Adobe has announced the general availability of real-time customer data platform (CDP) features, new governance capabilities and new cross-channel personalization methods. These updates to Adobe Experience Platform will allow users to pull together customer data from across the enterprise in real-time.
Why we should care
Delivering a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints and interactions can be a challenging feat for marketers working with fragmented data and complicated governance structures. Marketers know that they need to establish a single view of each customer, but many brands struggle to leverage that view to deliver advantageous experiences.
“Customer experience is the new battleground for business. Brands must close the gap between the customer, channels they live and the experience they expect,” said Suresh Vittal, vice president of Adobe Experience Cloud. “Adobe Experience Platform is built to give brands the ability to have a single view of each customer, without the pain of decoding complex interactions across digital and physical touchpoints.”
More on the news
Additional updates to the Adobe Experience Platform
Real-time personalization at scale. Brands can leverage Adobe’s Real-Time CDP to join known and unknown customer data to activate customer profiles across channels.
Adobe seeks to help bridge the gap between marketing and IT teams to bring together disparate data sets and achieve a holistic customer view.
Photoshop-inspired analytics: Also now generally available, Customer Journey Analytics brings a set of analytics tools to the omnichannel data in Adobe Experience Platform.
Adobe Sensei, AI and machine learning technology can be used to automate heavy analysis and for predictive modeling.
About The Author
Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Adobe is developing live-streaming features that are built directly into its Creative Cloud apps, the company announced at its annual Adobe Max creativity conference. A beta version of the feature is currently available to a whitelisted group of users on Adobe Fresco. The feature gives users the option to go live and share a link for anyone online to watch and comment on their streams.
Chief product officer Scott Belsky compared the experience to Twitch but with an educational component that could filter videos for users who want to learn how to use specific tools.
“When you see a live stream of someone in our products, you want to know what tool they’re using — when they use the tool and when they stop using it — almost like a form of the waveform of video,” Belsky told The Verge. “But imagine a waveform related to what tools people are using, and imagine being able to source all live streams that have ever been done in a particular product, by a particular tool, to be able to learn how people are doing something.”
Adobe currently features artists on Adobe Live, a live stream that’s available on Behance and YouTube for viewers online to watch artists at work. Live streams can often run as long as three hours, and the company says the average watch time on any video on Adobe Live is over 66 minutes. Some streams also show a tool timeline, seen above, that tracks which tools were used throughout an artist’s workflow.
Adobe’s live-streaming feature aims to be more useful than just watching a video on YouTube. “Designers say they learned by sitting next to designers, not by going to design school as much. We just need to enable that on a massive scale,” Belsky says. “It also makes our products viral.”
Adobe is previewing a bunch of experimental features that could one day come to its apps, including several that use AI to manipulate images and audio.
The features were revealed during Adobe’s Sneaks event last night at the company’s annual Max creativity conference, and this year, the features made heavy use of the Adobe’s Sensei AI platform. Sneaks is where apps like Adobe Fresco and features like content-aware fill were first previewed, so there’s a good chance that some of these tools may appear in a Creative Cloud app near you in the future.
Comedian John Mulaney hosted the event this year and served as a guinea pig for Adobe’s researchers to demonstrate the new features. Among the experiments was a feature called Go Figure, which automatically tracks a person’s movement and can translate that into quick animations. Check out the videos below to see which features might be worth looking forward to and which ones should make you cower in fear of the growing power of AI. You can also read the Adobe blog for a full list of the features.
Somewhere along the way of adding powerful new AI features that may open up paths for misinformation, Adobe is realizing its own role and responsibility for managing these features. About Face analyzes the pixels of an image, showing a heat map of which ones have been edited, then it reveals a probability that the image may have been manipulated. Right now, the tool is being developed to focus on the manipulation of faces, hence the name.
All In is for those moments when you’re taking a group photo, but you still want to be a part of the shot. With this feature, you can take two photos — one where you’re behind the camera and one where you’re in the photo — and use Sensei to blend the two together to get you in the frame.
Matching up dialogue with animated characters’ lip movements is usually a tedious process. Sweet Talk lets you identify character faces in photos and paintings and match up their facial expressions and mouth movements to an audio file.
Sound Seek can identify repetitive sounds like “ums” and “uhs” from a person’s speech and remove all of the unwanted filler words in just a click.
Awesome Audio is a feature for Adobe Audition, the company’s audio editing app, that’s supposed to take out distracting environmental noises and make amateur recordings sound like they were made with a professional microphone. It can also take out excessive reverb and echo, reducing degradation and cleaning up audio with one click.
Adobe Asset Link, the extension that connects Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) assets to the Adobe Creative Cloud, has added a new integration designed to streamline creative production. With the new update, users can use Asset Link to directly link their AEM assets to InDesign, creating more efficient collaboration between marketers and creatives on digital and print projects.
Why we should care
The feature is beneficial for marketers and creatives who use the Adobe Experience Manager as both a DAM and content management system (CMS). For cross-functional teams that share access to the Experience Manager, the integration with InDesign can help support more efficient branding efforts between marketers and designers.
By having a clean integration between the two platforms, it eliminates some of the back-and-forth headaches that both sides face when dealing with high-volume creative output. Over time, the direct linking capability can help speed up the process of delivering relevant content to market, which means marketers can focus more time on building high-quality customer experiences at a faster rate.
More on the news. Designers can take advantage of the integration through the “Asset Link” panel in InDesign. From there, you can search the Adobe Experience Manager library to find assets by keywords or version history shared with the team.
Likewise, marketers who are on the Experience Manager side will be able to access, comment on, and share up-to-date assets with designers as they are updated and saved in InDesign.
About The Author
Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.
Adobe has announced a new app in Photoshop Camera. As its name implies, Camera leverages Adobe’s image processing chops to apply effects to photos in real time, ostensibly circumventing the need to use the company’s other software to add them after the fact.
There are roughly a billion other apps that already do stuff like this, but Adobe’s take is apparently built on the company’s Sensei AI platform and can recognize a bunch of Photoshop-type stuff like dynamic range and tonality in real time to make better adjustments. The app also saves a copy of the photo without any adjustments applied, so you don’t have to worry about taking multiple photos of a single scene.
You can sign up for early access to the app now at photoshopcamera.com. Adobe says limited slots are available, so you might not make it in. If you sign up and don’t get access, you’ll get an email when the app publicly hits the Play Store.
The long-awaited Photoshop for iPad is available to download today, and to keep the momentum going, Adobe is announcing that it’s also developing Illustrator for the iPad, to be released by the end of 2020. The vector graphics program has been optimized for the tablet and features core Illustrator tools like paths and typography, in addition to some new tools developed specifically for the touch experience.
Similar to how Photoshop on the iPad has its Cloud PSD files, Illustrator on the iPad will have Cloud .AI files that can be synced across Creative Cloud and opened from either the desktop or iPad. Cloud documents can be downloaded to the device and made available offline, so you can continue to work on your files in situations where you don’t have Wi-Fi, like on airplanes.
Illustrator for iPad has been in the works for a while, according to Adobe senior product marketing manager Wayne Hoang. “We’ve been thinking about bringing vector capabilities to the iPad for a long time. [Some of the features have] just been waiting for the hardware to catch up so we can actually implement them,” he says. The app is a combined effort between the core Illustrator team and designers who have worked on Adobe’s other new iPad apps, like the painting and illustration app Fresco.
Unlike most of Adobe’s previous iPad apps — like Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw, which were considered “lite” mobile apps — Illustrator for iPad represents the next phase of the nearly 30-year-old software. “Some of this you’ll find similar to the way we talked about Photoshop on the iPad — it’s full fidelity,” senior director of design Eric Snowden says. But like Photoshop on the iPad, designers shouldn’t expect a full mirror of the desktop app on the iPad version.
Adobe has been busy ushering in a new era of mobile-focused apps this year, releasing Photoshop for iPad, Fresco, and Project Aero all just in the past few months. With an increased focus on bringing more of its apps to tablets, Adobe is selling the idea that its products can be versatile enough to evolve with the devices its customers use. Its hope is that Illustrator for iPad will be a companion to people who use the new Photoshop and Fresco apps. “If someone has all three of these products, how are they greater than the sum of their parts? How do we make those workflows really seamless?” Snowden says.
