Like the majority of visual design professionals, I use Adobe software every day. For professional 2-D design software, Adobe is far and away the authority. But for the casual user, Adobe’s forays into lite design applications have been lackluster. Apps like Photoshop Elements have suffered from limited market exposure and disappointed with too little functionality to be useful, even to novices or hobbyists.

This time around, things may be different. With Slate, it looks like Adobe may have made a dint in the DIY web space. For the average non-professional, it seems as slick and design-savvy as SquareSpace, and more elegant than many SlideShare and PowerPoint decks. Slate offers some nice parallax scrolling and alpha transitions, and the browser-based platform is intuitive, clean, and so far completely free of bugs. The result is part website and part presentation, with the attractiveness of both, and just enough flexibility to give users a range of choices.

What’s immediately striking to a visual designer like myself is that the platform is very templated, with tight controls on type styles, line spacing, separating elements, and maintaining consistency throughout each. The user is given a nice little toolkit of elements in each theme, and the rest is locked in by the template. This is really helpful, and the approach is clear: Focus on the story, not on the fine points of layout which nobody but a designer gets anyway. All content. No B.S.

Slate boasts responsive layout, a fresh look and feel, and ease of use, even for a beginner. I can see Adobe Slate really taking off, especially if Adobe cultivates a culture of passionate users around its strengths. I would love to see them attract a community of passionate template designers so there is as much choice as with WordPress Themes.

Here’s a little thing I did using Slate for a work presentation recently. Enjoy!

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