THE CHALLENGE: 

Kelby Media needed someone who could create training videos on Adobe’s experimental Edge Suite. Most of these apps were brand-new; NOBODY had any experience whatsoever in how to use them.

 

The videos had to be engaging, high-quality, and easy to understand by absolute beginners. I knew that I needed to create a funny, engaging site that could be used as an example for HTML5 animations, Responsive Web Design, hand-coding HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and testing on mobile platforms.

 

Oh yeah – and they needed them all created, recorded and edited in three months. No problem!

ACTIONS: 

I threw myself into digging into the Beta versions of these apps,  and started prioritizing, based on the features that I knew creative professionals would most need to know when they were starting out. 

 

To make the training more fun and interesting, I created a satirical travel site – The Getting Medieval Tour Agency. 

I needed to add enough elements to present a challenge to designers who wanted to explore what these new web design tools could do – but not so many that the page looked overwhelming, which would make new users get discouraged and give up. 

 

The sketch turned into a layered PSD. Which was later to be filled out with the content and used in the Edge Reflow lessons. 

I used a mix of elements to show off the various functionalities that I wanted my students to learn: Bézier curves and motion paths, nested symbols, Sprite Sheets, and much more. 

Having a unified storyline helped me brainstorm examples that not only fit with what I wanted to communicate technically, but that also conformed to the increasingly complex storyline.  

This storyline – that these creations were basically a Cry For Help, from some poor, terrified designer slaving away for The World’s Most Sadistic And Evil Travel Agency – was helped by the artwork that I licensed. 

I have to say, there must be a helluva market for dark & foreboding, Sword & Sorcery imagery, because I sure found a lot of it. 

I gotta admit, I really started having fun playing around with the idea of “The Worst Vacation Of All Time.” Hey, what else would you expect from an agency that hires glowing-eyed demons to make sure you stick to your diet & exercise plan?

Come to think of it, that might make for a Very Special Season of “The Biggest Loser.” Someone call my agent!

 

The only way to contact customer service is to follow a medieval webmap through swamps of Windows updates, and brave a fire-breathing kitteh. Hey, Apple Maps don’t seem so bad now, do they? 

Even the Terms and Conditions come on a blood-stained scroll. They do have rather severe penalties for unauthorized use.

Also, if your computer does come down with some sort of Plague or Ague, don’t come crying to me. 

RESULT: 

My research into what worked best (and what needed some refinement) was taken by Adobe Edge Suite product managers – such as  and used to help refine their products.

As you can see in the screen capture, I interviewed Adobe Senior Product Manager Ryan Stewart about their switch from Edge Code to the open-source version, Brackets

 

 

Since my video series went live on KelbyOne, I’ve gotten dozens of emails from students saying that their favorite part of learning these new programs in Adobe’s Creative Cloud was laughing at my examples. 

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