Adobe Color, the web app formerly known as Kular, is the oldest Adobe service, online since 2006. A color education tool for students and teachers and a platform for the design community to share color ideas. Create color themes using many different harmony rules or extract them from images. Browse curated color trends from the Adobe team or search millions of color themes published by the Color community.
The Accessibility tools were my passion project, and my most proud accomplishment at Adobe. Product accessibility is one of my top motivations as a product leader, and making accessible creation experiences allows me to provide the same capabilities for creatives. As the sole PM for the Adobe Color team, I was responsible for all facets of the product from concept to execution.
Developing the Accessibility workflows was a multi-phase project. We began with our unique, first of it's kind color blind accessibility tool, then followed up with contrast accessibility tools for graphics and text. The vision was for a dedicated space that guided the user into making accessibile color choices. A key intent was to integrate accessibility education into the experience to make it approachable and less intimidating to novice color users, a core persona that Adobe Color supports.
Early proof of concept Prototype
Creating tools for these accessibility workflows required several iterations. The team worked with beta users and internal color experts to align on the best possible frictionless UI.
The core goal of enabling accessible color choices for color blind audiences at the start of the design journey defined the MVP. Empowering users to make color blind safe choices directly on the color wheel as they were defining their color stories meant saving time and effort later down the line when changes to colors were more costly.
Enabling users to make contrast accessible color choices for graphics and text was the primary goal for phase two. The specific needs for this process meant moving away from Adobe Color's core experience of color wheel driven creation experiences. This required working with design stakeholders to refine the vision for a new framework to enable targeted color choices.
Adobe Color's tools for color blind safe theme creation launched in May 2020. The color tools were a key pillar of Adobe's accessibility awareness campaign for Global Accessiblity Awareness Day in 2020.
The contrast accessibility tools were delivered in a followup release in May 2021 for Global Accessiblity Awareness Day.
The extensive design and user research process taught me a great deal about managing user research initiatives. This included developing research processes, running user interviews, demo sessions, and prioritizing feedback for productization.
During development for this initiative the team also took the opportunity to revisit and update our own accessible experiences. I gained experience managing the accessible product development life cycle, defining accessibility requirements, auditing, testing, and working with users who relied on accessibility features. My most important insight was the importance of illustrating the problems we were solving so that the team understood the impact.
Developing these tools highlighted the importance of tools aimed at creating accessible experiences. User feedback since release has been vocal and frequent about the value of these tools across a wide variety of design disciplines.