July 06, 2008

Phil Clevenger on the Lightroom UI

Lightroom marketing manager/former Combat Photojournalist Frederick Johnson has posted an informative 12-minute interview with Phil Clevenger, Lightroom interface designer/KPT veteran.  Phil talks about the challenges of starting with a blank slate & establishing an interaction language; the pros and cons of modality; Lightroom’s unique model for applying parametric local corrections; and much more.  I fount it well worth a look.


(Tangentially: Both Frederick and Phil show up among Kelly Castro’s portraits (aka Project Make Mild-Mannered Software Peeps Look Hardass), now featured on the Adobe Design Center.)

Posted by John Nack at 10:22 PM on July 06, 2008


  • Doug Nelson — 1:53 AM on July 07, 2008

    It’s hard to believe the same designer is behind both the infuriating Metacreations interfaces and the elegant Lightroom interface.

  • JimHere — 6:27 AM on July 07, 2008

    He worked on the Kai/Bryce stuff? I knew it!
    I know I’m the only poster who thinks LRs UI is like a silly video game, but this explains alot. If only the photos, not the (admittedly) pretty UI could be the focus. Instead we have an interface that would work on one of those CSI shows — LR is the star, not the work displayed there.
    I’m a huge fan of sci-fi-ui, but not for real work. Luckily for him, most people love it.

  • Jeffrey Friedl — 8:43 AM on July 07, 2008

    Uh, Jim, if you want the photos to be more of a focus than the pretty UI, take better photos.

  • Shawn — 2:03 PM on July 07, 2008

    Come on Jeffrey Friedl, don’t be like that. Let’s make fun of your photos too while we are at it. Lightroom is not always for fixing bad photos. Actually, it’s used more for many other reasons. But the UI should be suited for the user, not the person standing behind them watching. I would rather it be more like Photoshop and less like Bryce and Photoshop Express. I guess my pictures must suck since I don’t like the UI.

  • Erland Flaten — 2:29 PM on July 14, 2008

    A detail in the inteface I would like to point out is that there is to many lines in the UI of Lightroom. To many lines to separate things that doesnt need separation.

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