Adobe Creative Cloud

Update on Project Comet: Where We Are and What’s To Come

Earlier this year at Adobe MAX, we announced a new end-to-end solution for UX designers, code-named Project Comet. Unveiling a new product to the world is a daunting experience, but following the announcement we were excited by the level of interest in Project Comet! I think we’ve read every tweet, comment, post or article about Project Comet, and the overwhelming desire for Adobe to craft a tool that was purpose-built for UX designers has been incredibly motivating for us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Project Comet – we really appreciate it.

I wanted to take a moment to update you on our progress as we aim towards a public beta in early 2016 and also provide details on how we’re using your feedback to help define the product as we continue to deliver Project Comet over the course of next year.

Collaborating to create Project Comet

Before announcing Project Comet, our team was fortunate to be able to spend time with some amazing UX designers based all over the world. These meetings helped to validate our ideas and give us early feedback on the combination of design, prototyping and sharing features.

While we love the positive reactions, we’re really interested in the insightful questions and constructive criticism that challenge our assumptions or explore the nuances of how a particular feature should work.

We’re actively using a private pre-release program to share alpha builds of Project Comet and get feedback on specific features. Over the coming weeks we’ll be expanding the program, so we can get more feedback in advance of our public beta. If you’re interested in collaborating with our team you can let us know you’re interested by completing this quick survey. If you’ve already applied then please be patient with us as we process applications and send invites out over the coming weeks.

Partnering closely with designers who are using the product is really important to us. In the coming months we’ll be adding public discussion forums and a public feature request/issue tracking system. We’ll also share the product roadmap so you can see and provide feedback on Comet’s future.

Early 2016 release

Early next year, we aim to deliver a public beta that contains the core of Project Comet’s end-to-end workflow for designing and prototyping user experiences, initially focused on mobile app design. While the exact feature set is subject to change based on feedback from our pre-release customers, we’re currently planning to provide:

  • Focused design and layout capabilities, including drawing, combining and editing shapes and paths, editing and styling text, working with gradients and shadowspathfinder_v7
  • Copying and pasting vector artwork from Illustrator and bitmap content from Photoshop into Project Comet, in addition to importing PNG, SVG, JPG and GIF images
  • Quick access to a set of common UI elements that can be used to accelerate design for mobile apps
  • Dedicated prototyping mode for defining interactive hotspots and transitions between artboards
  • Desktop-based preview mode for testing prototypes and seeing design changes in real-time
  • Built-in sharing that enables team members and clients to access your prototype in their browser on desktop or mobileSharing_v9_updated_URL-sm
  • Exporting artboards and assets ready for production use on web, iOS and Android
  • A simple way to discover features in Project Comet and become familiar with keyboard shortcuts for the most common tasks

Although this will be a beta, our team’s philosophy is to ensure that even at early stages of development, every feature meets the high quality and performance bars that we normally define for a final release. So we’re hopeful that while not every feature will be in the first beta, you’ll have a fast and productive experience using Comet.

We’re planning to follow the first public beta release with ongoing updates, on a monthly basis, that refine existing features based on your feedback and that continue to add new capabilities to the tool.

Coming later in 2016

Of course, we’re not stopping with the first public beta. We have much more in the works for Project Comet over the coming year.

Below are some areas that we know we want to make progress on after the public beta release:

  • Working directly with layers in a document
  • Reusability and sharing of design assets and styles, leveraging Creative Cloud libraries
  • Specific web design capabilities to aid responsive web design and CSS style creation
  • Going beyond screen-to-screen transitions, to include support for micro-interactions and animation of elements within an artboard
  • Previewing and making edits in real-time on connected mobile devices
  • Deeper workflows with both Photoshop and Illustrator, to make it easy to use the advanced capabilities of those tools in conjunction with Project Comet
  • Making it possible to use real-world data as part of the design
  • Being able to extend Project Comet via a JavaScript API, to support plug-ins and custom workflows

We’ll experiment with some of these ideas in the public beta and others in our private prerelease program (so that we can really drill into the details).

