Adobe has launched Spectrum 2, an updated design system that serves as the foundation for its applications and web experiences. With Spectrum 2, Adobe aims to enhance user experience by incorporating vibrant colors, improved accessibility, and an attention hierarchy to prioritize visual elements. The design system has already been integrated into Adobe’s recent web apps, including Firefly, Adobe Express, and select Adobe Acrobat web experiences.
Eric Snowden, Adobe’s VP of Design, highlighted the motivation behind Spectrum 2’s development. As Adobe now reaches a wider range of users compared to a decade ago, the company aims to make its products more accessible and approachable, catering to students, social content creators, small business owners, and other diverse audiences. Inclusivity and accessibility have been key considerations, with Spectrum 2 addressing color blindness and adhering to WCAG standards.
We’re not trying to get away from that, but we are in a lot of areas of Adobe a creative company, and we want to bring approachability, brightness, fun and whitespace — and we’re just sort of looking at this in a different way now.”
The original Spectrum design system had a more austere and serious appearance, allowing creatives to focus on their work. However, Spectrum 2 introduces a fresh approach, emphasizing brightness, approachability, fun, and whitespace. Adobe plans to gradually implement Spectrum 2, starting with web and iOS apps in early 2024. Over time, the new design language will extend to flagship desktop tools like Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro.
Rolling out a design system across a vast number of applications poses a considerable challenge, but Adobe intends to bring Spectrum 2 to over 100 apps throughout 2024. While Adobe remains committed to maintaining flexibility for professional users, it aims to deliver an improved out-of-the-box experience for newcomers. The company strives to accelerate creativity and keep its tools modern while ensuring a seamless transition for existing users.
Adobe’s product teams may also leverage this update to showcase newer tools that have been introduced in recent years, offering users more modern and efficient ways to accomplish tasks. By combining user feedback, accessibility improvements, and a refreshed aesthetic, Spectrum 2 reinforces Adobe’s commitment to empowering creativity while catering to a diverse and expanding user base.