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Sep 2017

What L&D can take away from the top talks at Adobe Make It

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Shaping the future of learning

There’s nothing quite as invigorating and inspiring as being surrounded by game-changers. You know, the kind of people who look at the standard practice and ask the question “but what if we did this?” This is the kind of person you’ll find at the Adobe MAKE IT event.

At Kineo, we are inspired by people like this. We’re all here for the same purpose – growing our knowledge and sharing that knowledge to better our industry and the creative profession. We’re excited by the collaboration that events like this bring forward and how we can infuse the creativity that flows from these events into our industry.

5 show-stopping talks at Adobe Make it

When we step out of the echo chambers of own industry, exciting and new ideas our born. At Adobe Make It, there was a collage of work from participants as well as presentations from pioneers in marketing and design showcasing their favourite projects.

  1. Embrace your company

    Alex, the Vice President of Experience Marketing within Adobe, gave an excellent presentation around embracing the creative community in Adobe’s applications. This is something we do here at Kineo: we celebrate our client’s wins, because for us, our purpose is all about the work we do with them. To quote him, we think our clients are rock stars and we like to make them heroes.

    In L&D teams this is equally important. You need to make your stakeholders rock stars and your learners your heroes. Find your champions, empower them and listen to them. By working together, you can bring ideas to fruition that solve core challenges.
  2. Do the work you want to be asked to do

    Gareth O'Brien’s show-real was full of creativity and humour with a special flavour of whimsy. He shared how his team positioned themselves to do the kind of design work they were excited by. Effectively, the style a designer portrays is their brand and if someone is sold on the brand of you and your design and creativity, you’ll have more freedom in your graphic design. As Gareth put it, “Do the work that you want to be asked to do.”

    There is often a bit of friction between internal L&D teams and the wider business. Stakeholders sometimes bypass their L&D teams and go straight to third-party suppliers or they don’t take their L&D team seriously. So this presentation held a universal truth no matter your position within L&D: get yourself some brand authority. One of Kineo’s co-founders addressed how in-house teams become the go-to place for learning – make sure you check out the post and accompanying webinar here.
  3. Give your learners context and powerful content

    In the world of photography, award winning photojournalist, Nicole Tung gave a stunning presentation of her process. Nicole highlighted some haunting and beautiful images and demonstrated to us the importance of content and context in imagery.

    In L&D there is still that nagging stereotype that online learning is just a bunch of text on a screen with a next button leading to another block of text and perhaps a loosely related stock image. Perhaps some of us are still guilty of doing this, but for the love of learning, please have some compassion for your learners. Engage them. Give them images that have impact and tell a good story. Give the course context and make it real.
  4. Break some rules

    Breaking the rules of design and production, Kitiya Palaskas shared with us her very tactile creative process, and how she got to where she is today. This was a purely inspirational embrace of hand-skills and incorporating technology into craft-based design. Working with styrofoam, coloured paper, paint and glitter, Kitiya creates tangible objects and photographs them to include in the commercial design world. In a world of digital, she isn’t afraid to hand-craft a fabric backdrop and use it as the focal point of a colourful and playful design.

    In L&D, we are always looking for new and different ways to present our learning. Sometimes, that means taking a traditional idea like a paper cut-out design and repackaging it in a new and modern way, like in an online course. This could be taken figuratively, or in our case last year, literally - we created a campaign to promote a new learning initiative with little 3D cut outs. The cut outs were incorporated in the online learning and employees also had to print out and create their own – it might sound silly and bit far-fetched, but it won Best Learning Technologies Project at Learning Technologies 2017. This proves that breaking rules and taking risks can pay dividends in helping you achieve your learning goals.
  5. Don’t be afraid to test the waters

    Sometimes, we get to see a new feature or a new tool which makes it obvious that the future is now. In addition to talks from creative companies, Adobe experts showed us what’s new. Jon Barrie gave an excellent talk about the latest in Adobe video and audio. He shared the possibilities of VR and HDR, such as character animator software. This software maps a character face to a human face, making the character face work in unison with small movements, like talking, smiling and even nodding.

    For L&D teams wanting to use this talking-head turned avatar technique, here’s some great news: anyone – ANYONE – can do this on their computer at their desk. It looked so simple and intuitive to use. The possibilities for creating engaging learning are getting really exciting as technologies like this is become increasingly accessible.
  6. Give your learning another dimension

    In the 3D arena, Zorana Gee gave a preview of project Felix, which is a new tool that lets designers work with 2D materials and produce 3D graphics. It seems to be a versatile new tool with many uses within the design industry and a great start-up kit to make design easy.

    From a design perspective, it’s excellent to have a 3D modelling software which integrates with the Adobe software set. In L&D, this 3D rendering provides more options for dynamically displaying interactive content. Want to make a model of a car or camera 3D with hotspots? Tools like this are making that dream a reality.


To summarise… Kineo recently shared our creative manifesto. We think it’s important, but we’re the first to admit it’s not always easy. No matter the discipline, it’s a full-time job to stay up to date on the cutting edge of design and interactive experience is a full-time job. Luckily, we have people from across the creative industry coming together at events like this, sharing their skills with the world, and making it a little smaller and bigger at the same time.

We in L&D may not invent the next self-driving car, or create a live character that maps to an actor’s face through facial recognition, but we do get inspired to do something new and different. Immersing ourselves in all things new and challenging is a good start to innovation within our own field - and it’s a fun ride!

If you’d like to watch the Adobe MAKE IT 2017 conference, check it out here.



Shaping the future of learning

Kineo helps the world’s leading businesses improve performance through learning and technology. We’re proud of our reputation for being flexible and innovative, and of our award-winning work with clients across the world.