Empowering Creatives in a Design-led World

Last week I was reading an issue of National Geographic on my iPad. The photography was stunning, the stories were beautifully written and the interactivity let me explore and learn in a completely new way.  I found that moment particularly poignant, as I was the beneficiary of a 125-year-old magazine continuing to put me, its customer, first by investing in the most up-to-date technologies.

National Geographic is doing a wonderful job reimagining its role in the rapidly evolving consumer landscape, and at virtually every company I visit these days I see similar transformations. We are in the middle of an important shift in how individuals and organizations think about the content they distribute and the apps they build.

Over the last few years the industry has been focused on three major technology trends: mobile, social and cloud. During that same period companies have rushed to integrate these technologies into everything they build and everything they distribute. As a result we now find ourselves in a world where publishers, app developers and marketers are settling on a formula for how to best leverage them. And, by definition, are turning the technology innovations of the last decade into the commodities of the next decade.

As this happens we begin to see individuals and organizations searching for a new frontier – one that differentiates their offerings from competitors and enables them to engage with their communities in new ways.  And I believe that frontier is the Experience.

Adobe is lucky enough to work with some of the biggest brands and most innovative companies where design-led innovation is the primary focus. For them, the experience is multi-faceted and runs end-to-end because they recognize that their brand is not just a logo, their design is not limited to an app interface, and their campaigns don’t stand on their own. With design and experience playing a much bigger role in how organizations connect with their customers, the creative community’s role is evolving. This is confirmed by our recent creativity research in which two-thirds of creative pros expect their role will be significantly different within three years, and 77 percent say creativity and design are becoming more important to business.

Creatives’ roles are changing because they are the ones who shape these powerful experiences. They’re no longer just one more “part” of the process – they play an integral role throughout the entire course of development and in a variety of roles. Creatives are now the strategists, the decision-makers, and they are on the front lines every day. At the same time, creatives are asked to produce more than ever and get it done faster than ever, and as the study demonstrates, they live in an increasingly complex and real time world.

cc-mosaic

This is the world we envisioned when we introduced Creative Cloud. One that ensured the creative community always has access to the latest innovations and can address the challenges and opportunities in the new design-led world.

So with this as the background, I am excited to announce the 2014 release of Creative Cloud, which delivers on our promise to support the creative community through the changing landscape:

  1. Through our work with this community, we see that creatives are always looking for technologies that allow them to express their ideas in new ways. To support today’s rapid pace of change, Adobe is delivering a milestone release that includes major updates across all of our key desktop apps focused on performance, productivity, support for new hardware and formats, and some Adobe “Magic.”
  1. Creatives are always planning and creating – regardless of where they are. They need to be able to do serious work on mobile because their freshest and most impactful ideas often happen outside of work. In the New Creatives study, we found that nearly early half use mobile to collect inspiration and create content on the go, but find their options on mobile limiting.

Our new family of Creative Cloud connected mobile apps are professional grade but easy to use and extend workflows previously locked to the desktop. We introduced two new drawing apps, Adobe Line (for free form drawing) and Adobe Sketch (for precision drawing) in tandem with Adobe’s first creative hardware: Adobe Ink, a Creative Cloud pen for the iPad, and Adobe Slide, a digital ruler. We also introduced new mobiles apps for creative imaging and photography with the release of Adobe Photoshop Mix and a mobile version of Lightroom.

  1. Lastly, creatives are investing more in collaboration and community. In our study, most creatives say they receive their inspiration from their peers and from social media, which impacts how they interact, collaborate, discover content, get feedback and share work.

To support this new level of connectedness, we’re introducing a new Creative Cloud services experience across desktop, web and mobile. When logged in to Adobe.com, customers will be able to easily access their assets, colors, fonts, community and collaborators.

Creative Cloud, with its ongoing updates, let’s us innovate faster and evolve with our customers. We are creating an ecosystem that supports the modern workflow that creatives increasingly expect – across desktop, mobile and web. In short, the next frontier is all about experience and we will do all we can to make sure Creative Cloud members have everything they need to help shape the next decade of innovation.