Photoshop Redesign

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most used design tools in the world. While it is incredibly powerful, people only end up using a small fraction of Photoshop’s tools on a daily basis. In this project, I wanted to rethink the process of utilizing this software and consider other play (interaction) values that would make novice users have a more meaningful and enjoyable experience.

During the research process, I worked with Sergio Burgos and Uriel Zarate to identify areas of opportunity, synthesize information from interviews and user testing, and to propose a list of possible changes in the design of Adobe Photoshop. In this one week project, I worked individually in the creation of all visual and motion design material. Our adviser for this project was Catherine Herdlick.


Adobe Photoshop is such a powerful tool that enables creatives to make their visions come to life. Although a fluent user will find their way around it in a quick manner, beginning users find it overwhelming. We wanted to minimize the confusion for new users by limiting choices and giving them a pre set toolbar according to the project they were working on.

During the research process we identified pain points through user testing and research and designed a new way to use photoshop.






  • Photoshop has a confusing onboarding process that discourages the user from using the software to its full potential.

  • Due to the busy nature of Photoshop, icons are small and cluttered. This makes users feel overwhelmed and the user tends to rely on the same tools (the ones they’re familiar with) for different projects.

  • Simple tasks become difficult to accomplish due to the high language learning curve. Some names used don’t communicate what the tool does successfully.

  • Certain features are hidden and take too many steps to be used.

  • This causes the user to feel frustrated and resort to google searching, asking other users, or giving up.

  • Users can only share their work on Behance from Photoshop. There is no option to share on social media or other platforms directly.

Journey Map


Our Approach

  • Users gets to choose the kind of project they are working on, so the most relevant menu features expand while all other features disappear.
  • Hidden features become visible when choosing an option from the menu, while giving instant feedback when choosing them.
  • The language learning curve is reduced by having a screen showing looping videos that explain what each tool does.
  • Users can easily save and export albums to their favorite social media and get instant validation through likes.



Users can now select a “mode” depending on the project they want to work on. This allows Photoshop to show a unique interface with options that are relevant for the current project that the user is working on.



No more overwhelming and cluttered icons. By removing unnecessary tools from the toolbar, there is more space for the project specific options to be distributed in the toolbar.


GIF Tutorials

Simple tasks become difficult to accomplish due to the high language learning curve. Some names used don’t communicate what the tool does successfully. By adding a tutorial window that shows examples of what a tool can do offers a visual way to learn how to use them.


Adjustments Carrousel

Adjustments is one of the most used features in photoshop but the icons used don’t have labels and are sometimes lost in the right panel. Adding an “adjustments carrousel” makes these features more accesible and visually prominent.