Phil Clevenger – Lightroom Interface Designer

Phil Clevenger is the man behind the Lightroom user interface. Phil and I sat down to chat about what brought him to Adobe – and what he learned from his time at MetaCreations designing rule-bending interfaces for software like Bryce and Kai’s PhotoSoap. He also gives some hints at some possible directions of the Lightroom UI, and his philosophy around the evolution of user interfaces in general.

Read more on the Lightroom Development Story

Note: Phil also designed the user interfaces for Poser 3 and 4, as well as KPT Vector Effects

  • teymur madjderey

    nice one! again! so very cool. especially as I loved poser and KPT. and he does a brilliant job, especially after having used aperture for a day as my lr beta kinda died :-D. aperture has such an amazingly bad look and feel and ui. I really didn’t like it at all. and I don’t want to be the big hater, but its how I felt, so extra kudos to phil!!!

    keep rocking. both of you!


    p.s.: maybe one thing though… hope its ok… the magnifying glass thingy was quite nice… maybe that would be an idea for LR too…

  • DJ

    Lightroom is brilliantly beautiful – thank you! It’s been our main reference for how we want our apps to look and feel! I hope to meet you some day and thank you in person!

    Rock on!

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  • Kai Gradert

    This is a great interview. Thanks FrederickVan & Phil. I have had the pleasure to work with Phil back at MetaTools and later at Cooperating Systems. I tip my hat to the entire team for the hard work, dedication, soul and beauty that went into the Lightroom UI. Lightroom is a beautility!

  • Lissi Coelfen

    Lightroom is so beautiful and it’s a pleasure to work with it every day. Thank you Phil and the whole team.

    Oh and hi Kai. It’s long ago… winke winke 🙂

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  • Ward Poulos

    Great interview Frederick. Thanks!

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  • carst van der molen

    Fascinating, also the parts about Bryce and other KPT software. Great interview Frederick, thanks for posting this!

  • Jane Birdsell

    I’d have liked to have listened to this interview, but however I tried to access it, I couldn’t hear the sound – it was like a very distant mutter. (I don’t have separate speakers for my PowerMac G5.) Usually, I’ve been able to download podcasts and listen to them through my hi-fi, but couldn’t see how to do this (plus of course, I’d have preferred to see the guy’s face).

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  • Jauder Ho

    I use Lightroom only because RawShooter was acquired by Adobe. I really liked RawShooter for the sheer speed and the intuitive keyboard shortcuts.

    I would very much like it if Lightroom was to enable alternate shortcut mapping as some of the current shortcuts are very non-intuitive as well as not easy to get to (placement-wise) on the keyboard.

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  • Arunas Sliuzas

    Great programme. I would like to have Photoshop Album back as a separate application and it UI in the style of Lightroom.

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  • Courtox

    In French:
    Un superbe entretient qui donne une belle vue de l’évolution des interfaces homme/machine tournés vraiment vers l’utilisateur final, en l’occurrence le photographe.

    In English:
    An interview that gives a beautiful view of the evolution of human-machine really turned to the end user, in this case the photographer.

    Thank you to explain how the idea was coming from, and how you implement it.