a hands-on look at ConnectNow, join me tomorrow for a live seminar at 11:30 EDT, 8:30 PDT. See our forum for session details.
Here are a few ideas on how you can make the most of your real-time collaboration sessions using ConnectNow.
As a recent addition to the Buzzword team, it’s become part of my task to do some research about good document design and what it means for a document to look good. To that end, this blog will be the sometimes venue of a few document-crafting ideas that we run into. These posts could be design-related findings in areas we think are important (such as online readability, layout or issues related to font choices, etc.) or they could be ideas for how to use Buzzword tools to make super good-looking documents.
There will also be a case study or two—that is, we’ll bring up a few examples of documents made with Buzzword and walk through the creation process with an eye towards Buzzword’s role in the work flow, from inception to finished product.
For now, to whet everyone’s appetite for document aesthetics, here are a few innocent diversions to get you thinking about the visual elements of a page: