Last month (Oct 15 — Oct 17), I attended Adobe Max Conference 2018 which took place in Los Angeles, CA. Out of many other conferences that I’ve attended so far that have inspired and motivated me to open up my laptop and start doing things, this one taught me something particularly different.
The design tools are once again, evolving. They are trying to help designers to become more and more creative by introducing things like voice interaction in prototypes, making it easier to utilize 3D & augmented reality with flexibility with automation as well as quick adoption
Before I begin — shameless to say, I hardly ever have the chance to utilize Adobe products at work. Most of the designs are done in Sketch and I use prototyping tools like using Origami, Framer, Invision and Principle but not Adobe XD so much.
“Why did you even decide to go to the conference then?”
Well, I was creatively hungry. And I knew Adobe MAX was the right conference for that. I wanted to get inspired and feel the vibe from the creative tools as well as by seeing some of the work from talented designers all around the world. I considered it a healthy break from what I do day to day just to get some inspiration 🙂
But, I did have one goal in mind — “let’s try to learn more about 3D and Augmented Reality.” Personally, I was aware of the tools such as Adobe Dimension and Project Aero which I wanted to learn more about. Therefore, I signed up mostly for those types of sessions.
“Why 3D and Augmented Reality?”
Hmm.. I don’t know. Like I said, I’m just curious about that space which I didn’t really get a lot of chances to explore and try out. My inner self is forcing me to learn something about those emerging areas of design and technology. I believe it’s like a natural thing for designers to be curious about these cool stuff…
Anyways, here are my three biggest takeaways. From the keynotes, sessions and workshops, there were so many amazing demos and explanations of the advancement of the tools that Adobe currently has. From time to time, as presenters showcased proudly of their work and the progress they’ve made, I could hear designers being dazzled and wow’ed by what the tools are capable of doing and how that would fit into their normal day-to-day design jobs.
There are some great resources I linked at the bottom of this article as well if you want to check out more in detail of what happened during Adobe MAX 2018. However, for this article, I want to highlight the three main personal takeaways that really resonated with me.
#1. Adobe’s investment in 3D & Augmented Reality tools
Nowadays, there are so many types of designers with diverse domain expertise, products they work on and the tools they use day to day. While some of the popular design roles are called UX/Product Designers, mostly focused around web and mobile experiences, there are also 3D and AR (or VR) designers that have been emerging very quickly.
Sometimes, getting started in 3D, AR (and VR) is not so easy. According to what I’ve seen and heard from the session, Adobe is putting a lot of effort into making this first step easier for designers who want to get involved. There’s a lot of built-in stuff that you can already play around with, there’s no coding involved and also, it is fairly easy to start. Thanks to the automated setup processes as well as the magical linkings of assets through different Adobe products (i.e Photoshop), it’s amazing how you can turn 2D design files into 3D and to AR.
This type of tool-friendliness opens up the door for more opportunities. By making the tools easily approachable for designers, it generally has a positive influence on the overall industry and to the students. With lowered barrier to entrance, designers can start utilizing these to shape their product ideas and turn them into life. Furthermore, there are ample opportunities to explore, come up with new interactions and amazing ideas with these new tools.
Based on the pool of users who begin to love Adobe products and come back to use them, Adobe is in a good situation to collect data of how they use their tools. This is a very important point because it helps Adobe to understand what the needs and pain points are so that those findings influence the decision in developing more useful features available for these creatives. It’s a great way to get ahead of the game in the industry as well.