Q&A: #ProjectComet Product Management Team at Adobe

8 years ago from , Product Manager for Adobe XD

UPDATE 2/2/2016

Thanks to everyone who commented below with questions for the Project Comet team! We recorded the video with answers here: https://youtu.be/rInGKO2n1es

The video features Andrew Shorten (Director of Product Management), Tom Krcha (Sr. Product Manager) and myself, Demian Borba (also a Product Manager at Adobe).

You can read all the questions below. If you have any further questions, talk to us on Twitter using #projectcomet. We would love to hear from you!


Hello designers,

The PM team on #ProjectComet will be in Europe next week for a quick tour.

During the trip, we will stop for 1 hour to answer the questions you might have regarding #ProjectComet. Feel free to ask anything! We will try our best to answer everything we can, in 30 minutes. The result will be posted as a video on our Youtube channel and as audio as part of our first @AdobeUX podcast.

So go ahead, what are you waiting for? What do you want to know?

Looking forward to seeing your questions, happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Demian Borba | Product Manager, UX Design | @demianborba


  • Ron SwansonRon Swanson, 8 years ago

    When can we start to play around with a beta release? :-)

    41 points
  • Surjith S MSurjith S M, 8 years ago

    Did you use to Sketch for designing Project Comet?

    27 points
  • barry saundersbarry saunders, 8 years ago

    Khoi Vinh said on his blog that

    The whole engine was built from scratch to be truly native to OS X, an approach that hasn’t traditionally been associated with Adobe, and it really shows.

    Will Comet be available on Windows as well?

    14 points
    • Christoph Hellmuth, 8 years ago

      This was one of the biggest reason for using it. Being able to collaborate with fellow designers that run windows. But now I am a little more sceptical that the investment of learning a new tool will be worth the return, especially how similar it seems to the current solution. Sketch.

      2 points
    • Rob AndraRob Andra, 8 years ago

      The fact that they don't have a release date for Windows is quite disappointing :/

      4 points
    • James Young, 8 years ago

      I assume like Sketch, the plan for Comet is to leverage core OSX functionality that Windows doesn't have.

      I liked Sketch, in fact it's the only app I honestly miss now I've switched back to Windows because Photoshop sure as hell isn't a sensible design tool and the lack of being able to work with anyone who has a sketch file isn't ideal.

      I thought Comet might be a good project to introduce to Windows first but I can only assume the installs of Adobe CC stuff on Windows is so low as to justify going straight in against Sketch and ignoring Windows.

      1 point
      • Brian HintonBrian Hinton, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

        It's built with web technologies. So leveraging core OSX libraries isn't likely the concern. OSX is the hip platform right now, so that is probably the reason.

        And there are a lot more Adobe CC users on Windows than OSX. Adobe has done a lot of Windows specific development. The Surface for instance has a dedicated version of Illustrator to utilize the digitizer technology.

        1 point
    • Manuel SainsilyManuel Sainsily, 8 years ago

      They said it will, but not on launch !

      4 points
  • Rob AndraRob Andra, 8 years ago

    Adobe is cool

    12 points
    • , 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

      Hi Rob, we are working to change this perception. Hopefully you will see how Adobe is approaching the community and listening to customers in order to deliver better tools. Looking forward to hearing your feedback.

      1 point
      • Rob AndraRob Andra, 8 years ago

        It was just a joke :) I'm actually pretty excited with Comet, and you seem to be doing a great job approaching the community.

        0 points
  • AJ MAJ M, 8 years ago

    There are so many features and things that so many of us want to see in Project Comet… A replacement for fireworks, incredible performance, compatibility with other CC programs, prototyping, redlining, and the ability to have plugins/actions… What's your focus for 1.0? How will Project Comet set itself apart from programs like Sketch? I know quite a few companies have switched their workflows to Sketch, and switching yet again will be painful. I guess that's two questions :)

    Also, a kudos to the team. This outreach you're doing is something I've never seen from Adobe, and it's really spectacular. More of this!!

    11 points
  • Terry Mentos, 8 years ago

    I hate to say it, because I'm a huge Adobe fan and signed up to "stay up to date with Comet" as soon as I could, but the attitude of this post is exactly why the tide is slowly turning away from Adobe. You guys are out of touch.

