Trendfyi – Making inspiration actionable

Project Brief

There are plenty of inspirational websites like Behance, Pintrest, Corofloat, Dribble etc that showcase the latest trends in design. Once you find an interesting effect, trying to re-create it is a nightmare. Learning Photoshop through tutorials is also a very time consuming process. As part of our Adobe Kickbox project ,this was the problem we set out to solve. The goal was to help designers easily re-use effects from inspirational artwork within the design community to make Creative Pros more productive in their workflows.

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Tags

Plugin, Photoshop, Tutorials, Inspiration, Reuse, Social, Learning, Design

Summary

A Photoshop plugin that helps designers apply effects from other inspirational posters onto their own design assets.

Process followed

Our journey was challenging as we were trying to solve a latent need for the user. The solution proposed sounded like magic to the review committee initially. However, once we built a prototype as a proof of concept, we were awarded the Bluebox with an additional funding to develop the product.The first version of our website was launched at www.trendfyi.launchrock.com .The feedback we received on the value proposition was that professionals found the tool interesting but too basic. They wanted a means to select effects from a poster rather that choose from an aggregated list of effects/assets. We iterated on the feedback and finally launched our next version at www.trendfyi.com.This time the website also included details like what other products does Trendfyi support, how do we aggregate content, what are the benefits of contributing to the platform, cost etc. We also showcased a detailed video explaining how Trendfyi would work within Photoshop. The user could thus see the product in action. The last line of our video said ‘Register for a free 60 day trial’. As per Google analytics, users spent an average of 20 mins on our website. We had a conversion rate of 12% in 20 days with 124 signups and 1040 page views.

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Project Overview

Searching the web for inspiration and digging through tutorials to recreate an effect is very common today. With Trendfyi, you can view the latest trends across categories like fonts, filters, patterns, gradients etc and make your creations stand out. Trendfyi leverages on the Layer Styles and Action Libraries in Photoshop to track how an effect was created. It than makes it available for the design community to reuse. The objective was to help designers deal with the blank canvas syndrome, explore ideas faster, learn new tricks of the trade and make learning Photoshop fun.

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Different States of the Panel.

Explorations

We started off by allowing the user to drag-drop fonts, effects, textures, backgrounds etc from a pre-defined list. User's found this interesting but limiting at the same time. Professionals wanted to see the effects applied in relation to other elements in a poster. They also wanted to gather inspiration from the works of other designers. We thus introduced a social aspect to Trendfyi in our second exploration.In the third iteration, users could tag their artwork, search for posters using keyframes as well as apply more complex effects through the Action Library in Photoshop.

Exploration 1 : User can choose from a pre-populated list of effects

Exploration 2 : User can choose an effect from a poster shared by other designers.

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Exploration 3 : User can choose from effects recorded by other designers through the Action Library in Photoshop

How it works

With PSD files stored on Creative Cloud, we can track how an effect was created and generate snippets that apply the same action on another user’s assets. We leverage on ‘Layer Styles’ in Photoshop for simple effects and use the ‘Action Library’ for more complex workflows. The recommendation engine could analyze a users canvas, detect the number and type of elements on it and suggests similar layout compositions, font pairs, color schemes and trending techniques. Inspirational artwork can be filtered based on popularity on Behance, recent views, online design trends, tags and keywords. A user simply drag-drops interesting effects from posters onto his assets and can create multiple explorations by mix-matching in less than 5 minutes.

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Video of the working prototype.

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Enhancement of tutorials with Trendfyi

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Action Library Workflows

Expansion opportunities

Trendfyi can also be extended into the consumer space where hobbyist can create posters, greeting cards, presentation slides, brochures,business cards etc by reusing effects shared by designers. This would be positioned as a web tool outside Photoshop that provides users with templates to get started.

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