Adobe.com needed an overhaul. As in, + enterprise product — re-architected, rewritten, redesigned, and republished.

And the timeline had just been cut from 12 down to three.

Adobe’s Senior Creative Director Josh Souter wanted nothing more than to lock himself in his office and binge-watch YouTube videos.

To complete the project on time, he needed all hands on deck and then some. “We immediately gathered the wagons — UX designers, writers, developers, product marketers, strategists, customer relations, and sales,” he says.

“Within a week, we kicked off rounds of customer research, brought in an army of external agencies, and even started building rough prototypes. It was kind of like hitting the ground running, but completely engulfed in flames.”

And that wasn’t all. “Maintaining any semblance of process and consistency was going to be the bane of our existence.”

Another significant factor at play was that all the webpages had to incorporate the Adobe design language, Spectrum, via the Adobe Design System team (also involved in the project). “With so many moving parts at Adobe, Spectrum is the way we ensure brand consistency across the board,” Josh says.

Sometimes insane projects require a new approach

Josh puts it this way: “Imagine you have three hours to cut down a tree, so you spend two hours sharpening the saw… only to find out there are now 00 trees.”

In other words, sometimes you need to upgrade to a chainsaw.

While first instinct was to turn to Photoshop and Illustrator, Josh’s team was willing to take this opportunity to put Adobe XD — the chainsaw — to the test.

Here were three lessons learned:



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