There’s no pricing information yet, but if pricing for Fresco and Photoshop for iPad are any indication, Illustrator for iPad could be included as part of a Creative Cloud subscription, and offered at a standalone monthly price for non-Creative Cloud subscribers.
I was shown a beta version of the app in a preview demo, and though it won’t be available for another year, I was impressed with how complete it felt. The UI is similar to the other mobile-focused apps Adobe released this year, like Fresco and Photoshop, which was an intentional choice. The app is designed in a way so users don’t necessarily have to be Illustrator pros to use it, with contextual menus that automatically pop up depending on which tool you’re using.
“When you think about the desktop, you have all these panels, there’s like 23 different panels,” Hoang says. On the iPad, “everything is just simplified.” There are tools unique to a tablet device, like photo masks, or that haven’t yet arrived on the desktop version, like Symmetry, which lets you live draw with a mirror effect. Here are some of the best and biggest features that’ll be available on Illustrator for iPad:
The pen tool, used for creating vectors, is Illustrator’s most powerful tool, but also one of the trickiest to master on the desktop program. There’s a challenging learning curve because it requires holding down certain keys for fine-tuning points and lines, like when you want to move Bézier handles. On the iPad version, the pen tool has been rethought in the context of a touch device so you can work without a keyboard. There’s an on-screen button called the touch modifier, which acts as a keyboard shortcut. It’s contextually related to whichever tool you’re using at the moment, so you can hold it down to switch to the sub-tool options.
Like a cursor, tapping different points will produce straight lines; holding and dragging will produce the curves. Anchor points will be added or deleted automatically when you click on a part of the path, switching between the Direct Selection and Selection tools seamlessly, and pixels can be adjusted manually down to the exact number in a side panel. “We wanted to make sure that while it felt quick and fast and easy to use, that we didn’t sacrifice precision,” Snowden says.
Point gradient, or freeform gradient as it’s called on the desktop, is a relatively new feature to Illustrator that was first introduced last year. The tool allows you to apply gradients on an unlimited number of color points. “Especially with the Apple Pencil and touch, this tool just makes a ton of sense,” Snowden says.
One of the standout features of the iPad app, construction guides take a sketch from an imported photo and use Adobe’s AI Sensei platform to find the underlying shapes and automatically trace the lines. It’s similar to the Image Trace feature in the desktop version, but much more intuitive. “It’s not creating a million different points, it’s creating exactly the number of points you need,” Snowden says. “The idea is we take that drawing and we get you 90 percent of the way there. Then as the creative, you can go in and finesse that and tweak all those different things.”
Pattern and Radial repeat
Illustrator is great for making patterns and letting artists quickly create seamless designs. There are dedicated tools for creating both Pattern and Radial repetitions, with a “spacing properties” panel on the side that lets you customize the effect with different overrides for changing the size and shape of things.
Symmetry allows for creating mirrored shapes that are connected to each other, and users can also make live edits that are reflected on the other side. Symmetry doesn’t yet exist on the desktop app — there are workarounds to do this on the desktop through multistep processes or third-party plug-ins, but it’s one of the most requested features in Illustrator.
It’ll be coming to desktop later, though, which shows how development for the iPad has informed decisions for Illustrator on the desktop as well. “We’re thinking hard about, ‘how can what we learn on the iPad be transferred back to the desktop, and how can the innovations on the desktop come back and forth?’,” Snowden says.
Clipping masks make use of the iPad’s camera feature, letting users fill vectors with imported photos from the camera roll or ones taken on the spot. “A lot of the stuff we’re trying to do is about taking things that take several steps right now, and just minimize them as much as possible,” Snowden says. You’ll notice there’s also a “Construction guides” toggle that pops up, which when switched on, will auto trace whatever’s in the photo.
The app makes use of Adobe’s fonts library, which has over 17,000 fonts. That’s a lot of fonts to be searching through on an iPad, though, so users can filter by classifications like serifs, or search fonts by natural descriptors like the kind of mood a font conveys.
