A product should not hijack the name of a discipline, methodology, philosophy, practice or field of study.

Dear Adobe, Experience Design is not a product, it’s a methodology and discipline.

A few days ago, Adobe released their much anticipated prototyping product, which had the code name Comet. When I heard the product “official” release name, Adobe Experience Design (Xd), it felt wrong because in a name is intent, just like in a product, that’s all what design is about and Adobe knows it. Form and function, and in this case the name has a lot of meaning behind it, which the name falls short on providing. I had seen the preview of Comet, it seem like a very interesting product. When I heard the use of the words “Experience Design” in it, it just made me feel like Adobe tried too hard and ended up feeling disingenuous.

Designers and engineers work on challenges which solutions are empowered by design thinking and fantastic user experience design practices. To use the words that denote a methodology and discipline in a product is hijacking the term, such as it is Experience Design (UX.) The expectations and broad scope of the entire discipline come all together at once for those in deep practice of such methodology. Then you open the product and realize it is merely a subset of such discipline, which currently and at its best is that of a digital prototyping tool.

There have been many products that work as digital prototyping tools. The many applications that User Experience designers, UI Designers, graphic and visual designers, and others use, such as Invision App, POP, Sketch, have taken a great segment of this market. Adobe wants to cover that segment and in entering this market they have utilized a term that is very meaningful for all of us and once again it feels like Adobe has forced their way in, and hurt in their attempt, our UX discipline in the process by merely translating it to an app that is a portion of such.

Please Adobe, if Illustrator let’s us illustrate images, Photoshop is a set of tools to modify photos, Please consider alternatives that do not bring an entire discipline with a short vision. Perhaps Prototypeshop, or Prototype Designer, or Screenshop don’t sound as interesting, but are more akin to what the new app does and tell us what really the tool will be used for.

Note, the app itself is an okay prototyping tool. The name in my opinion ought to be changed.

Update (2016/3/24)
However it might sound like a mockery, Protoshop can be a fantastic name (thank you
Jesse Korzan,) but if there is real intent by Adobe Xd team to make a powerful tool with a name that is indicative of such, and that it encompasses many aspects of digital app/web prototyping, including UI, IxD and IA, what about Adobe IxD (Adobe Interaction Design).

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