In addition to the above features, we’ve heard loud and clear that you want us to bring Project Comet to Windows as soon as possible. We want to retain our focus on the public beta for Mac OS for now, but plan on accelerating our efforts for Windows in 2016. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Keeping up to date

I hope that after reading this post you’re excited as we are about both the public beta and what’s to come after that. We want to build Project Comet with you, so please sign up to our email update list (we promise not to inundate you with email) to get the latest information and for opportunities to join one of our pre-release programs.

You can also follow us on Twitter @AdobeUX and talk with the team anytime using #ProjectComet. We love to hear from you.


This post was originally published on Medium

Experience Design (UX & UI)

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Join the discussion

  • By Marniks - 11:00 AM on December 15, 2015  

    Can’t wait to install the beta on my iMac and make my first layout. I expecialy hope the drawing functionality will be much better then Sketchpad.

    • By Andrew Shorten - 7:50 AM on January 13, 2016  

      Great to hear you’re excited about Project Comet. If you signed up for our pre-release we’ll be reaching to let you know if you’ve been invited over the next couple of weeks; even if not, it won’t be too long to wait for the public beta. Thanks, Andrew.

      • By Joey Castillo - 4:43 PM on January 13, 2016  

        Hey, Andrew how can I go about being part of the beta testing team? Current a UX/UI design director at Rosetta/Razorfish Global (Digital Agency, part of the Publicis) – Rosetta.com

  • By tyson - 6:42 AM on December 16, 2015  

    I’m so hyped for this….been following every news release (mainly from Designer News) and have high hopes for this new software….can’t wait to get my hands on it 🙂

    • By Andrew Shorten - 7:51 AM on January 13, 2016  

      Great to hear! Look forward to getting your feedback on Project Comet once you start using it. Thanks, Andrew.

  • By Zaperela - 9:40 AM on December 16, 2015  

    I’m super hyped as well! Can’t wait to give it a test drive.

  • By Somesh Kumar - 3:03 PM on December 16, 2015  

    Eagerly waiting for the Beta release! I hope that I can participate in the early access program.

    • By Andrew Shorten - 7:53 AM on January 13, 2016  

      If you signed up for our pre-release we’ll be reaching to let you know if you’ve been invited over the next couple of weeks; even if not, it won’t be too long to wait for the public beta. Thanks, Andrew.

  • By Chris - 3:45 AM on December 31, 2015  

    Shame its only for Apple, again…

    • By Douglas - 8:39 AM on January 11, 2016  

      What! THis is the first I have heard. I assumed it was cross platform and was finally giving me solution on my PC! Argh.

      • By Colene Chow - 8:59 AM on January 11, 2016  

        Mac first, but Windows is coming this year!

        • By Chris - 7:54 PM on January 12, 2016  

          Argh. The only reason I bought a Mac was to use Sketch. I can’t wait for Comet so I can go back to only one machine. The sooner, the better! Please!

  • By Christina - 12:24 PM on January 4, 2016  

    I am so excited for this cannot wait for its release and all the other software updates.

  • By Christian Baptiste - 1:29 PM on January 4, 2016  

    Art-boards versus Pages.

    While I cant wait to see and use this tool, I am curious if this tool is just going to be a alternative to Axure or if the goal is to also replace the design iteration stages as well. In other words will Adobe strive to give us a newer more powerful (interactive) version of Fireworks or are they still ignoring how powerful and needed FW is/was to us UX designers. One obvious question that I have is why is Adobe using art-boards versus pages. Pages naturally lend to both click through workflow (especially with master pages, and shared layers) and instant iteration of ideas where as art-boards are lacking in these two design goals.

    Thoughts?

    • By Wes H - 9:05 AM on January 11, 2016  

      Totally agree with this. There’s a big gap in the Adobe line without Fireworks, PS and Illustrator just don’t cut it for IxD workflows. I switched to Sketch + Axure when FW support was dropped. I don’t care for the artboards in Sketch though, just not natural for workflows.

