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The Redesign of InDesign: An Inside Scoop

InDesign is the premier layout and publication application. With the release of InDesign 2017.1, we have made the user interface flat, modern and easier on the eye to help creatives do their best work. With this change, we’ve also made the user interface consistent across the Adobe design applications like Photoshop and Illustrator.

A new, simpler user interface
The previous user interface was effective for creatives, but we wanted to do more to simplify the workspace and help them focus on their work. So we looked at all the details from icons and button shadows to edit boxes. We streamlined icons, simplified buttons, and perfected other interface elements. We’ve also updated the “New Documents” dialogue to surface relevant presets and templates to make them accessible.  

Design without compromise
As designers ourselves, we were also keenly aware of how important choosing the right color palette is. Some designers work in bright studios, and therefore need high contrast in their workspace to easily navigate menus and options. Others work in more dimly lit spaces, where bright colors can be straining to the eyes. Our team did extensive testing and gathered a lot of user feedback to optimize InDesign for all of our audiences.

With the new release, designers have the flexibility to choose between four different workspace themes: dark, medium-dark, medium-light, and light. Learn how to change the color the themes here.

Redesigned Colors

Little changes have big impacts – Both colors were tested with our users as part of the early redesign efforts. The color swatch (1) on the right was part of the test group that resulted in a 90% higher satisfaction rate compared to color swatch (2).

User-driven workspace improvements
Every release of InDesign is accompanied by extensive testing and gathering of user feedback. This release was no different. Our pre-release users helped us early on to mold this user interface into what it is today. Their feedback is one of the main reasons why we have added more flexibility in workspace themes. Every bit of insight the pre-release team provides goes a long way. The details make a difference — and more importantly, the feedback you provide is what makes all the difference.

Join our pre-release program to get early access to new releases.

We’re excited about the new design, not only because it’s better for our users, but also because the new interface sets the foundation for future improvements. Our goal is to make InDesign faster, more powerful, and simpler to use for all creatives. This is one step toward that ultimate goal.

If you haven’t already, download the latest version of InDesign. If you have, stay tuned because we’re excited to show you more at Adobe MAX — the Creativity Conference.


Wayne Hoang

Wayne Hoang

Sr. Product Marketing Manager


Wayne Hoang is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe design products based out of San Francisco. He is a designer and hacker with a passion for solving problems through technology and creativity.


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