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Michael Gough interviews on Projects Mighty and Napoleon: part two

This interview with Adobe's VP of Experience Design Michael Gough continues from part one.

The prototype of the "Mighty" pen and the "Napoleon" ruler introduced at the 2013 Adobe MAX Conference.
The prototype of the "Mighty" pen and the "Napoleon" ruler introduced at the 2013 Adobe MAX Conference.
Lauren Cullen
Michael Gough at Adobe MAX 2013
Lauren Cullen

With the upcoming release of Adobe's first hardware products, Project Mighty (a mighty pen) and Project Napoleon (a short ruler), creative professionals will be able to use tablet devices like never before.

Here, Gough discusses the impact of integrating drawing into the digital workflow:

L.C. With the exciting upcoming release of the highly innovative digital pen and ruler, Projects Mighty and Napoleon, what will be the effects of digitalizing the experience of pen and paper?

M.G. Digital creative tools have unlocked many new forms of expression and made many formally analog processes more accessible. But some qualities of the creation process were lost along the way. I was trained as an architect and learned to draw with a pencil, triangle and T-Square. I was still practicing architecture when the industry started converting to primarily digital tools. When you drop points on a screen with your mouse to create a line or use numerical input, you can create a perfect line, but somehow you lose the sense of where that line "lives" in your conception of the space you are trying to imagine. Some combination of the kinesthetic and tactile qualities of the old analog way of drawing made it easier to think AND draw. I still like to play around with building design and find that I am now using our digital drawing tools to sketch concepts and refine them. I switch to a CAD program to record the ideas I have developed.

A great example of this plays out every day here in the Adobe Experience Design (XD) team. Our designers are, for obvious reasons, very adept design tool users (they are, after all, designing those tools!) but they drop the mouse and grab pencil and paper when they need to think creatively. They are “designing” with pencil and paper. They are doing production of those designs in Photoshop and Illustrator.

We believe that there is an opportunity to take the best qualities of the digital experience and the best qualities of the analog experience and bring them together to help our customers be both more productive and more creative. This is important for our customers because the transition from paper to digital can still be awkward. It is also important for Adobe, because it keeps us at the center of the creative process.

This interview continues with part three as Michael Gough discusses the future of digital experiences>>