Image from Adobe

Should you use Adobe XD?

Johan Oosterbaan
Mar 14, 2016 · 4 min read

Adobe XD is the latest product of Adobe. Maybe you knew it already by the projectname Comet. XD stays for Experience Design. The name says directly what you can do with it: Make designs and make them interactive. But on what kind of level?

If you compare it with other tools like Sketch or Axure, XD is more like a all in one application. You work out designs and make it directly interactive by a prototype.

Design

Designing in XD is simple. It’s based on the Adobe conventions. If you’re used to work in Adobe you can work with XD. Just like in Illustrator of Sketch you can have multiple artboards. A big disadvantage is that you don’t have layers (yet). I seriously miss them. You can only arrange the level of a elements, like in Keynote. A big gain in XD is that everything is vector.

Content
If you’re using Sketch and installed the Craft plugin from inVision then you know how easy and fast you could setup a content page. Duplicate elements with the same marges and drag and drop photo’s from a folder into these sections or add prefab texts from a textfile and place them in different text areas. I like this, and it’s more intuitive then the Craft plugin for Sketch.

Image capture from Adobe

Prototyping

Prototyping is in XD is intuitive. With a tab you switch from design to prototype modus. Just like in Flinto you get an overview with all your artboard designs. You select a design element and connect it with a artboard. If you do that, a menu appears. Here, you can set your type of transition and effect.

Image capture from Adobe

Live preview
Prototyping is like learning to walk. You setup some transitions you see how it goes and improve it. A big key advance with prototyping in XD is the live preview. This is like a second screen, it previews directly your prototype. If you make changes in your designs or transitions it previews immediately your changes.

Image capture from Adobe

Use Adobe XD?

Adobe XD is a powerful app that’s still basic. It has some intuitive tools that reduces your work time. There are plenty other applications that can also manage this. Think about Sketch, they have a wide range of clever plugin’s that helps you with the low hanging fruit actions. The biggest advance of XD is the combination design with prototyping. I like the switch from design to prototyping, the preview tool and the easy share option. If you want to make a (quick) basic prototype to check the flow of a website or mobile app you should use XD. Do you want more then only page transitions? Well, use another application.

Next steps

We all know, this is the first (preview) version of Adobe XD. It’s basic but with big potential. We (and Adobe), knows how important prototyping is now these days. We have enough wireframe and design tools, but in none of them you can also prototyping. Yes, you want to have a tool where you can switch seamless from design to prototype and vice versa. There are different moments in your process you want to see the flat things in a bigger picture. It begins by discovering by setting up your initial ideas. And later the important page transitions and do not forget that micro UX animation. On every level in the UX proces you want a answer on the question does it work? Each link is a part of that immersive design you want to design.

Wishes for Adobe XD 1.0

Adobe says they will be delivering updates every month to Adobe XD. And they have already a list of improvements for the next coming updates. I have also some:

  • Collaborate with Adobe Edge animate
  • Possible to add HTML elements like a input field
  • Dependencies in prototype (if this, then that)
  • More prototype export options, with commenting
  • Option to easily export assets (like in Sketch)
  • API for plugin’s
  • Layers in design modus

Do you have also wishes? Leave a note here.

Me at Twitter

One Shoe

Creative & digital agency based in the Netherlands and Germany

Johan Oosterbaan

Written by

Freelance Product & UX/UI Designer living in Utrecht.

One Shoe

One Shoe

Creative & digital agency based in the Netherlands and Germany

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