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Getting Maxed Out (In the Best Way) at Adobe Max

Cool beans y’all. I get to be at Adobe Max this year. For three days I get to attend sessions about Adobe products as well as some classes that are only about the creative field. Not only is going to this event considered “work”, I am also learning and being amongst my community of creative folks. In other words, I am high five-ing a million angels right now.

Adobe Max is a well-organized event. It’s only been the first day of three, but so far so good. The day opened with a keynote about some of the new products Adobe has to offer, some that are already on the market place and, of course, some that are on the horizon. It was pretty impressive. I have always taken Adobe for granted as my Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and Dreamweaver maker peeps. They shouldn’t be forgotten, though, as they are moving fast and hard to really innovate. With these new offerings, anyone with a little design software knowledge can go far. As for creative professionals like me, we can see our talents and skills go even further and that’s exciting and unbelievably inspiring.

Looks it's me representing at Adobe Max

Look! Here I am representing at Adobe Max.

Adobe Muse

It’s always good to see art and digital come together, rather than the frustration I’m sure many creative folks have with technology. You might have an amazing vision to create something without the technical chops. What’s a person to do then? It’s basically the equivalent of a gifted fashion designer without the know-how to create, cut and sew their vision into reality.

With Adobe Muse you are able to create beautifully designed and simple websites easily. I wouldn’t recommend this type of application for large sites, of course. This is for your average small page count marketing or promotional type sites. It’s also not there with blogging tool integration.

However, Muse is still a very powerful tool. You are able to set up a site in a very “print-orientated way.” Simply set master templates and styles and then apply them to pages.

Here’s one cool tip. With its savvy integration with Photoshop, you can lay out a site design in Photoshop, export the layers as separate elements and then place these elements in Muse. It is like a quick slicing tool. (I really could have used a quick slicing tool back in the day.)

You can also embed Edge animate files into Muse and make cool rollovers and transitions. Not too shabby. I’m sure it’s only the beginning of the possibilities and we’ll see more innovation in time.

Edge Reflow

Responsive, responsive, smishponsive. It’s all the rage y’all, although I’m sure the concept of digital content being attractive across many devices is not a new desire. Usually, building a responsive site is a best practice. This notion of “responsive design” is the “new thing”, but I think it will soon be a part of web design in general rather than a separate idea or approach. So, it’s good to get into the tools that will make this easier!

Introducing Edge Reflow. With this piece of software, designers can create beautiful sites that work across any device and, even better, its output will be a great way to show these designs in action. It even introduces new possibilities for changing the way you prototype and show designs to clients, not to mention the ease of translation for development, from creative to engineering. I’m looking forward to playing around with this to get comfortable and familiar with it. I know there will be a little bit of a learning curve, but I have one more session planned at Adobe Max that will give a bit more detail on Edge Reflow’s features and how to use it in a real workflow. So, that will be helpful.

Something that has yet to be produced to be shipped, but you should keep an eye out for, are a couple of hardware products from Adobe. One is a stylus that is connected to the creative cloud, dubbed Project Mighty.

Project Mighty

This “pen” records your actions and saves them in the cloud. This is pretty great from a, “hey I can draw something on my tablet and then edit it later on my computer at home”, perspective. Beyond that, it’s a fantastic tool for people like me who like to quickly sketch out ideas when pen and paper might not be the best or safest option. However, I’m not sure I could or would ever give up hand sketching a concept before jumping in digitally.

I also have to say it’s pretty cool to be in this field during the age when so many creative tools are available for everyone to use and explore. While this might create a new class of amateur and often poorly-executed site designs. I think it is more important that it creates a class of inspired people. That being said, I am so happy to be able to go to Adobe Max this year and can’t wait to learn more!

Did you attend Adobe Max? What did you like most and least at the event?

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