“Hello, XD plugin!” Workshops and Hackathons Across Europe

Kicking off our Hello, XD Plugin! workshop for designers and developers in London

London, Amsterdam, Mannheim. One week, three countries, four Adobe folks, seven community speakers and 80 designers and developers.

At the end of February we started our “Hello, XD plugin!” developer workshops across Europe and were taken by surprise at the energy on site and the outcome after only two hours of live hacking at each event.

Our intent was to bring the Adobe XD Platform directly to developers across Europe, show them how easy and quick it is to start building your own plugin, and what value it can bring to your customers’ design processes. Also, we wanted to bring together tech-savvy designers, JavaScript developers, and partners for other Creative Cloud apps to see the creativity that comes out of this mix.

The mood was very different at all three stops but the enthusiasm and curiosity was very high everywhere. We had diverse teams of designers and developers at each of the workshops. While we had more designers than developers in London, we had a huge majority of developers in Amsterdam and Mannheim.

Community Speakers

To provide some inspiration, we invited two to three community experts to each event. All of them are experienced XD plugin developers and local heroes.

XD plugin developer experts and guest speakers posing with Adobe staff in Amsterdam, Mannheim, and London

Simon Widjaja, Mimic and Personas

Simon Widjaja, developer of the Adobe XD plugins Mimic and Personas, (get Mimic or Personas in XD), showed us all the new stuff he is working on like “smart layout”, a tool that will speed up your design and layout process tremendously (coming soon to the XD Plugin Manager). He also presented “Story”, a tool that he uses today with some of his clients to create production-ready code for interactive stories based on navigating around a 2D image.

Not only is this a great example of an unexpected use case, but it also shows the value of the platform behind Adobe XD; like Simon, even if you don’t make your plugins available publicly, you can use them within your team or in collaboration with your customers only. Follow Simon and his team’s work at https://tourdexd.com/

Nicholas van der Walle and Irina Petrova, Astute Graphics

Nick and Irina from Astute Graphics presented in London on the new Astui plugin (get it in XD) that introduces new graphic and vector capabilities to Adobe XD, driven by an online rendering service. Astute Graphics has supported Illustrator users for 13 years and now they are bringing all of their knowledge to the cloud and to Adobe XD users.

Astute Graphics joined us on this blog last year to talk about being among the first to build plugins for Adobe XD. Astute is a great example for anybody thinking of a business model to earn money from their plugins and the knowledge behind them.

XD extensibility engineer Peter Flynn introducing attendees in Amsterdam to XD APIs

Vince Schwidder and Nils Hoenson, Yummygum

In Amsterdam we had Yummygum join us. Three people dressed in white Yummygum branded sweaters and Vince, the founder, wore a black Yummygum Tee. Should you need any support in Brand Marketing, there you go! But hey, these guys really rock. They discussed ideas for expanding on their Confetti plugin (get it in XD) during their presentation, and they presented the draft of version 2.0 just a few hours later! If you haven’t already, definitely give Confetti a try. While it may seem simple, you will fall in love and see the time you can save after playing around with it.

Yummygum previously did a guest post on this blog about the making of Confetti for Adobe XD. Confetti is a great example of how it helps every design team to have at least one person who understands what you can simplify using code.

Developer advocate Kerri Shotts giving an intro to XD plugin UI in Mannheim

Christophe Stoll, Data Populator

While we had the developer of Data Populator (get it in XD) as an attendee at the London workshop, Christophe Stoll, founder and designer at Precious Design Studio in Hamburg presented what you can achieve, when connecting your designs to real data. He and his team started to develop this plugin for Sketch when XD was not available yet and they had the need to add real data to a customer project. He open sourced the project afterwards, found his new developer in London with that and now ships a much better version also for Adobe XD for his team but also every other designer with the same need in their project.

Christophe is not afraid of giving to the community. He knows that he gets back more in return.

Pablo Klaschka, Lorem Ipsum

And lastly we heard from Pablo Klaschka, a student in space and aerospace computer science, about his side project, a Lorem Ipsum plugin (get it for XD). He also talked about the various developer tools he shares and maintains on GitHub, many of which you can find linked from our XD-Awesome repo. One of his projects, the typings repo for Adobe XD, has even become a part of our canonical GitHub org. Statistically, you are very likely to bump into Pablo on the XD developer forums, so go say hi (we’ll be there to say hi too!).

Although he still is in the early days of his studies, Pablo is already a very experienced developer for XD and already influences the growing community with his tools and community engagement.

Rapid hacking

Amsterdam attendee Nikola Pilipovic, demoing his first plugin, now available in the XD Plugin Manager

After a short introduction by Ash Ryan Arnwine (Lead Technical Evangelist), people were surprised that Peter Flynn (Computer Scientist for Adobe XD extensibility) and Kerri Shotts (Developer Advocate) helped attendees build their own plugins based on sample code very quickly. This exercise helped to orient everyone in the APIs and workflow in a short amount of time, and prepped our attendees to start their own projects right after lunch.

We only had two full hours each afternoon for the teams to start coding and working on their ideas. It was great to see what they came up with after such short period of time!

We saw a custom CSS generator plugin, ideas on porting an Illustrator extension to XD, an InDesign connector, and more… including a Chuck Norris joke creator.

Check out some of the attendees’ work:

The first plugin is already live: “Export only one size” shipped just a week after the workshop. “The idea came to me during the code-along with Peter and Kerri. The problem this plugin is solving has been something that I’ve been dealing with a lot so the main target group is me, but I think others can also benefit from it.” Please check Nikola Pilipovic’s plugin in the Adobe XD Plugin Manager.

We’re looking forward to seeing more plugins from our workshop participants become available in the XD Plugin Manager in the future!

Lead Technical Evangelist Ash Ryan Arnwine showing how to share XD plugins privately or with the world

Keep in touch in our forums

We’re excited to offer more XD plugin developer events throughout the year in more locations. But you don’t need to wait for an event to get started building your own Adobe XD plugin.

Visit AdobeXDPlatform.com to jump in, and be sure to say hi on the developer forums.