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Hi there. I lead the team that worked on this project. Someone who runs this site brought this post to my attention.
I was a little bummed at the negativity here but the confusion I can understand. The Behance post focuses on the work itself and admittedly doesn't do much to explain our organization. We've been asked to do an AMA on here at some point in the near future, so I'm just going to offer this one post to clear up the broad points and will save further responses for later.
Adobe XD (Experience Design) is/was a global design organization that's been around for more than a decade. There are about 160 of us and we work on nearly every Adobe product and service (of which there are more than 100, if you can believe it). This work crosses Creative Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Document Cloud, and is absolutely massive in scope.
A few years ago, we were heavily involved in creating a product that was then called "Project Comet". When that project was mature enough to release as a beta, our Brand Strategy team thought long and hard about what to call it and, in the end, decided that "Experience Design" was the best name for that product since that’s precisely what it’s intended use is.
As you can imagine, that led to some confusion here. When someone talked about the "XD Team" it was no longer clear who they were referring to. Adobe is a company of around 15,000 people, so it’s extremely important that our organization be easy to talk about. Though we liked XD as a name and had a strong emotional investment in it, it was no longer functioning the way we needed it to.
Beyond that, most of our friends working in large centralized design organizations at companies like Google, Facebook, and the like were simply calling themselves “[Company] Design” and we decided it made sense to follow suit. This also simplifies things from a recruiting and outreach perspective within our community.
The project on Behance is meant as a simple process document to show how we went about creating a new visual identity for ourselves as we moved from being called XD to Adobe Design. We wanted to focus on the design process itself and not the underlying business reasons why we needed to do it, since people mostly go to Behance to see beautiful things not read about the strategy behind it.
Most of the work was done by one designer, Anny Chen, over the course of a few months. I manage this team along with a few others and helped with some creative direction as did the other two designers who are credited on the project. We had regular formal and informal critiques throughout the process and helped steer a little bit, but Anny worked the process and got this result.
I hope this clears up some of the background on who we are and what this project was about. Thank you for your interest.
This absolutely clears things up, thanks for posting here. Adobe Design sounds like a fun place to be. I can't imagine what a challenge it is to bridge across 100+ products simultaneously. Looking forward to hearing more from you and the team!
Thanks so much Shawn for your formal response. Bit bummed (more annoyed) by this shallow negativity as well. And whether or not I like the final product, I'm glad nonetheless you guys decided to post it on Behance for others to see and talk about :) Again, thank you!
Any chance of getting a download for those wallpapers?
Thanks for posting Shawn, and also thanks for sharing this honest and detailed explanation on how things played out for your team.
I don't share the negativity that other designers have expressed here, but I do see the confusion that Adobe XD (the software) and Adobe Experience Design (the design team) generates. Project Comet was such an amazing name, I can't believe that the name change had also an impact on this.
If anything, I hope this serves as a valuable lesson to Adobe's Brand Strategy team, as having a clear communication is crucial within Adobe as it is with the outside world.
Last note: don't let the negativity from other designers stop you and your team from sharing your work and from coming forward to talk about it, this is what this community needs, not sarcastic-toxic feedback. So thank you again for posting here.
Hi Shawn, thank you for your response. I also don't share a negative feeling about this, but welcome the clarification.
One thing that I'd like to ask from your perspective is about a statement at the beginning of the post, "we believed it was time to streamline our name and align with industry standards. After consulting with stakeholders across the board, we decided to rebrand ourselves as Adobe Design. We believe that this new name will resonate more with our external audience"
We increasingly live in a world where we understand the importance of our audience, and where we hone in on such statements and try to change that very sentence into something like "We reached out to our external audience and after listening to them it was clear that we needed to streamline our name and align with industry standards. We convinced the board that it was time to rebrand ourselves to Adobe Design and have already received a lot of positive feedback."
My point is, how do you see cultural shift in big organizations and how it may affect the way we approach these changes?
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