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Adobe Create Now Denver: Paul Trani Interview About Creative Cloud, Edge Tools, and Web Standards

Last month I had the opportunity to catch the Adobe Create Now tour while they were in Denver. My first interview was with Paul Trani, Senior Worldwide Creative Cloud Evangelist for Adobe. Paul focuses on workflows that empower designers and developers to create amazing interactive content for the web and mobile devices.

At the conference, Paul showed lots of whiz-bang out of Adobe’s new tools in the Edge suite.

Video Transcript

Brent: I’m Brent Weaver and you’re watching uGurus the must watch web series to become a more profitable and in demand web professional. I’m here at Create Now, Adobe Create Now with Paul Trani and we just finished their presentation, and welcome to our program.

Paul: This is a lot of fun. And yeah, it’s definitely good to be here. I mean hopefully you enjoyed it. I had so much to cover because I did a lot of the web stuff and it’s crazy how fast the web is moving these days.

Brent: Absolutely. I did notice you guys went over time a little bit so that just meant there was so much that you guys just, like, it was and you even cut some time off it seemed like.

Paul: Yeah. Don’t tell my boss, literally, entire apps that I didn’t get to. So this was more of a design centric audience which is fine, take something like Edge Code, which is awesome. Sort of, like, you take a Dreamweaver, you strip away all the panels just give me my code view. It’s awesome in its simplicity. I really wish I had time to show it. But you know, you roll over a path to an image, it shows you the image. Color, it pops up sort of within the context of you working in it taking certain CSS selector like the name you can just do a quick command, expand, and get the CSS properties without hunting down the CSS file. Which is really cool. So I think we have a really smart product that I’ve just talked about that nobody in the room got to see. I guess it’s a secret.

Brent: Well, we’ll definitely link to that product in the video content. So Paul, what’s your position with Adobe. Like what gives you guy’s the ability to tour the U.S. and do these kinds of events?

Paul: My title is an Evangelist, which is, at the end of the day I think we just get to take credit for everything that the guys produce at the company basically. If you like it. But if you don’t then it was somebody else back at the company. But my background, again, I went to art school and did a ton of web design, and did the cd-rom thing, the director thing, so I’ve been immersed in the stuff for a while. So it’s, like, really close to my heart. And if people weren’t clapping today I would’ve been clapping for myself. Because I get excited about this stuff I think it’s really cool. So that’s kind of my background.

Brent: What have you seen changing of all with the web and how Adobe has handled that over the last lets say five or ten years?

Paul: That is a great question. I mean if you look at history what did you have? You had Macromedia at one point, you know? And here you are, you have you know if you remember there was Image Ready kind of competing against Fireworks and all these sort of like this Macromedia Adobe thing, and we said, you know lets just go ahead and buy them. So that was our move there. Just go ahead, you know if people are using a tool and it’s valuable to the company then we’ll just go ahead and make it more of an integrated solution.

We had, again, you know Flash, we can talk about that. But wherever people are going, that’s what we want to produce content for. Right now its web standards, you know, that’s what we’ll go ahead and tackle so we have a whole suite of tools around that these days. That’s kind of what’s going on. Oh and by the way not only making certain tools but pushing the web forward by pushing standards forward. So CSS regions brought about by us, CSS filters, all sorts of various web standards that we are pushing forward with Google and some of the other big guys.

Brent: Now, there’s a lot of apps available in Creative Cloud. If you had so single out, a single app for a web pro to either focus on or follow on or learn, what would that app be?

Paul: If you are asking me… if you are asking me, I’m sorry you can hate me I don’t care but I would actually pick, I want to pick two. I’m going to pick one it would actually be Dreamweaver. Again, which is like whoa Dreamweaver. Whoa. Like seriously people have a chip on their shoulder about it, but it’s like, you know, we have a new product manager in charge of it. We pretty much gutted the thing, simplified it, and it’s only getting better. But I like that how it is it gives me that design view, it gives me my code view so it’s familiar enough for me as a person who has his foot in design and development that I feel really comfortable.

My other program was going to be Edge Code. First of all, Edge Code is free so I’m not pushing anything. It’s built on Brackets which is open source, similar to Edge Code. And it’s awesome that it’s built on web standards so you can write extensions and customize this app if you are a web pro. Make your own hooks in this sort of development environment which is really neat.

