Adobe Inspiration Pods

As I mentioned in another post Inspiration Pods contain contextual cues which deep-link to tutorial content in the Inspiration Browser.

The difficulty that many Elements Users face is being presented with too many options, too much functionality and becoming completely intimidated. There is a real fear of a “blank canvas” when you’re new to digital image manipulation. What does a layer do? What’s drop shadow? How do I get rid of red eye? Unfortunately, the answers are not self-evident just by looking at the UI.

Enter the Inspiration Pod. Inspiration Pods are small, contextually-relevant messages that are intended to give the user gentle nudges in the right direction. We felt it was important to devote a small space in the UI where the user can link to tutorial information relevant to a specific application context. For instance, if I happen to be in the “Edit” tab of the Photoshop Elements Editor, the tutorial content in the pod is relevant to editing.

The messages in the pods changes when the application context changes (as in the case of changing tabs).



 After a brief delay, the text message for a particular pod enters the lower right corner in an animated right to left transition. The animation ends with a very subtle bounce intended to pull the user’s eye to that corner in an unobtrusive way. Its called an “orientation response” in cognitive science parlance, and I had to fight very hard to include it. The feature was a real balancing act between drawing the user’s attention to important information and irritating them. Hopefully we managed to only draw their attention!

When the user clicks on an Inspiration Pod, the pod expands to reveal more information on the particular tutorial promotion. The user can also navigate through other tutorials relevant to the current context. The expanded pod content is all created in Flash. Clicking on the call to action in the pods will launch the Inspiration Browser and deep-link to the tutorial in question.