    • By Elaine Finnell - 6:53 PM on January 11, 2016  

      We’re open to the concept, and some of our users have brought up master artboards and symbols to help with reusability.

      The question I’d ask you is: what functionality are you looking for?

      • By Ron Frank - 9:08 AM on January 13, 2016  

        To my way of thinking, pages are more static (typically bound along one edge). Artboards feel more freeing. Great for illustrating the flow of different processes within an app or website. I would love to see multiple master artboards though (like InDesign’s multiple master pages). Having certain elements that maintain their position as well as size and shape would be pretty excellent. (I’m thinking of navbars, status bars, etc.). Even the ability to change a grid on a master artboard would be very helpful.

  • By Robin - 8:37 PM on January 5, 2016  

    What package does it come with?
    At the moment I only have photography plan? Please advise.

    • By Elaine Finnell - 6:44 PM on January 11, 2016  

      Hi, Robin-

      We’re still working on the licensing structure. Our beta will be available for CC customers (both free and paid), so you should be fine.

      -Elaine

  • By Ivan - 1:21 AM on January 6, 2016  

    Disappointed that Comet will not be available for Windows…. Can not understand why big company like Adobe not launch this kind of products for both biggest OS….

    • By Elaine Finnell - 6:46 PM on January 11, 2016  

      Hi, Ivan-

      Pragmatically, it’s because we’re in the process of iteration, and it’s MUCH faster to iterate on one platform and get it right before bringing it to the second platform. If we have to fix mistakes on multiple platforms, it slows down innovation. That being said, we are definitely paying attention to the Windows market and haven’t forgotten our users. Hang tight!

      -Elaine

      • By Richard - 5:39 AM on January 12, 2016  

        The biggest problem I have with tools like this is that generally UX / UI designers like me work on Mac and developers work on PC. The handover from designer to developer becomes difficult when both platforms are not supported. I have had this issue recently with Sketch and as a result have been forced to drop it from my workflow.

        I am really looking forward to the release of Project Comet but will be unable to work with it until a PC version is developed.

        • By Chris - 7:55 PM on January 12, 2016  

          Same here. Windows ASAP please.

  • By Yorik - 8:14 AM on January 11, 2016  

    Only for MAC OS at first ? Tt’s a joke ?
    Really disappointing with that.

    I hope the beta for Windows coming very soon…

    • By Hayden Hancock - 8:20 AM on January 11, 2016  

      Cannot agree more. I think the reason they are focusing on OSx is because they are losing market share to Sketch.

      • By Eddie - 2:34 AM on January 12, 2016  

        What is Sketch? Similar to Comet? Please, any reference link?

        • By Ron Frank - 9:17 AM on January 13, 2016  

          You can google Sketch for Mac and it should pop up. It’s another application that competes in the same space as Comet. Personally, we love Illustrator so much that the benefits of moving to Sketch aren’t there for our group (we all used AI, then Fireworks for a while, then back to AI). Though Illustrator still falls quite short for app-design and that’s why we’re so excited for Comet (which looks like a natural tool to migrate to as well as use in conjunction with AI and Photoshop).

          As for developing for one platform instead of two, iteration a major reason — see above.

    • By Spencer - 11:03 AM on January 11, 2016  

      ditto.

  • By Roman - 8:30 AM on January 11, 2016  

    I’ve been using Adobe products on Windows (and only Windows) for more than 15 years, now you are telling there will be no Comet version available for Windows? What a shame.

    • By Colene Chow - 9:00 AM on January 11, 2016  

      Hi Roman, we’ll release our Beta in Mac first, followed by Windows later this year.

  • By Kelley Huston - 8:31 AM on January 11, 2016  

    Seriously? Only available for Mac? What is this, Adobe….1984???

    • By Ron Frank - 9:18 AM on January 13, 2016  

      It’s not going to be Mac only. Just Mac first.

