Adobe Design Lab

Overview

As the leader of Adobe's Design Lab, I guided a talented team of visual and motion designers, audio engineers, front-end developers, and AI developers from concept to production. I confidently led the product cycles, user research, market validation, and prototyping phases and delivered the projects to Adobe product teams for public release.

My contribution

Team leader Product strategy Product design

The team

3 脳 product designers 2 脳 engineers 1 x AI product designer

Year

2017 - 2019

Approach

Here are three projects that the team invented and delivered to the market.

1/3. Adobe Premier Pro's VR Editing

VR content creation has attracted a variety of creators, from Bjork to documentary filmmakers. However, editing spatial sound in 3D spaces presented a challenge, as traditional tools were not designed for this type of editing.

To address this need, Yaniv de Ridder, a design lead on my team, spearheaded a project to create SonicScape, which was then integrated into Premier Pro. This tool visualizes audio directionality while editing 360 video by drawing a heatmap of sounds coming from each direction and coloring the user interface based on the sound's origin.

SonicScape was jointly developed with Adobe Research's Stephen DiVerdi, and it allows VR editors to visualize sound in 3D. TechCrunch by Frederic Lardinois described it as,

"鈥ngenious: you simply visualize the sound right in the 3D space". TechCrunch
From left to right, Michael Cragg, Yaniv de Ridder and Silka Sietsma colleagues try out new 360 editing techniques.

At Adobe鈥檚 MAX conference Yaniv de Ridder and Michael Cragg presented a demo of SonicScape 聽that would become a feature in Premier Pro.

2/3. Adobe XD's Repeat Grid

Will Ruby, a talented engineer and designer on my team, added a snapping feature to Repeat Grid. These features are among the most innovative of Adobe XD. He even experimented with machine learning features and originally created Quick Layout, a project that explored alternative interactions for 2D layout for non-designers.

Quick Layout allows for easy direct manipulation of the grid and assets, as well as intelligent snapping, which enables quick division of a page into visually related sections. Danielle Morimoto presented Quick Layout at MAX, and it was very well received.

"Repeat Grid. This magical button that turns any group of elements into a grid that repeats those objects.鈥
Designmodo

3/3: Photoshop Camera App

Adobe's AI research team presented us with a challenge:

What if we could bring the magic of Photoshop to the phone camera? Could AI-powered features give people more creative expression?

Could we help them imagine the world around them in an exciting new way, collaborate, and remix lens filters? We didn't want to create another AR social app. Instead, we envisioned an app that would help people develop their unique creative expression with the ease of pressing a button. Yanling He did an outstanding job creating hundreds of filters and app functionality.

Today, the Adobe Camera app is an Editor's Choice in the Apple App Store!

"Adobe鈥檚 goal was to 鈥渂ring the magic of Photoshop directly to your camera鈥檚 viewfinder.鈥
Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis, told The Verge

Achievements

  • Created SonicScape, pioneering VR sound editing in 3D.
  • Added game-changing grid/snapping to Adobe XD.
  • Kicked-off the popular Photoshop Camera app.
  • Expanded accessibility through new interactions.
  • Spearheaded boundary-pushing innovations in AR, VR and AI interactions.

I'm privileged to have worked with a brilliant, dedicated team who drove innovations and inspired others.