I returned from the two day Adobe Symposium in Sydney only hours ago so I thought it’d be a good time to recall my experience while it’s fresh in my memory. This was my first time attending the Symposium and I enjoyed the quick trip.

 

Day one

The first day kicked off with a keynote opening address from Adobe’s Managing Director in the Asia Pacific region, as well as talks by digital leaders from around the globe. The session included a live interview with Australian electronic duo The Presets about their partnership with Adobe to crowdsource an animated lyric video for one of their recent singles.

After lunch, I attended the creative keynote for the remainder of the day, which included talks by designers, product owners, and visual artists.

Chi Ryan, a senior designer at PwC, talked in detail about how experience design means designing for the human condition. She used the example of how laws have recently been passed in some countries that require electric car manufacturers to fit cars with speakers that broadcast fake engine sounds. This measure has been put in place to prevent silent electric cars hitting pedestrians that are unaware a car is approaching. Listening for traffic before crossing the street is an experience ingrained in everyone. She also spoke about how automation isn’t likely to steal design jobs and used the design of doors as an example. We’re still having issues designing doors that people can use in every case, therefore we’ll always need real people to solve human problems.

Mike Rigby, executive creative director at R/GA New York spoke about his experiences at the massive creative agency working on campaigns for brands like Nike and Samsung as well as designing the new Golden Globe award statuette to be more ergonomic and less awkward to hold.

 

Day two

My second day began with a roundtable discussion on better CX through personalisation hosted by comedian Adam Spencer and speakers from top Australian brands, followed by a panel on the design industry, ethics, and future predictions for UX.

Hoyle Wang, a product manager working on the Adobe Xd team, spoke about how and why Adobe built Xd, how they’re iteratively improving the software based on feedback from designers, and cool new features like interactive voice prototyping.

The final session was with Owen Hunt, a visual effects artist who has worked on blockbuster films like Harry Potter, Tomb Raider, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He demonstrated Adobe’s new visual effects tool Substance, which is already becoming the industry standard for 3D texturing and painting.

 

A jam-packed conference

The only minor gripe I have was design panels filled up quickly as they were often held in smaller conference rooms, which meant I missed a few panels I was super keen to go to, but Adobe really jam-packed a lot of great stuff into the conference and I’d be keen to check it out again.