Blue Flavor

Fun With Bokeh by Jeff Croft

Adobe CS3 Installer

Software Interface Design, Web Design and Development

In the summer of 2006, Adobe came to Blue Flavor with a unique challenge—to create a cross-platform solution for the installation user-experience of their flagship product Creative Suite 3 (CS3).

Using XHTML, CSS, and Javascript, Blue Flavor and Adobe were able to create a single installer which was not only the first to combine Adobe and Macromedia’s products, but also the first used for the individual product installations themselves.

While Adobe’s development team had in-house resources to complete the project, they contacted Blue Flavor to help them meet their rapidly approaching deadlines. We sat down with Kevin Stewart, Adobe Engineering Manager for the project, to talk about the CS3 Installer. About selecting a vendor, Kevin said, “several people in Adobe recommended Blue Flavor to our team based on positive past experiences. Once we looked at their portfolio and discussed our needs with them, Blue Flavor seemed like a good fit.”

Creating a cross-platform installer

Kevin explained the problem the installer development team faced: “Previous installers were custom-built and used platform-specific user interface controls.” An installer needed to be built for both Windows and Macintosh versions of the suite, which would increase the amount of work for the team. “The development team chose DHTML as the solution, creating a cross-platform installer built on web technologies like XHTML, CSS and Javascript. This created a more consistent user experience, making it easier to customize for various products and suite versions as well as reducing overall development time and complexity.”

But the fun didn’t end there. Blue Flavor provided some user experience and interface design help, working on the UI for drive selection screens as well as some heavy scripting. “The development team needed some additional expertise in implementing an engaging design to support the underlying functionality.” For example, the installer needed to use AJAX to control the experience of the installer, capture user data, and communicate back and forth with the user’s system. And of course it needed to support multiple platforms and systems, as well as be web standards-compliant and accessible to people with disabilities.

Adobe’s team was working on a fairly aggressive timeline. On top of this, the installer needed to be incrementally added into weekly builds and had several dependencies that were not yet finalized by other groups. By fully separating design from the underlying application logic, we were able to make dramatic changes to the user interface ito match the new Creative Suite branding requirements and satisfy various stakeholders within the organization.

Solving problems iteratively and transparently

Our engagement with Blue Flavor went extremely well. Given our tight deadline and lack of nailed down requirements, Blue Flavor was able to adapt and work with us in a very productive fashion.”

Blue Flavor’s approach to this project was to work in a highly agile fashion, being flexible, iterative and transparent. “We built up a rapport with the Blue Flavor team rather quickly and they blended into the team pretty seamlessly, even though they were off-site.”

Kevin added, “Their use of Basecamp to manage communications fit well with our style of development. Their responsiveness was very good and they acted as a true partner in the process, as opposed to being ‘hired guns.’”


Blue Flavor and Adobe were able to erase the traditional lines separating agencies and clients to solve a difficult problem in a short time. By being flexible and iterative, we helped create an excellent end-product which will be used by millions of Adobe customers.

When we asked Kevin for some final thoughts, he replied, “When we look at what our upcoming projects will be, Blue Flavor has a spot at the top of the short list of people we want to work with when we need expertise in user experience, interaction design and web development. We’d love to work with them again!”

Thank you Kevin and team. We would love to work together again soon, too!

Have a similar problem? Interested in our services? Tell us about your project, we'd love to help.

CS3 Installer Screen
CS3 Installer Screen

In their words

When we look at what our upcoming projects will be, Blue Flavor has a spot at the top of the short list of people we want to work with when we need expertise in user experience, interaction design and web development. We’d love to work with them again!”

Kevin Stewart — Engineering Manager, Adobe

More testimonials »

About Adobe

Adobe's new Creative Suite 3 line-up unites the best of Adobe and Macromedia product innovation to provide designers and developers with a broad spectrum of creative options for all facets of print, web, mobile, interactive, film, and video production.

  • Industry: Commercial Software