  • By Alex - 8:42 AM on January 11, 2016  

    Excited for Comet, mainly because while I’m impressed with Sketch, I don’t like their “Mac only” philosophy. I can understand Adobe starting with Macs, but hope a Windows version will come shortly later. Would also like to see what the goal is in terms of CC offerings for Comet.

    I will probably join the irked and impatient Windows users though if it’s going to be a long period for a Windows version after the Mac release. In my book, a Windows version is the only way Comet will have a competitive edge over Sketch.

    • By Elaine Finnell - 6:49 PM on January 11, 2016  

      Hey, Alex-

      We’re definitely committed to Windows as a platform and understand that there’s a large chunk of our potential users that are on the platform. It was strictly a pragmatic decision on our part to iterate fast on one platform and then bring it (as a first class citizen) on the other, having messed around with everything from how each feature should work to how things should look. We’re definitely having conversations about Windows right now, so hang tight!

      -Elaine

  • By DCADS - 8:45 AM on January 11, 2016  

    As a .Net Dev I have zero interest in spending stupid money for a fashion item. Please look at releasing the Windows version at the same time (or before). You won’t get Sketch out of the market (it’s free and yours isn’t), so exploit the PC market.

    • By Ani - 12:39 PM on January 11, 2016  

      Sketch is not free. It’s cheap ($99), I agree, but not free. 🙂

      If you’re looking for a free app for UI design that could possibly replace Fireworks, and if you want the app to be cross-platform, try Gravit Designer — it’s true crossplatform (needs only a modern desktop browser to run and works equally well on Windows/Mac), and it’s free. In terms of features and tools, it’s quite close to Adobe Fireworks — powerful vector engine, Pen and Bezigon tool, auto shapes, compound shapes, many live filters, live gradients, masks, SVG support, a good Properties panel that is quite similar to the one in Fireworks/Sketch, and a lot more. The downside is that it does not offer yet good support for editing bitmaps (unlike Fireworks), has some bugs, and cannot work while you’re offline. Still, worth a try — it’s quite promising!

      As to Comet — if Comet was announced before Adobe announced the demise of Fireworks, things might have been different. However, even if Mac-only, too many designers switched to Sketch already because this was the only alternative to Fireworks. On Windows however, Fireworks is still the only app for UI designers out there… :-/ Photoshop or Illustrator can’t come even close to be UI design apps.

  • By Tael - 8:47 AM on January 11, 2016  

    When When When ? 😀

    • By Elaine Finnell - 6:54 PM on January 11, 2016  

      Haha! Soon! We’re still targeting our beta for early this year.

  • By Birdi - 8:49 AM on January 11, 2016  

    Can’t wait to try this out!

  • By Jessica - 9:00 AM on January 11, 2016  

    Really hoping this early launch includes support for desktop website designs- as the bulk of work done for agencies
    Also to fully be usable – needs to be supported on PC’s – even if it’s just for the Dev team to be able to export the assets they need for it

    • By Elaine Finnell - 6:54 PM on January 11, 2016  

      What type of support are you looking for? We’re definitely focusing on mobile at first, but we’re open to suggestions at this point as to what would make it easier to design desktop websites.

  • By Rehan Saiyed - 9:04 AM on January 11, 2016  

    Waiting to get hands on the beta test… I am using sketch with flinto, and i see this as a both in a single package!

  • By Sebastien Paris - 9:33 AM on January 11, 2016  

    Anyone knows if Adobe plans to release a tablet version of Comet, or will it be computers only?
    Being Adobe, I expect that Comet will go way beyond the Flinto, Marcel, Axure, invision of this world (mainly in feedback interactivity and motions)…..
    Can’t wait to get my hands dirty with it…

    • By Elaine Finnell - 7:00 PM on January 11, 2016  

      Right now we’re focusing on the desktop versions of the product, but we recognize that people are authoring on smaller devices. What platform are you hoping we’ll support in the future?

  • By Steven - 9:50 AM on January 11, 2016  

    This cannot get here soon enough.

