Humanising Creativity

Interaction Design  / UI/UX / Ergonomics
Adobe Systems

Nikhil Tailang
Subir Das

Adobe XD
Humans, are the greatest technology you will ever encounter. Their ideas can only be countered, revised, or sharpened by other ideas. In the past, the drive toward perfection has been tempered by countervailing forces reminding us that humanity needs a role in the creation, production, and dissemination of knowledge alongside technology. What is needed now, then, is a focus on fostering and developing a culture of education and big ideas that is both responsive and proactive regarding the coming Singularity, so that humans can thrive within and alongside it.

- Jeffrey St. Onge

My graduation project, "Humanising Creativity", arose from what I saw as a disconnect in the way the conversations around interface design happened when creating tools for creatives. The focus seemed to be on making "the tool" more efficient, or be automated in some form to be considered a value add to the user. But in my opinion, I found that many of the obstacles that keep people from getting the creative work they have in mind done are not due to limitations of the tool itself, but rather a mental block or physical fatigue that may exist.

On research of this, I came upon the UI design area of Digital Wellbeing, where several groups and companies are taking steps to help people combat these issues which exist outside the realm of the tool itself. In my position at Adobe Design Lab, I had an ideal place to explore how emergent technology in creative tools could work towards these basic goals of human quality of life, and if large corporations had a role to play in the same.
Using this as a launch point, I traced the development of creative tools and technology over time. Through this I arrived at a line of questioning I would use to create experiments imagining the future of creative tools.

The experiments I prototyped included:

A smart assistant that can promote healthier posture and ergonomics at a workspace using computer vision based posture detection.

A machine learning that attempted to detect fatigue in creatives when drawing.

Various community linked features for creative tools to promote self preservation.

A system for guided exercise, specifically tailored to artists using camera vision.

An AR system to simulate printed materials.