(Parivartan Sharma/ Mint)
(Parivartan Sharma/ Mint)

Firms need to marry tech with creativity to achieve optimum results: Adobe’s Belsky

  • Belsky cited the example of vacation rental company, AirBnB, that was successful in beating the competition because they had better photography
  • He pointed to social media company Pinterest which, in its early days, used some design tricks to make the website feel faster

NEW DELHI: Are creativity and technology two ends of the spectrum? Good design shapes how we use technology today and great products don’t win because of technology but due to a user’s experience of technology that boils down to design, creativity and new interfaces, argues Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive vice-president, Adobe Creative Cloud.

Belsky should know since he oversees Adobe’s design team across all Adobe products. “Today, every company is building a digital experience so I believe design is as important if not more, to the underlying technology themselves," said Belsky during an interview when he recently visited India.

Belsky cited the example of vacation rental company, AirBnB, that was successful in beating the competition because they had better photography and shot each apartment professionally as opposed to other companies who used user generated content that made the same apartment not as attractive.

Similarly, he pointed to social media company Pinterest which, in its early days, used some design tricks to make the website feel faster so that it appeared that the images were loading faster than they actually were. It was a case of designers being innovative in the customer experience even before the underlying technology was able to do so, notes Belsky.

Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive VP, Adobe Creative Cloud.
Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive VP, Adobe Creative Cloud.

But for creativity to flourish, says Belsky, it is imperative to empower different teams at different times. He opines that at the early stage of development, it is the product and designers who need to work together and as a business leader one has to make sure that they are not deterred by engineers.

On the debate between automation versus design and creativity, Belsky believes that creativity is a uniquely human trait and no one knows where it comes from. It is thus, the one industry that is safe from replacement from new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI).

Agrees Sunder Sarangan, chief marketing officer and general manager, Software Product Engineering at Persistent Systems: “Comparing creativity with technology is akin to asking whether language skills or communication matter more than STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills...what will matter most is the right balance or combination and the ability to combine the two most effectively," he asserts.

According to D.D. Mishra, senior director and analyst, Gartner, “Creativity is often the catalyst for change. In addition to this, the differentiation between products and services is fast diminishing. In order to stay ahead of the curve, we need to innovate to differentiate. Innovation comes from creativity and if the organisation’s culture revolves around creativity, differentiation becomes easy."

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