Adobe Post Creates Quick Content, But Is Light on Features
Can a mobile app meet your design needs?
Adobe has added a new entry into its line of design software for mobile -- Adobe Post. Currently only available for iOS, Adobe Post is designed to help anyone, even non-designers, produce visual content for social media.
contains a short description and video demonstration of Post, but anyone interested can also download the free app and try it out for themselves. Adobe writes that Post is part of their goal to create tools that enable ”creativity for everyone- not just creative professionals”.
However, professional designers should still take notice -- Adobe is blurring the lines that distinguish designers from other content creators, but at the same time pushing for a more content-rich, beautiful web. Adobe has created a very interesting piece of software that is focused on creating content with a frictionless, but simplified, UX.
Speed From Simplicity
Post’s on-boarding is pretty simple, in line with the mission to make Post lightweight and quick. You do need to create an Adobe account, but once that is set up you are basically ready to start making content. In their very simple introduction, Adobe emphasizes that Post is all about speed and the ability to iterate. The app is intended to produce simple graphics to be used on Twitter or Facebook, so Adobe expects that users will not necessarily want to begin each time with a blank canvas. To facilitate that goal, a few dozen pre-made “Posts” are included to be “remixed” - or changed and modified by the user. Similarly, Post collects and saves your earlier designs for quick reference, so that they can be “remixed” as needed as well.
Remixing a Post is very simple and straightforward. The background image, text and graphic design can each be changed, replaced or removed. If you wanted to make a small change, like adding different text, simply double-tap and adjust the font, color, alignment, spacing, etc. While you are limited to a fixed font library and no real color picker, each Post dynamically suggests colors and color pairings based on the colors in the background image. This feature makes Post especially helpful for a user with very little designer experience, but limits its usefulness even for a non-dedicated designer. For example, you wouldn’t be able to use a unique font or precise color that might be part of a company brand kit.
Changing the background image of your Post is also straightforward and assisted by Adobe. You can upload a photo from your phone’s storage or camera, or import a file from the Creative Cloud or Lightroom. This option enables Post to be part of the design workflow, meaning that more specific or complicated designs can still take advantage of Post’s speedy UX. However, one does not need to import external files to create new content. Ingeniously, Adobe allows users to search for license-free photographs by subject. For example, in the example I used, Adobe suggests other images of soup. This is very useful if you are looking to keep a Post around as a template, but want to add some variety.
A Focus on Social
Limiting features for the sake of speed and usability makes sense if Post is intended to be used by non-designers to quickly generate visual content for social media. However, Post also has fairly limited export options to actually get your Post out onto the social media platform of your choice. From my experience, Post supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Snapchat, and I imagine Pinterest as well. Posting to Twitter or Facebook is relatively seamless and straightforward, but you need to copy and paste into Instagram, requiring you to go through the Instagram UI to finally post. Moreover, Post does not give you any options as to the size and shape of your image. My Twitter image was 600 by 600 pixels, which is perfect for Facebook, and would also work just fine on Instagram. This “Goldilocks” approach — not too big, not too small — means that a social media manager would not be able to take advantage of the unique elements of a given social network. For example, Twitter’s image preview is always shown in a 2:1 ratio, so a square image with a centered design might not look very attractive.
In summary, because of its extremely limited capabilities and options, Post should not be looked at as a replacement for full-blown desktop design software. However, Post does do a good job enabling non-designers to create visual content that might not require a high level of precision or control. Most importantly, Post generates good looking, visually pleasing content that follows basic but important design principles. Let us know if you’ve used Post yourself and what you think about it in the comments!