Before I go into details, I have to mention that this post is not paid or promoted by anyone. It’s just my own observation.
Recently, I stumbled upon a tweet titled: “Toolkit of a product designer” and I noticed that it’s missing the only software I've been using daily for the last 9 months: Adobe XD.
And my instant reply was:
Suddenly, I realized that more than 90% of my work is now on Adobe XD unless I'm doing some detailed image or vector editing. I have Photoshop / Illustrator for that!
As a result, I decided to review why I switched my wire-framing and UI design work from Axure RP / InVision / Photoshop / Illustrator to Adobe XD.
I’m a Windows user.
As much as I read about (and tried) Sketch, I just couldn’t keep using for a couple of reasons:
- They suck at cross-platform support (only on Mac).
- The software itself is full of features (most of them are pretty useful), and bugs. Just check this story:
.Sketch 3.7.x issues via Twitter users (with images, tweets) · SketchHunt
Some users are experiencing performance issues, unexpected changes in features that result in workflow disruption, or…
- They don’t play nice with legacy design software.
- You can design. But you need to pay for another tool to prototype or showcase you final product. And the most advertised tool is InVision, which doesn’t play perfectly with Photoshop / Sketch as advertised (Believe me, I tried it).
One of the most established tools on Windows is Axure RP. It’s a fully featured software for wire-framing that claims to be also about UI Design and prototyping.
Claims, because after spending 4 months with it, I was unable to produce a single prototype that looked decent. On the other hand, getting the html/css values for your prototype is a piece of cake!
Last fall, Adobe FINALLY launched XD on windows making it truly cross platform. The initial launch was boring and full of bugs, but the team behind it were awesome! ( Shoutout to @Jonthanjosh @elainecchao and @ashorten for being hyper active and super responsive on Twitter).
Jumping to the last release (which was a couple of days ago), XD truly became my BFF (with some quirks as all BFFs are):
- Software is written in the new Windows framework, so you get all the new benefits of Windows 10 platform.
- Wireframe, Design, Prototype, all in 1 software with the easiest UI you can ever imagine!
- Share your prototype with a link (enable or disable comments) and update that link whenever you want.
- Import shapes from Illustrator and Photoshop, export for web (1x, 2x) or for fun (SVG, PNG).
- Adobe CC Libraries: Create a style/color on ANY Adobe software and view / use it (for now) in Adobe XD. This makes the life of a design team way easier via a shared UI Kit / Design System.
- Best of all: It’s super light, super responsive. And for the same exact design, Adobe XD file is like 20% in size compared to its Photoshop counterpart.
What’s my wish-list for the next year of Adobe XD?
- More integration with Photoshop / Illustrator: Import a file while keeping layers / style settings.
- Customizing Prototypes: fixed element on scroll, animate 1 object instead of the whole artboard.
- CSS Values: This is already integrated to Photoshop, why not XD?
- Extensions: although people will abuse it, but why not? some extensions can be really useful and save you some development time!
This is maybe just my thoughts, but you can give me your comment either here, or find me on Twitter!