Adobe XD — My Experience

Adobe XD might be the new kid on the block, but just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it can’t compete with the big boys!

As a web designer, I’ve heard a lot about digital design tools lately. I’ve decided it’s time for me to take the time to use them and find the ones I like and the ones I probably don’t need to bother with. First up is Adobe Experience Designer (XD).

First Thoughts

As someone who’s been using Adobe products his entire professional life, college life, and even before then a bit, I know their tools. I know if you push Command T you will be able to transfer the object you have selected. I know how their pen tool works. Well, sort of. I know what I’m getting myself into when I open an Adobe project. This is what I like about Adobe XD. It’s a much simpler version of Photoshop. I have all the tools I need for designing a website or an app and they are right there on the left-hand side. And the tools I rarely — if ever — use are nowhere to be found, such as dodge and burn. The fact that there is no learning curve for XD makes it an amazing tool.

The fact that there is no learning curve for XD makes it an amazing tool.

I used to always use Photoshop when I designed websites, emails, and apps, but after using XD for a few months, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Photoshop. I look at the Sr. Web Designer at my work using Photoshop on his latest website he’s designing and think to myself, “How do you use that bloated software?” Adobe XD is so minimal and fast, I’ve yet to get the dreaded rainbow wheel of death when using it. But if you get a big enough Photoshop website, you can expect the rainbow wheel to be your constant companion.

I’ve used Adobe XD to redesign my personal website and the time it took to accomplish this was nothing compared to Photoshop. This year my personal goal is to learn more about UX/UI and I’ve been using XD to help me. I’ve been able to design and prototype several apps that, using any other app, would require at least two programs of software, but with XD I only need one. Sure, their prototyping tool isn’t the best yet, but I’m sure it will get there.

Features I Want

Features I’m looking forward to in Adobe XD are, as a web designer I need to be able to stick a design section to either the top or the bottom of my piece, and I believe it’s something Adobe is working on, I’ll be super excited for it when it finally launches. My web designer coworkers at work are starting to discover the posibilites of shared creative cloud libraries, so that will be a nice addition to XD, right now I have to have either open Illustrator or Photoshop, and then copy elements over. I would also love some animation options when playing with prototyping. Another feature that would be nice is rules and guides.

My Complaints

My biggest complaint about Adobe XD right now is they are currently trying to bring the Windows version up to par with the Mac version. Every month when there is a new XD update, I get super excited, but then I’m disappointed when it’s just another Windows update with something small for Mac uses. But here’s hoping they will get the Windows version caught up so they can start working on more exciting features, like version history and collaboration.

Another complaint is price. Other similar programs are much cheaper. Sketch is $99 a year, or Affinity Designer is a one-time fee of $49. While Adobe XD is free right now in beta, it will be part of the Creative Cloud that runs $49.99 a month for all of their programs, or $19.99 a month for one app. If Adobe is going to want this program to be competitive, they will need to do a special deal like photographers have in the $9.99 a month.

If Adobe wants to compete then need to a special pricing deal, like they do for Photoshop/Lightroom

Adobe XD is still in beta. It’s not perfect, nor should it be, but for beta software it’s an amazingly powerful piece of software, and it’s changed the way I design every day. I look forward to seeing where it’s going.

Like what you read? Give Kevin Jaffa a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.