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Created

August 2, 2011

Giving Designers Access to Standards-Based Tools and Services

I recently spoke with an Adobe customer in the Intelligence Community who wanted to dispel the myth, once and for all, that Creatives don’t dwell in Government;  “We’re not all sad, grey button-pushers here in the Public Sector!” he shouted. “There are tons of engaged, outgoing, creative people who love design!”

After touring across the country on our Roadshow, I’ve seen first-hand evidence that this is true! There has been a sea change of creativity and design-first thinking over the last few years in Government, spearheaded by the refresh of whitehouse.gov and trickling down through organizations like Sunlight Labs and Code for America. Many services like itdashboard.gov, data.gov and usa.gov provide clean, simple, forward-thinking design that bolsters engagement and usability, as well as 508 compliance! Mobile sites and apps, which are inherently usable and design-centric, have exploded across the Public Sector, with many agencies planning well ahead of the curve.

Designers face a unique challenge these days: which medium, screen, surface, platform, runtime, or browser is the most important to design for? When it comes to government, the short answer is: all of them! Constituents demand constant access to government services and data from wherever they happen to be, with whichever media or screen they happen to be confronting, and their experience of those services must be intuitive, compelling and “sticky,” in order to bring them back the next time. The “correct” design methodology for laying out a engaging, adaptable, and accessible interface that complies with the most recent standards, whether they are based in the world of paper, e-readers, motion graphics, or web browsers, is a constantly moving target.

Adobe prides itself in providing design tools and technologies that allow our customers to create exceptional standards-compliant experiences across screens and devices, and this week we are proud to unveil a few projects that we’ve been working on to help the greater design community create, learn and collaborate around new and emerging standards for the web:

1) Adobe Edge Public Preview. Designers can access the recently released Adobe Edge public preview, a new HTML5 web motion and animation tool that allows designers to do Flash Professional-like animation using web standards like HTML, JavaScript and CSS3. While in public preview, Adobe Edge will be a free download.

2) The Expressive Web beta. This new site is both a resource and showcase that highlights some of the most creative and expressive features being added to the web today. In addition to highlighting and providing information on twelve new HTML5 and CSS3 features, the site itself makes extensive use of new web standards to provide a visually compelling resource for learning more about HTML5 and CSS3.

3) Adobe Drive 3. This software enables seamless integration of a digital asset management (DAM) system with Adobe Creative Suite 5 and CS5.5 applications. Once connected to a DAM server, a creative team can access remote assets through their native operating system’s file browser, through Adobe Bridge, or from the menus of CS products that integrate with Drive:  Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and InCopy. The newest version of Drive enables connection to any DAM that implements the CMIS specification, an industry-wide standard.

In addition to these announcements, Adobe has many other projects cooking when it comes to standards compliance across the web and devices. For example, we have released a prototype of a Flash-to-HTML conversion tool codenamed Wallaby.  Check out some more of these projects on our HTML5 home page, and send your designers and web developers to our HTML5 Developer Center for the latest updates.