Brent: One of the things that you mentioned today that I thought was really cool was that you guys put a lot of work into finding those work flows, where somebody might be clicking six or seven or eight times and trying to reduce that down to a single click. What’s that process like from the app research and the development side? How do you guys find out where those time issues are happening in the development process?

Paul: That’s a great question. We do a ton of research. We get data from our apps on who’s clicking on what because we want to make that more efficient. So if people are using a certain area we can focus on that. To be honest, we look at Twitter. If people are hitting us up on certain things, it’s amazing how we respond to that which is really cool.

Another side of that is, sort of these like just do it Friday’s. Whether it’s Friday or not I don’t know, I think it is, but it’s just, like, engineers you have the day, work on something that you know needs fixing. And I think a lot of cool things came out of that. It’s cool to do the fun sexy features, but I like the time saving stuff, because that hits home. It’s, like, you just saved me a half a day. So, that’s like, again, not sexy, but it’s so worth it. That’s kind of like how we execute.

Brent: With Creative Cloud I feel like now you have every tool available. So it’s almost like the personas that used to exist, like I’m a coder, I’m a designer, I’m a photographer, I’m a video guy, like it almost seems like some of that is starting to break down a little bit, and you are getting more into I’m the creative. I’m just a freelance. I’ll do anything that you want. How is Adobe navigating those waters with their products?

Paul: It is a little tricky. Because you do get everything. And it’s tempting to say “Hey I do video” just cause you have access to After Effects. And that’s not the case. And I think everybody just needs to be really honest with themselves in where kind of what they are most interested in. Now that I have this vast candy store of just everything, what do I gravitate towards? Honestly I think it’s the desperate person that’s, like, “Oh I can do it all”. It’s like okay good I’ll pat you on the back. It’s great. But you know what I’m more interested in people that do few things really well than, honestly, the jack of all trades. And I tend to be the jack of all trades, and sometimes you’re asked to, right? We’re just asked to. You’ve got to rise to the occasion but in the end of the day you’re going to have to specify to be successful, you know.

Brent: So what’s next for Adobe when it comes to web? What are you guys working on? What’s top secret that you shouldn’t tell us?

Paul: Top secret stuff. We have a lot going on. I look out of all the areas where we’re doing development, and it’s just the web area where they keep pinging me on updates. You should download this build, that build you know, Edge Reflow having these new features so you continue to see stuff there with Edge Animate. I think you’ll see more of an integration with the web tools, sort of with the Creative Cloud as well, since you have this Creative Cloud, just to put a little bug in your ear, yeah I’m rendering a PSD but what else can I render in the browser. It’s like I’m in the browser, that’s like I’m right where the web is. What can we do for web developers and Creative Cloud. So, that’s as much as I can tell you.

Brent: I mean, I know when it comes to the other potential file types and tools that Creative Cloud supports, I mean my imagination runs wild when I start thinking about, you know, the fact that you guys are doing all of this server side now. Whether we’re talking about rendering, combining files, or publishing, seems like there is a lot of possibilities.

Paul: There is. And definitely in the web space, and sort of being able to render a file or sort of like as we get into sharing a folder, which we’re familiar with. Version-ing all that stuff in the video space. So hopefully you get a chance to talk to Jason, but the whole idea of having all your video some place else and just streaming the clip you need, is, it blows my mind. They’re kind of doing what the web does, but they’re doing it with video. So I’m, like, that’s some out of the box thinking, then it just blows your mind. Man I’m glad I’m working for Adobe.

Brent: Very nice. Well, Paul, we appreciate you spending some time with us. Hopefully you’re getting to enjoy Denver. Are you from Denver?

Paul: I’m from Denver…

Brent: I heard somebody was…

Paul: Yeah it was snowing earlier. I love Denver. Which was nice for the guys who flew in. But I get to fly to sunny Toronto right now. That’s where we’re headed next and off to other cities.

Brent: Very nice. Well, Paul I appreciate you taking the time to hang out with us. We will link out to all the Edge products, and enjoy the rest of your Create Now tour.

Paul: All right man.

Brent: Thank you, appreciate it.

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