  • By Martin - 9:53 AM on January 11, 2016  

    Thanks for the update. Expectations are high! 🙂

  • By Mark Drexler - 11:13 AM on January 11, 2016  

    Expectations are pretty high – honestly, this is the last chance for Adobe to keep me in the Adobe cloud plan 😉

    • By Michel - 12:10 PM on January 11, 2016  

      Last chance of keeping me with Adobe CC was Fireworks but they lost their chance in 2013… (I wrote about this in detail approx. two years ago.) To own such a great UI design app — Fireworks — and simply to kill it, even before trying to create a replacement app? Quite stupid, in my opinion. No wonder 90% of Fireworks users almost immediately switched to Sketch app (well, at least those who were on a Mac already).

      Comet might be or might be not the next Fireworks but I think the chance was lost — Sketch users won’t go back now.

  • By Jasmine - 12:48 PM on January 11, 2016  

    What capacity for web-based prototype sharing and remote user testing will Project Comet have?

    • By Elaine Finnell - 6:58 PM on January 11, 2016  

      Hey, Jasmine-

      What are you looking for? While we’re quickly settling on what our 1.0 looks like, we’re constantly building out a vision for how our product will grow. 🙂

      -Elaine

  • By Tim - 1:30 PM on January 11, 2016  

    I am excited about this product, but very interested to see if the complexity of interactions and behaviors will replace axure or more inline with inVision’s capabilities.

  • By Clement - 1:38 PM on January 11, 2016  

    Really looking forward to add some skills to my design background with this promising tool

  • By Carl - 1:11 AM on January 12, 2016  

    Cant wait to use it. Hurry up Adobe! Looks great.

  • By Pierrick Letos - 3:02 AM on January 12, 2016  

    Will Comet be able to export clean HTML/CSS ?

  • By Alexander - 3:24 AM on January 12, 2016  

    How about layout and baseline grids?

  • By KAREN - 4:20 AM on January 12, 2016  

    Would be good to get a confirmation of whether this is a tool to design mobile apps only or whether it’s for all web based devices – from this discussion thread it seems to be implying it won’t be set up for different device sizes in the beta at least?

  • By Michael Baggelin - 4:37 AM on January 12, 2016  

    Really eager to get this up and running… waiting waiting and waiting… hey it looks like Corel Draw a little 😉

  • By David - 11:26 AM on January 12, 2016  

    I upgraded to OS X El Capitan and Fireworks is now constantly crashing. Comet couldn’t come quickly enough. Photoshop and Illustrator just don’t cut it for UX / UI design and Sketch is only available for Mac.

    As a designer working with 3rd party development teams I think it’s really important that Comet becomes something that everybody can access, whether or not they’re using a Mac or a PC.

    In my opinion, for Comet to be successful it shouldn’t rely too heavily on users also having other tools like photoshop and Illustrator for basic bitmap and vector editing. This is where Fireworks was so good as a stand alone UI design tool. For 99% of tasks it just got the job done with no bother at all. Dev teams don’t have to purchase the entire suite just to see our designs.

    I do like the concept of artboards when linking up interactive prototypes as you can set out your pages in a logical manner and see how everything links up. However, when jumping between screens and working on intricate design, I think that something similar to Firework’s page view would be better as you click between pages. You’ll be able to make sure that commonly placed elements aren’t out of align between screens as you’ll always see the page at the same scale and position on the screen. I wonder if these could be combined somehow so that you can select the view you prefer…

    I will really miss Fireworks when the time comes to let it go (It won’t hang on much longer). I don’t think I can switch to Photoshop or Illustrator for UI/UX work, I’d end up going crazy, so I would naturally lean towards Sketch.

    The Comet team seem to be listening to the web community and are keen to make this an app that we will love. I just really hope that the Comet team are listening to Fireworks users, especially those who have moved over to Sketch and other similar products out there. From what I can see, Comet looks like everything we’ve been waiting for it’ll be interesting to see how the next year plays out for them.

    Do us proud!

  • By JerellKuo - 11:27 PM on January 13, 2016  

    Any idea of Comet will be able to export HTML/CSS/minimum JS ?