Adobe has gained a new family member with Adobe Experience Design (XD).
In today’s review, we share our first thoughts on Adobe Experience Design. And why it’s pretty promising.
A Short Overview
What stands out at a first glance is that XD is a lot more intuitive and easier to use than other Adobe applications. This facilitates a great introduction and creates a good user experience right from the start.
Adobe Experience Design promises an optimized design process. The program can be used to create wireframes, mockups, and prototypes that can be displayed in live previews on the desktop and on mobile devices. Thus, the whole process – from wireframe to prototype – takes place within a single application.
Elements can be easily created and used with the character and layout tools of Adobe XD. Afterward, the individual objects can be exported.
These Are the Functions We Like Best: The Interface
The interface is kept relatively simple and looks a bit like Sketch, with the toolbar that is aligned at the side, as well as the large artboard area.
Testing on Mobile Devices
With Adobe Experience Design, interactive designs can also be displayed on a smartphone or tablet.
That way, you can view the prototype on different devices and easily share it with colleagues or customers.
Designing with the Repeat Grid
Using the new repeat grid, elements can be selected and repeated as needed. The changes are applied for all areas. Pretty neat, right? 🙂
Here, you can experiment with new types of transitions on the design. The two options are “no transitions” or “move into”.
Quick Drag & Drop
Simple drag & drop enables inserting pictures directly from the Finder.
For these pictures, XD will automatically create an image mask. Naturally, pictures can also be imported comfortably via copy and paste. This is also true for vector graphics (SVG format, like for instance when copying from Illustrator). These can then be edited in Adobe XD as well.
These Are the Features We’re Missing
There are some things that could still be improved, especially when working on bigger projects. For creating smaller projects, they will probably not be that important.
Creation of Symbol Libraries
As of now, there is no option to create libraries of symbols with re-usable elements, which is essential for working on big projects.
Import from Photoshop and Illustrator Could Be Improved
The process of importing finished graphics and designs from Photoshop and Illustrator is still disappointing. Right now, it’s not possible to import documents from other Adobe products. XD does give you the option of importing individual fragments using copy and paste, but additional information like layers or drawing areas will be lost. Being able to import from Illustrator and Photoshop is crucial for using the program professionally.
Saving Enriched PDFs
Truly optimal would be a solution that allows Adobe XD (just like Illustrator) to save the files as enriched PDFs. This would facilitate the transfer between the products and make working collaboratively a lot easier.
Free Trial in Beta
As of now, the functionality is still somewhat limited. However, Adobe XD looks very promising and you can test the application for free as a beta tester. You can download Adobe XD here. The Adobe Experience Design app is also available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Adobe XD is an interesting blend between Sketch and Invision. The prototype function and the possibility to test on different devices make the tool interesting as a complete solution.
In order to use Adobe XD professionally in everyday use, there are some improvements to be made though. But to be fair, the application is only in the beta phase. Definitely an exciting new software!