Before you check out the rest of my portfolio, I want to tell a story of why I would love to work for Adobe and what I would improve about my experience as a student using Creative Cloud.
In my junior year of high school, teams of students in my history classes were tasked with making a 1920’s-themed magazine. Our team focused on gangsters, and named our magazine “The Cultured Criminal.” I had heard of Adobe InDesign and opened the program a few times, enough experience to earn me the role of magazine designer. I definitely didn’t expect that project to change my life.
A variety of pages from "The Cultured Criminal" magazine for 1920's school project. The start of my love for Creative Cloud.
I ended up spending dozens of hours on the design of the magazine, learning the InDesign program and eventually winning the project’s “best magazine” award. I had never considered myself artistic, but fitting together the articles, pictures, graphics and quotes of the magazine helped me discover that I loved to visually organize information.
I couldn’t get enough layout design, so I took on the role of lead editor of the high school’s newspaper. I spent the summer building new templates and themes to make the paper pop off the page, and I was able to redesign the class processes as well as the visuals.
Pages from the first 3 editions of the redesigned school newspaper.
In college at Santa Clara University, I learned about User Experience Design and Product Management, two roles that combined my love for strategy, design and understanding human behavior. I started working for Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, where I helped the center create a whole new video curriculum, working extensively in Premiere Pro and After Effects. My sophomore year, I started a podcast called Voices of Santa where I interviewed students and staff at Santa Clara, then edited the audio in Audition and published the episodes on the podcast app (more on Miller Center and the podcast later).
Each new Adobe program I learned helped me find a new creative outlet and contribute to organizations I cared about. I used my Adobe skills to complete freelance projects with a local consulting organization, a start-up coworking space, a Berkeley career center report and my county’s parks district.
UX Design combines my interests in business, visual storytelling and understanding how people act.
A strategic plan for a local environmental consulting firm.
A health pathway report for the Berkeley College and Career Academy Support Network and marketing materials for a new local coworking space.
Now several years later, I would love to learn and add value to the company that has helped me grow as a student and find new ways to be creative. But every product needs to adapt, grow and improve to stay relevant. Below, I’ll share a few ideas I have for improving the Adobe Creative Cloud experience for students.
1. More collaboration options
I have often found myself unable to delegate or involve other team members when using Creative Cloud for projects. Although collaboration options exist, school computers often have CS6 versions of apps or shared accounts that make CC libraries tedious or unhelpful. What if students could open a file in a limited-feature online version of InDesign/Illustrator? Previewing and commenting on files in Google Drive or Dropbox would also simplify the sharing process to involve more team members and expose them to the power of CC apps.
2. Make CC free for students
Despite Adobe’s generous discount for students, the reality is that few people I know are willing to spent $16 a month on design software. Many students need to use university-owned computers to access CC apps, limiting the time they can spend on projects. I believe this access barrier prevents some students from learning CC apps that they would be willing to pay for after graduating if were able to learn for free during school.
3. Showcase learning opportunities for new CC apps
Learning new Creative Cloud apps is surprisingly easy after mastering one program, but knowing which program to use can seem complicated to novices. For example, if I try to design a vector logo with InDesign, the program could suggest a 30-second video of how quick and easy it is to design logos with illustrator. Many students start with Photoshop or InDesign, so showcasing opportunities to use Illustrator or Adobe XD could be natural learning opportunities.
Learning a new CC app is easier after you have a few under your belt. Here are some easy connections between apps that could be suggested to students.