Introduced as DeepFont in 2016 at the Adobe Max Sneaks keynote where experimental features are previewed, Unoutline Text is another impressive feature that uses Sensei to identify fonts. Designers will often run into issues where they’re given an image with type that’s been outlined, and they need to find which font it is in order to edit the text. Unoutline Text can analyze and find the font (as long as it’s available in Adobe’s font library), and let designers edit the text, kind of like Shazam for type.
Adobe XD, the design prototyping software, is introducing a coediting feature in beta today that lets users work with other designers in real time. Coediting allows users to work in the same document in Creative Cloud, so team members can collaborate on projects without doubling up on files.
Users will be able to see when other teammates are working on the document, and see what artboards and objects they’re currently editing. It’s basically like Google Docs for user experience design, and also happens to be the same core feature that Adobe XD competitor Figma is known for, with its Multiplayer editing.
Users can choose to opt in to the feature and enable co-editing on cloud documents, which will allow them to invite teammates to start editing. Work is automatically saved in cloud documents periodically, and there’s also a documents history tab that shows previous versions. Document history is saved for up to 30 days, and there’s a neat feature that lets you bookmark and rename specific versions. Bookmarking is especially useful for keeping track of big milestones, like if you make a significant change in a design project.
Adobe XD is also introducing a new Share mode which lets users create web links to their work. Projects can be set to different sharing presets depending on the use case, such as design reviews, development hand-off presentations, and user testing. Like Google Docs, users can manage access permissions and password protect their work.
Coediting will be included in all plan levels. Users on paid plans will have unlimited access to all sharing and collaboration features, while users on the free XD starter plan will have the same unlimited access until April 2020. For more details, you can read about more Adobe XD updates here.
Customers in Venezuela can now access Adobe services, like Photoshop and Illustrator, again after the company obtained a license from the US government to continue operating in the country. The announcement comes after a tumultuous month in which the company first notified Venezuelan customers that their accounts would be deactivated in order to comply with a US executive order that prohibits trade with the country.
“After discussions with the US government, we’ve been granted a license to provide all of our Digital Media products and services in Venezuela. With this update, we’re sharing that users can continue to access the Creative Cloud and Document Cloud portfolio, and all of their content, as they did before,” the announcement reads.
Adobe originally stated that free services like Behance would be inaccessible, and the order prohibited them from issuing refunds. The company updated its policies two days later to say that Venezuelans could continue to access Behance and that refunds would be issued by the end of the month. Adobe had listed October 28th as the last day for Venezuelans to back up the files on their Creative Cloud accounts, but according to the updated support document, those accounts will now be getting an additional 90 days of free service as an apology for the inconvenience. For users who already canceled their accounts and received refunds, Adobe says it will be contacting them in mid-November with information on renewing their subscriptions.
Today’s announcement comes right after last Friday’s report that 7.5 million Creative Cloud accounts have been breached, exposing customer data like email addresses, member IDs, and subscription information. Though no passwords or payment information was exposed, the breach still leaves customers susceptible to phishing attacks. Adobe says the exposed database has now been secured.
Graphic designers, video editors, and other creatives beware: Nearly 7.5 million Adobe Creative Cloud accounts were exposed to the public.
The database containing the sensitive user info, discovered by security researcher Bob Diachenko and , was accessible to anyone through a web browser.
The exposed user data for the nearly 7.5 million accounts included email addresses, the Adobe products they subscribed to, account creation date, subscription and payment status, local timezone, member ID, time of last login, and whether they were an Adobe employee.
While no passwords or financial information such as credit card numbers were exposed, the data is sensitive enough to cause real problems for Creative Cloud users.
It’s easy to see how a bad actor could use this data to create highly targeted and convincing campaigns.
Adobe Creative Cloud includes industry standard software and some of the most popular apps for creatives such as Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, After Effects, InDesign, and more.
According to Comparitech, Diachenko immediately reached out to Adobe upon discovering the open database on Oct. 19. Adobe addressed the issue immediately and secured the database on the same day.
Diachenko believes the data was left exposed for about a week, however it’s unclear when the database first became publicly accessible or if there was any unauthorized access.
