Seven Ways to Make Sure Your XD Plugin is Approved for the Plugin Manager
“This week’s guest post is by Akshay Abrol, a Software Engineer on the CC Integrations Review team who has been at Adobe since 2018.”
— Erin Finnegan, Community Engineer, Creative Cloud
Hello, Developers! If you’ve been following the world of Adobe XD plugins, you’ll know that users can discover plugins directly within the app via the XD Plugin Manager. All XD plugins listed in the Plugin Manager must first go through a review process before being published.
During the review process, we check plugins with an aim to make sure users have positive experiences with the plugins they install. We’re helping set developers up for success when their work is public. Sometimes developers are rejected during the process, particularly when submitting a plugin for the first time. When that happens, we have to request certain changes be made before they re-submit for review.
This blog post will discuss some common and basic causes for rejection and how to avoid them. Watching out for these items will help make your XD plugin approval process fast and flawless. This should be especially helpful for new XD plugin developers.
1. Make your own plugin icon
All of the plugins in our plugin samples repo come with generic dummy icons for demonstration purposes. These dummy icons aren’t intended to be used in production plugins, but sometimes we find them in plugins that have been submitted.
Submitting your plugin with a demo icon from the Adobe I/O Console starter project (or from our plugin samples repo) is a quick way to get your plugin rejected. These icons are only for reference.
We love to see unique icons for each plugin submitted for review. Check out the plugins listed in the XD Plugin Manager for some inspiration!
2. Avoid silent failures
The biggest reason plugins fail during our functional testing is due to silent failures. Silent failures happen when the user attempts to run an action in the plugin and nothing happens, with no feedback to the user.
For example, if an Artboard is not selected in XD, but the user unknowingly runs a plugin action which requires an Artboard selection, the plugin can fail silently if the developer doesn’t provide helper text, an alert, or some other sort of feedback to the user. Your plugin must clearly instruct the user on what they need to do in order to use your plugin.
Your plugin must clearly instruct the user on what they need to do in order to use your plugin.
For more guidance on good UX practices for plugins, see our (new!) plugin design assets repo.
3. Check your plugin using both macOS and Windows
XD plugin APIs make it possible to write one plugin that will work on both macOS and Windows, but there can be some discrepancies between the platforms that you’ll want to check and correct for. Prior to submitting your plugin for review, make sure your plugin is functional on both platforms.
If a plugin doesn’t render UI or function correctly and uniformly on both platforms, we will reject it with notes about what we found.
4. Provide a “Get Support” link
Support links play a vital role between a developer and their users. There should be a proper channel of communication between the two so users know where to get support or submit feedback when necessary.
Be sure to provide a destination that you check regularly. If your official website is under construction and mostly unpublished, you won’t be able to use it as your Get Support link. If you don’t have a site, provide your email address, a social media account, or a GitHub repo with clear instructions for how to get support.
5. Make use of the Reviewer Notes
You can provide Reviewer Notes when you submit your plugin on the I/O Console. Reviewer Notes are the easiest way to reach out to the approver (in this case, me!).
You can let us know any information which you believe could be helpful in streamlining the review of your plugin. This may include specific instructions on how to test the plugin, or test login credentials, if necessary.
6. Follow the Brand Guide
Before submitting your plugin for review, make sure that you are in compliance with the Developer Brand Guide. We at Adobe are strict about following these guidelines while reviewing your plugin.
Make sure that the name of your plugin, icon, and/or images do not contain Adobe product names or icons without the necessary approval from the relevant Adobe product teams.
For example, the name “XD Rectangle Maker” would be rejected, whereas “Rectangle Maker for XD” would be approved. You can find more details on plugin naming in the Developer Brand Guide.
7. Test plugin compatibility with the latest release of XD
Typically speaking, you’ll want to at least make sure that your plugin is compatible with the most recent version of XD, as well as the next version down. Both of these versions of XD are always available via the Creative Cloud app on your desktop.
If, however, your plugin has been developed for a specific version of Adobe XD, be sure to set your minVersion and maxVersion in the manifest file accordingly. It must be compatible with all available versions of Adobe XD unless specified otherwise in the manifest.
Are you ready to submit your plugin? (Or resubmit it?)
As a member of the Creative Cloud Integrations Review team, I’m excited to get a first look at all of the great work developers are doing on the Adobe XD Platform. I think you’ll find that by checking these seven points before submitting your XD plugin that you’ll greatly increase the likelihood of sailing through the review process the very first time.
Ready to build your first Adobe XD plugin? Get started now on AdobeXDPlatform.com and I’ll be looking forward to reviewing your plugin before we publish it to share with the world!
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