Lessons from Creative Pros: The Future of Creative Tools Is Both Powerful and Intuitive

by Patrick Faller

posted on 11-29-2017

To keep up with the next generation of digital creatives, the next generation of creative apps must be as intuitive as they are powerful. App creators have an opportunity to “democratize” creativity, using advances in mobile technology, and design top-shelf tools that make it much easier and more enjoyable to create than before.

It’s a responsibility Adobe is taking very seriously. New apps like Adobe XD, Adobe Spark, and Lightroom CC have been designed to be intuitive at every turn. At Adobe MAX 2017, these apps were on full display, as were a host of speakers and users passionate about extending these tools to anyone who wants to express themselves creatively. We asked them to share their thoughts on this creative app revolution, and why it’s important to “democratize creativity” in this new digital age.

Lower barriers to entry, more points of view.

To open up creative tools to more groups of people, it’s important to lower the barriers to entry. Cost is a factor, but so is how easy or difficult it is to use a creative tool. MAX speaker and Adobe Principal Digital Imaging Evangelist Julieanne Kost says there are a few key ways app developers have been simplifying design tools while retaining their technological power.

“A more common language is always really important, so I think we’ve done that through Lightroom Mobile by changing up the name of some of tools. We have a light edit stack and a color edit stack, so people know what they’re looking for if they want to change the light in an image. It becomes much easier for them to get where they want to go,” she said.

Julieanne Kost on the stage at Adobe MAX 2017.

For Kost, the benefits of opening up creative tools to more people is immensely positive for society. Increasingly, thanks to AI technology, websites and social media providers are curating what we see and interact with online based on our own interests. By opening up creative tools to new segments of users, she says it allows more people to express themselves and portray their points of view.

“It allows so many additional voices to be heard, so the more we can get technology that’s streamlined and intuitive into people’s hands, then the more voices we can hear from, and the more photography we can see, the more different viewpoints we can be exposed to.”

Fostering creativity and empowering small business owners.

For business owners with an itch to be creative, tools need to be easy-to-use and fit into their workflows. Tami Ulrich is a social media consultant who works mostly with “solopreneurs.” She’s seen — first hand — the way that easy-to-access, easy-to-use creative tools have changed the lives of her clients.

“They are kind of scared of those high-end, professional tools. They see a huge learning curve in there, they get intimidated, and I think that’s where tools, like Adobe Spark, bridge that gap. And I think it’s important for all of us to be able to express ourselves, in whatever way possible. It means people can be heard and you can put something out there,” said Ulrich.

Adobe Spark announces expanded features at Adobe MAX 2017.

Chari Pack is a perfect example of the new creative entrepreneur. She runs Persnickety Prints, a printing company, and is a big advocate for the democratization of creative tools. She uses Adobe Spark to create social media graphics, pages (through Spark Page), and videos.

“A lot of people look around online and think ‘I can’t do that.’ I would hope that people would give these technologies a chance, and not be afraid of them. Hopefully, with the capabilities of using these tools on a phone, they will be less intimidating,” said Chari Pack.

For Pack, managing her company’s social media comes directly from her, and using creative tools to stand out has been essential for her success.

MAX master class takeaway — the future of creative tools is for everyone.

App developers are creating the next generation of creative tools to be easier-to-use while retaining their power. As technology like mobile devices has become more accessible, the opportunity for individuals to express themselves creatively and use design to their advantage has grown. And that’s a good thing.

“We’re all creative. So many people say they’re not creative, but they are. They just need to find the way to channel that out. The easier it is to do, the more you’re going to do it. Once they have access to a tool, like Spark, with a low barrier to entry, they realize ‘wow, maybe I am creative,’” said Ulrich.

“Anything that allows us to communicate more efficiently, and more honestly with other people is a good thing,” added Kost.

Every year, Adobe MAX brings the world’s best creative minds together to learn, share, create, connect, and play. Stay tuned for more lessons from the event’s creative pros, and head over to Adobe MAX’s website for more information.

Topics: Creativity, Design

Products: Creative Cloud