AMA: The team behind Adobe's design system, Spectrum

over 2 years ago from Shawn Cheris, Director of Experience Design - Brand & Experience

  • Jamie Diamond, over 2 years ago

    Just starting to look at this, and it looks wonderful.

    How do you plan on scaling this system to high-density professional applications, where breathing room isn't a luxury, like the production suite apps, and even the likes of some of the high-impact creative apps (Photoshop/Illustrator)?

    4 points
    • Shawn Cheris, over 2 years ago

      Great question.

      First, We've already applied a lot of Spectrum elements like colors to our flagship apps like Photoshop and Illustrator, and obviously those apps are more dense and have different needs. But if you look at how those apps looked five years ago and today, the Spectrum influence will be unmistakeable. We're looking at a second round of work on those apps now and those teams are doing a ton of work to make them ready for bigger UI shifts.

      But we're also investing as a company in new apps like Photoshop for iPad, Lightroom CC, Premiere Rush, and other apps that we announced at MAX last year. These apps have a lot of the power of their traditional desktop counterparts, but from their inception, the overall organization of the app has been considered with Spectrum in mind. We're using a lot more progressive disclosure and modality instead of just throwing every panel in the world at you all the time.

      Xd is like this, too... the property inspector in Xd only ever shows you what you need at any given moment. So even though there's a ton of power there, we're selective about what you see and when.

      From the beginning, Spectrum was designed to not only give us a North Star to aim for with new apps (some of which you're seeing now), it also considered what we'd need to do to start modernizing our existing flagship apps.

      2 points
    • Garth BraithwaiteGarth Braithwaite, over 2 years ago

      One of the benefits of systemizing design is that it allows us to introduce various “levers” we can turn on and off for multiple purposes. One thing we’re working on is the option of density for our components, which would allow products that need to utilize more screen real estate to do so where appropriate.

      1 point
    • Garth BraithwaiteGarth Braithwaite, over 2 years ago

      There are 3rd party developers who are working on plugins for Photoshop and Illustrator who have been requesting this in Spectrum CSS on this GitHub issue.

      1 point