Tapping Users Minds, Adobe launches Adobe Labs Ideas
This is the first of several ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘How should firms collaborate with customers and/or value chain partners to co-create new products and services?’. Here is the initial perspective in the series:
by Janelle Noble
Global software leader Adobe Systems, Inc. recently launched a new initiative to go outside of their organization to facilitate research and development on emerging products and incorporate user-feedback into their online developer community, Adobe Labs™,
The new initiative, named Adobe Labs Ideas™, utilizes multiple interfaces to provide ideation capabilities for specific Adobe products, including Adobe AIR™, Adobe Flash Builder™, Adobe Flash Catalyst™, Adobe Flash Professional™, Adobe Flex™, Adobe LiveCycle ES™ and WorkflowLab™.
For Adobe, the ability to collect and prioritize feature suggestions and feedback has the potential to dramatically improve workflow and increase the productivity of product managers, while at the same time providing real-time customer and developer feedback, in-depth customer insights for improved marketing and further refining features through community collaboration among peers.
For developers and users of Adobe products, Adobe Labs Ideas is an incredible opportunity to influence the development of your favorite applications. Popular suggestions collected so far include requests to streamline user interfaces to make programming more intuitive, improved integration of product lines and tips for improved hardware utilization.
According to Adobe Labs manager Daniel Taborga, the company has long been interested in engaging the user community for idea generation and after a successful pilot of BrightIdea’s technology, they decided to integrate it into the official launch of Adobe Labs Ideas. Now all product managers at Adobe now have the potential to utilize the platform to drive innovation in their products.
Adobe Labs Ideas is so powerful for product managers because it allows product teams to get hard proof on which features are needed in releases- something traditional market analysis fails at for software and technology firms like Adobe. These incremental improvements are key to making emerging products the next Flash™ or Photoshop™.
In the one month since the program was launched, Adobe Labs Ideas has already seen over 20,000 unique visitors, 1,200 registered users and generated upwards of 450 feature and usability recommendations on participating product lines.
While the release cycle for the various products now included in the initiative varies, currently submitted ideas are already providing real time feedback for upcoming product versions. As plans are finalized for the next generation of Adobe products, the true power of the innovation management solution will come into play by suggesting specific new features, interface improvements and functionality.
By integrating crowdsourcing feedback and innovation management functionality into Adobe Labs™, the company will continue to distribute pre-release software and technologies to its user base, receive feedback and further refine its future product offerings.
The Adobe Labs Ideas™ program is designed to be an ongoing effort, which will bring together product teams, programmers, designers and customers for years to come.
You can check out all of the ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles from the different contributing authors on ‘How should firms collaborate with customers and/or value chain partners to co-create new products and services?’ by clicking the link in this sentence.
Janelle Noble is the Digital Marketing Manager at Brightidea and frequently contributes for Brightidea’s corporate blog, Innovation at Work. Follow her on twitter @janelletnoble.