Adobe was last hit with a in 2013 when a hacker gained access to 38 million customers’ usernames, encrypted passwords, and credit card info.
Creative Cloud customers should be wary of any suspicious emails they receive claiming to be from the company.
Mashable has reached out to Adobe and will update this post when we hear back.
UPDATE: Oct. 25, 2019, 5:05 p.m. EDT Adobe reached out to Mashable to share the following statement posted to its website:
At Adobe, we believe transparency with our customers is important. As such, we wanted to share a security update.
Late last week, Adobe became aware of a vulnerability related to work on one of our prototype environments. We promptly shut down the misconfigured environment, addressing the vulnerability.
The environment contained Creative Cloud customer information, including e-mail addresses, but did not include any passwords or financial information. This issue was not connected to, nor did it affect, the operation of any Adobe core products or services.
We are reviewing our development processes to help prevent a similar issue occurring in the future.
Today Adobe is opening up new resources for designers and developers with the launch of an official website for its company-wide design system, Spectrum. From the new Creative Cloud desktop app for Macs to the upcoming Photoshop on iPad, Spectrum is what gives Adobe’s apps their distinct look and feel.
Ahead of Adobe MAX next month, we learned a little more about Spectrum from Shawn Cheris, Director of Experience Design at Adobe. As apps like Lightroom, Fresco, and soon, Photoshop become key products in Adobe’s line of mobile tools, having one consistent experience across platforms is more important than ever.
The Spectrum project began in 2013, long before Adobe formally introduced the design system to the public with a blog post in May 2018. As Cheris’s team refined the principles behind Spectrum, new products and existing teams inside Adobe began to embrace the system.
“The central tenets of Spectrum are to be ‘rational, human, and focused.’ In practice, this means trying to reduce the user experience down to its simplest possible state,” Cheris says. Adobe’s teams embrace the famous Dieter Rams idea of good design being “as little design as possible.”
Lightroom features a similar design and workflow across Macs, iPads, and iPhones.
A drive for simplicity brings new challenges when trying to reinterpret decades of desktop app design — built with keyboards and mice in mind — to newer platforms like iPad OS. Spectrum is the starting point. “Where platforms have a strong point of view about certain interactions, we use the convention that users are likely to expect,” Cheris says. “The ideal is to try to follow the best practices on every platform while making those experiences familiar to users who use our products on multiple platforms. It’s a tough balance that we’re always working on.”
Adobe’s designers try to support cross-platform design for every component in the Spectrum library, like buttons and icons. The best ideas created by Adobe’s teams outside of the system are folded back in. Spectrum also afforded Adobe the opportunity to make a core investment in accessible design. Every component in the system meets WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 standards, and Adobe is working on 2.1 compliance.
Adobe Fresco and Photoshop on iPad’s prerelease interface (foreground) are cut from the same cloth.
You may have noticed that Adobe’s most recent apps on iPadOS all share a similar user interface. Fresco borrows from Lightroom. Photoshop and Fresco both feature a customizable Touch Shortcut. This isn’t by accident. “Spectrum provided answers to many UI and UX questions [in Photoshop on iPad] from interface components to color systems, and helped unify and coordinate those answers across many simultaneous app design efforts,” says Ryan Hicks, Photoshop on iPad’s Lead Designer. Adobe tried to balance Photoshop’s heritage with fresh ideas for modern touch devices to create a product both familiar and new.
“Part of what Spectrum is meant to accomplish is, in fact, to provide a more modern experience,” Cheris adds. “And ‘modern’ almost always means you have to be a little different than whatever came before.”
Now, the system over 400 designers inside Adobe are already using is becoming accessible to designers and developers who integrate with Adobe products and build plugins for tools like Adobe XD. UI kits, fonts, and icons resources are free to download on the new Adobe Spectrum website, along with comprehensive documentation on Spectrum’s Principles and Best Practices.
“Spectrum is a repository of Adobe’s best thinking to date at any given point in time,” Cheris says. “All of our components are documented here, which represent all of our lessons around usability, accessibility, and cross-platform design.”
You can learn more about Spectrum and download resources for Adobe XD on macOS at the official website. Stay tuned for more coverage from Adobe MAX, starting November 4.