adobe.design In Their Own Words

While we’ve been celebrating the launches of many amazing .design sites by household brands (NBD, just facebook.design, airbnb.design, amazon.design, and over a dozen others), this one is really special: adobe.design!

That’s because Adobe is the preeminent design company, perhaps they are not as well-known (yet) for their actual design work like Airbnb is, but they are the creators of the software that designers use and live with. In fact, the adobe.design site is clearly an attempt to make them more relevant for their internal design and their customer-facing design rather than just their software. The launch of adobe.design is a fantastic sign that .design is reaching all types of people and companies, and it will be a means to bring together the design community for a long time.

Rather than put my own spin on it, I’d rather highlight the words of Adobe’s VP of Design, Jamie Myrold, on her her inaugural post to adobe.design:

In all of [our] efforts, it’s designers who are illuminating the path forward. That’s because more than ever, all of us at Adobe know that we’re creating software for a world where design is valued at every level, in every detail. This conviction about the essential nature of design is what makes this the most exciting time to work at Adobe in my many years here.

This is why, for the first time ever, the design team has put forward a public presence in the form of this website, adobe.design. I hope you’ll take a moment to look and around to see for yourself some of what we’re doing and also what we’re thinking as we undertake the challenges facing the design profession in the coming years.

And if you’re excited by what you see, about the possibilities inherent in creating tools that amplify the world’s ability to create and communicate, then let’s talk! Adobe Design is growing and we have a wide range of open roles for designers like yourself who want to take part in a truly amazing, design-led transformation.

Mozilla.design, creating brand consistency with .design

Don’t allow me to tell you why Mozilla’s design team launched mozilla.design, complete with downloadable brand assets and full guidelines, just see what they say right there on mozilla.design:

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Their reasons are clearly practical: by ensuring that the world has access to their logos, colors, type and accepted brand treatment, they are creating a consistent brand message even when the referential work is being created outside of Mozilla. They know their partners, applicants, and even designers may be tempted to Google image search for the most recent logo. We’ve all done it. We’ve all searched for someone else’s corporate logo to include in a slide deck or internal presentation. Mozilla, and the dozens of other companies using .design to share their design and brand assets, know that there is no point trying to lock down brand usage by withholding content. The only way to create a consistent brand is to make your assets available and ubiquitious.

This, of course, builds on their overall mission statement and company culture. They introduce mozilla.design by stating:

Mozilla is the champion for a healthy internet, one that is open and accessible for all, both technologically and culturally.

Working with such a lofty and general mission statement is only realized via the people and departments within that company. Thus, for a design department to be a part of a company and mission that is “open and accessible for all,” means that they would naturally build out a repository of all the brand assets anyone inside or outside of the company would need.

The mozilla.design site addresses Logo, Brand Application, Visual Elements, Color and Typography, and ties these design elements all back to the company’s history, its mission, and its growth.  It’s the type of big picture lens that defines design-led companies and ensures that a corporate mission isn’t just a phrase, but a way of doing work.

Amazon's new amazon.design site

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It is now no longer a trend but a standard practice to give a design department its own content destination, soapbox, and recruiting platform. Increasingly this is taking the form of a website on a .design domain. The introduction of the amazon.design site certainly marks a further maturation of the development we saw previously from the likes of facebook.design and airbnb.design.

What currently sets the new amazon.design site apart is its reliance on videos and first person accounts from their designers. At launch, the site featured five videos, each focusing on a given designer. The videos feature both design team leaders and team members, who all seem to work in the broad field of interaction or user-experience design with additional focuses such as motion design and sound design.

Each video also highlights how the Amazonian (yes, they call themselves that) was an interesting person before they arrived at Amazon and how they continue to focus on solo pursuits as well. The “work-life” balance is addressed head on. The designers in these videos spend as much time talking about what excites them in their personal life and pursuits as what inspires them at work. It’s clear that they are talking to potential peers and future colleagues, inviting fellow creatives to consider the benefits and challenges of working at Amazon.

I’ve personally seen Amazon exhibit at multiple, major design conferences. Unlike other vendors, they were not hawking products or wares but the company itself; their presence at these events has largely been a recruiting push. Of course a company of Amazon’s stature spends considerable time and resources finding the right candidates, hiring, and retaining them. It is a logical but important step to provide a destination for design recruits to learn more about the design department from their potential peers and teammates rather than just the HR or recruiting team.

The site links up to existing channels as well as personalized recruiting channels. The prominent Come Work With Us! tab redirects to an existing jobs portal. At the bottom of the page they reference a recent conference they attended as part of their design recruiting campaign, Did you catch us at IxDA and want to reach out? The link follows through to an email address set up specifically for messaging and recruiting around the IxDA conference, which is an Interaction Design conference that they were headlining sponsors of.

While Amazon is only slightly late to the .design party, it’s really encouraging to see them holistically linking the new amazon.design site to their recruiting strategy as a whole. There is too much time and money spent on design recruiting to not take the extra step of a dedicated platform like this .design site.

Introducing Slack.design and Opentable.design

Introducing Slack.design and Opentable.design

I’ve previously written about major brands combining .design domains with their Medium publications to create stand alone sites focused on their internal design processes. This is perhaps the easiest and most professional way to create a design blog that builds the breadth and personality of a brand rather than just glom on an existing .com site.

We’ve already seen this on npr.design, booking.design and medium.design itself. These sites function as designer recruiting and content channels much like uber.design and facebook.design but are not built with the same intensive web design and presentation work. All they require is a Medium publication, a .design domain name, and a onetime fee to Medium to connect the two.

The new sites we’ve recently come across are opentable.design and slack.design.