    Hey fellow designers. Just a bunch of product managers here to talk to. We're busy galavanting through Europe, but we can take 1 hour out of our busy schedule to answer questions. Actually, no, we're only going to take 30 minutes. And by the way, we're just using this to as seed content for our Youtube channel. What are you waiting for?

    Here's what we're waiting for: to stop being treated like children and given some real information about this product. You've been pimping the same video previews for months and playing coy with beta invites does nothing to help your rep. Questions have already been asked, here and elsewhere. I have 9 Creative Cloud licenses for my company, and identified an "Interactive" studio in numerous spammy surveys Adobe has sent me, yet there has been no outreach to people literally waiting to plunk down (or continue plunking) your monthly fee.

    TL;DR: Start doing some real community interaction, please.

    9 points
    • Rory Smyth, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

      Image alt

      2 points
    • , 8 years ago

      Hi Terry, thanks for your message, just to clarify some points: 1) We have a dedicated team, building a brand new app from scratch and yes, we are very very busy doing it. We are working as hard as we can to deliver value, quality, and mainly, like never before, we are reaching out to the community very early in the process; 2) In Europe, we will be running back to back customer meetings and community events at night, non-stop; 3) We will be filming for one hour, they will make a 30 minute video to make it more digestible for the audience; 4) We will use Youtube and Podcast to enable more people to watch/listen to it later; 5) As Product Managers, we are validating our strategies for the product every time we can, with customer meetings, meetups, conferences, prerelease and a lot more in the works. Do you have questions for us regarding #ProjectComet? What kind of information would you like to know about? Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your time,

      2 points
  • Brian HintonBrian Hinton, 8 years ago

    To be honest the only way I'll use / purchase ProjectComet is if it's outside of the subscription plan. Any word on the possibility of that?

    8 points
  • Helen . Helen . , 8 years ago

    Not sure if I missed these while checking out Project Comet, but :

    1. What would the supported file format (both for opening and saving as) be? I work with people who only have Photoshop, and was wondering if this is something that would be an adopt-feature challenge.

    2. Would you say this tool is the go-to tool that could potentially replace Photoshop and Illustrator? Or is this more geared for prototyping and animating?

    3. Would this support vector designing in-app?

    Looking forward to Project Comet, keep being awesome Adobe team!

    6 points
  • Gabe Medina, 8 years ago

    First of all, I want to say thank you to Adobe for embracing user experience and interaction designers into its community. There are some of us UXers who don't have a heavy background in Photoshop, but more so the usability research, persona development, interaction design, wire framing and prototyping. The core of our jobs is not about colors or pixels. We've been using various tools like InVision, Balsamiq, UXPin...you name it. It's exciting to see this project from Adobe. My thoughts/ideas:

    -Plays nice with Sketch/Balsamiq/AI files etc. -Allows presentation modes to showcase an app or website within a specific viewport -Allows collaboration between stakeholders, like usability teams, product managers and designers -Ways to tag screens to process flows, use cases and personas. -Export PDFs that have process flows with clickable links to the screens -Allow screen elements to be tagged with certain CSS or HTML tags

    4 points
  • Lucas MoralesLucas Morales, 8 years ago

    Can we get a standalone subscription only to Comet or will we need to get it bundled with Photoshop and the others? Any beta / release dates? Kudos for reaching out the community. I'm not the biggest Adobe fan but I'm pretty excited for Project Comet!

    4 points
  • Manuel SainsilyManuel Sainsily, 8 years ago

    Hello @Demian, thanks for putting Adobe on the right direction!

    My question will be simple: Do we have a date for: - The beta release? - The windows portage?


    2 points
  • Hanu ManHanu Man, 8 years ago

    Comet has an especial approach or engine, for responsive design?

    2 points
  • Cody IddingsCody Iddings, 8 years ago

    When prototyping, how do you send the files so that other people would see? Do you see this as a replacement to Invision or in addition to?

    What fidelity is the prototyping? I see this spectrum: Framer vs Pixate vs Principle vs Invision

    How will Libraries sync?

    Does your team see this as a complete replacement to photoshop?

    2 points
  • Craig DehnerCraig Dehner, 8 years ago

    Late Entry: Motion Design has become a huge part of interface design. Will Comet go beyond just a couple animation presets? Maybe something similar to Principle?

    1 point
  • Hanu ManHanu Man, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

    The final artworks and assets could be exported like bitmap files, like svg files or like a html/css project (even better)?

    1 point
  • David Sienko, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    How will it function with Unicode characters with multiple glyphs? Several Adobe products don't function properly on the Mac when they are needed in my projects, so I do them on a Windows machine. Or, I type the text in Mac notes copy and then paste it in DW or Id. I've complained about the problems for a number of years with lead developers and product managers, and at MAX, but nothing gets fixed. It works fine on a PC.

    0 points
  • Some DesignerSome Designer, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    Currently I'm using Sketch when designing for the devices which has a touchpoint. I'm not actually happy with it. Sketch is still filled with bugs and caused to form a seriously uncreative, "copypaste" community because of the limited visual tools.

    We may be in the "flat design" era but this doesn't mean just draw squares and put texts in it. (actually sketch does this basic design attitude horribly wrong as well)

    Image alt

    There are 2 reasons that I've switched to sketch, which were the actually everyone had the same reason.

    1) Easy export and quality; Even though it's a vector program, Adobe illustrator sucks when exporting for digital devices. Why would a program constantly forces their user to put decimal valued pixels. There's no such thing exists in this world. How can you not possible fix that? Also even you try your hard to fix every pixel, the output still sucks. And photoshop? You better start learning code your web page with turbo pascal instead of exporting android assets. (please don't tell me to use the current wonky export tool. That's plain useless)

    2) Lightweight; Photoshop is a king, but it's old. And it keeps getting older and older with every update. This is a common sense, if you put lots of thing in a bag, it gets heavier. You already had 2 video editing programs, why put another one inside photoshop? Is the next release of photoshop going to be an operating system? I just want to design with it. Since I got a chance to contact with a guy from adobe; make the photshop spesific to the people. Photoshop : 3d, Photoshop : Design, Photoshop : Ilustrate etc.

    Just fix these two and no wonder everyone would instantly switch back to your products. Just release it and we'll see if it's ok or not. Make it a sketch killer and I'll change my opinion about Adobe.

    Also change the subscription plans to regular ones. You plans are joke right now against other programs which they don't have a greedy solution like yours.

    0 points
    • Daniel Keller, almost 8 years ago

      that's why they build Comet, which will be superior to Sketch. this Q&A is for Comet, nothing else.

      Photoshop is for photo editing and manipulation. Illustrator is vector work. there's absolutely nothing wrong with those programs.

      so either wait for Comet, or ask some actual questions... your genius ideas about making different Photoshop versions makes no sense.

      just use the right tools!

      0 points
      • Some DesignerSome Designer, almost 8 years ago

        Ok so you mean tons of illustrators should stop illustrating in photoshop and switch to illustrator just because it's named illustrator right? Keep that attitude, you'll be a gem to this awful community.

        0 points
        • Daniel Keller, almost 8 years ago

          that's not what I said, you can illustrate with photoshop, but that's not the point. the point is Comet is for designing and prototyping websites and apps, so no need to adjust an existing program to make it even more complicated.

          0 points
  • Tom GantzerTom Gantzer, almost 8 years ago

    After watching the Q&A video, I get a sense that the focus for animation is on screen-to-screen animations. With the slow death of tools like Pixate, can we expect Comet to provide tools for designers to create micro-interactions inside screens, as well as transitions? IMO this is absolutely crucial if Comet is to succeed.

    0 points
  • Brian HintonBrian Hinton, 8 years ago

    I'm also curious if the preview aspect of Comet can bypass an app requirement, and just be available via some sort of localhost setup where it's previewed via the web.

    0 points
  • Melissa McGrath, 8 years ago

    How will Project Comet facilitate handoffs? Will I be able to make annotations and share them with other team members?

    0 points
  • Richard Earney, 8 years ago

    Are you visiting London and how does one get an invite?

    0 points