Adobe Edge: What You Need to Know

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Static web content is no longer the norm. Consumers do not want websites where the only things to do are to read text, to look at photos, and to never find anything new or engaging. In order to hook web visitors in, businesses need to create content that attracts them and piques interest. One of the ways to do that is with Adobe Edge.

“Adobe Edge allows people to create animated and interactive content,” said Rich Lee, product manager for Adobe. “It’s more useful for designers who are familiar with timelines and motion tools, but it’s easy to learn.”

Edge can be used to create a variety of things, such as tablet apps, content rotators, animations, games, and data visualizations. Although the product may seem like something only artists and creative industries can use, there are applications for service and retail businesses. For example, retail stores can use the content rotator to highlight product, while a service company could use the data visualization to showcase research or statistics, as in this example on mobile operating systems.

“People want to engage with content… replay, slide, click,” Lee said. “It gives the page more depth.”

Adobe Edge is available for free download at Adobe Labs, and is currently in its fifth preview. A commercial release is scheduled by the end of the year. There have been hundreds of thousands of downloads to date, according to Lee, with 70,000 of them taking place on the first release of the product back in August 2011.

One of the great things about Adobe Edge is that it can streamline the process of web design and development. A designer can work in Adobe Edge, hand the work off to another designer or developer, and that person can use a Javascript or CSS program to work on the project. Someone does not have to have Adobe Edge in order to tweak an Adobe Edge project.

“Edge allows the designer to do [the design work] himself,” Lee said. “The designer can do what he should be doing. It’s a flexible way to work.”

Lee also said that this tool is not a beginner’s tool. Knowing HTML code is helpful to getting the most out of Adobe Edge, but those with design or web development experience can learn the interface easily. Edge also utilizes HTML5 for the animation work. Typically, the web has used Adobe Flash for animations, but Edge relies on HTML in order to accomplish the same things, or maybe more, than Flash.