…And all I brought back is a series of blog posts.
What follows is the firsthand account of a first-time Adobe SXSW Creative Camp attendee: Two days. Nine hour-long sessions.
Session 1: Revamping Adobe Photoshop CC for Screen Design with Zorana Gee and Charles Pearson
Photoshop CC project manager Zorana Gee opened with a brief evolution of Photoshop (and a reminder of its beginnings as a graphic design tool) then launched quickly into the industry trends that prompted Photoshop’s designers, product managers, a cultural anthropologist, and a team of designer advisors to begin the creation of Photoshop for Design.
A return to the needs of designers
The Photoshop team gave anthropologist Charles Pearson an assignment that sounded simple enough: Hang out with young designers, see what they’re making, how they’re making it, and where they gather inspiration… essentially, figure out what makes them tick. Charles spent a boatload of time with design firms and designers learning how teams use Adobe’s best known software.
During hundreds of conversations, he confirmed that Photoshop is ubiquitous in design studios, but he also heard comments like: “Photoshop is not a concise tool for what I do,” “I only use 10% of what Photoshop has,” and “I need to focus on my design and there’s too much UI.” He actually discovered a disconnect between Adobe and these young designers—who felt like they didn’t really have a relationship with the company or its 25-year-old application.
From a negative comes a positive
The Photoshop CC team had some work to do. Not only did it need to continue its onslaught of innovation in the next build, it also needed to reconnect with the design community and build-out design features and workflows.
What began as the addition of features to address designer needs (one-click font resolution, link Smart Objects. layer comps, CC Libraries) has evolved to include a complete rethinking of the design features in Photoshop.
They call it Project Recess
The collaboration—between the Photoshop team and a group of designer advisors that first saw comps, then prototypes, and ultimately builds of the new version of the software—means that every major feature in the next major release of Photoshop will have been designed and developed using the insights garnered from a well-defined feedback system.
After Charles finished describing the genesis of Project Recess, Zorana previewed some of its features in an abbreviated version of her Adobe MAX Sneak (below) from late last year: