If you are a UI/UX designer, you know how difficult it is to rely on a single designing platform for all your designing needs. Most design tools offer robust functionalities, but as a designer, you have to share your end-product with developers. And this is something that involves many complexities, especially with manipulation and sizing. This is where Adobe XD stands out from the rest. Adobe has introduced a new tool in its arsenal with Adobe Experience Design (XD). Designers new to the platform often ask whether the tool is good for web design.
Well, truth to be told, Adobe XD is a much better intuitive platform than other Adobe applications. This creates a good user experience and facilitates a great introduction for beginners right from the start. Moreover, Adobe XD promises an optimized design process, allowing designers to create prototypes, mockups, and wireframes that can be displayed in live previews on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
This means that the entire process – from creating the wireframe to building the prototype – occurs within a single application. As a result, your job as a designer is a lot sorted.
If you are new to the platform, this post discusses everything you need to know about Adobe XD and whether or not it is good for web design.
Adobe XD Breakdown
Adobe XD is an exquisitely crafted application in the Adobe suite and ecosystem built for creatives. XD or Experience Design is the latest addition to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Suite and is primarily used for UI/UX, web designing, and prototyping.
Because our on-screen lives are becoming mobile-oriented, designers are looking for tools that can help them strive in the ever-so-fickle digital world. This is where Adobe XD is gaining more prominence.
So, why Adobe XD?
There are some functions that we like the best and some limitations that make Adobe XD not everyone’s favorite. Overall, the features of Adobe XD overshadows all the negatives that you may find in the application. The following are some of the most significant reasons why web designers should move to XD:
#1 Convenience and Comfortability
When it comes to the design process, there is a lot to be said about convenience and comfortability. And Adobe Experience Design gives designers that. For example, you don’t have to use keyboard shortcuts, but they can speed up the whole process and workflow magnificently.
It is all about getting used to these shortcuts. Your job gets a lot easier as a lot of shortcuts used in Illustrator and Photoshop are the same in XD. So, learning becomes a lot simpler and convenient. On the other hand, XD is included with your Adobe Creative Cloud account for your convenience. Adobe has updated its pricing plan, offering the Starter Package of Adobe XD absolutely free of cost.
#2 Optimized for App Design and Webpage
Secondly, Adobe XD offers the added advantage of ease-of-use and a simpler interface compared to other Adobe applications, such as Photoshop. Experience Design was developed and built on the premise that it should support screen design.
So, upon using XD, you will realize that its interface is incredibly minimal as compared to other design applications and their robust amounts of panels, tools, and configurations. So there aren’t any impractical and unnecessary features in XD that can overwhelm you. It is completely optimized for webpage and App design, offering all the necessary features. For starters:
- There is an ‘asset panel’ that allows you to save colors, symbols, and character styles, enabling you to create a style guide within the existing project, which can be used for reference in future projects as well.
- Adobe XD allows for third-party integration. It is an added bonus, especially when it comes to app and web page design. One of the most interesting integrations is the Zeplin export that allows you to share the final product with the development team and clients without any hassle.
- Most designers love the fact that XD is a vector-based platform, making editing SVG logos a seamless process.
- The Repeat Grid is another cool feature in XD that allows you to save and quickly repeat elements on the artboard with simple drags and clicks while giving you the ability to adjust spacing. This feature saves a lot of time.
#3 Built-in Prototyping
Of all the salient features, our favorite is the built-in prototyping. Adobe XD is an all-inclusive platform for designers, which makes designing and creating websites and apps a lot simpler. The seamless prototyping integration benefits all the parties involved in the design and development process, including the client.
Prototyping is the modern phase of the design process that allows the designers to test the webpage before it goes live. With built-in prototyping, you can illustrate how the website will ultimately look like for the client, enabling everyone from the team to be aligned on the final product.
The interactive designs can also be displayed on mobile devices. One of the best features is the new animations that allow you to experiment with new types of transitions and changes to the design.
#4 Huge Plugins and Stock Libraries
Being a very minimalistic design application, Adobe Experience Design adds visible acceleration into the process with its huge plugins and stock libraries. You are simply 3-4 hours of effort away from completing your wireframe project. It is that agile. Its impressive plugin library incorporates almost all kinds of stock.
This offers great help when you are getting started with the project. The best part is that these plugins even allow you to copy/create quick HTML/CSS codes for a hassle-free designing experience.
Traditional UX/UI design methods are constantly changing, and designers need to be aligned with the accelerating trend to remain successful in the industry. These plugins and stock libraries provide a boost to the whole designing process, making things simplified and the process a lot faster for the designer.
What are the Features that we are missing?
While Adobe XD has all the bells and whistles, there are certain things that could still be improved. This is especially an issue when working on bigger projects. For smaller projects, this can be overlooked.
- Creation of symbol lines: There are no options for creating libraries of symbols with reusable elements. This can be an issue when working on big projects.
- Import from Illustrator and Photoshop could be improved: We found the process of importing finished designs and graphics from Illustrator and Photoshop lagging. At the moment, it is not possible to import documents and files from other applications in the Adobe suite. While Adobe XD gives you the option to import individual fragments with copy/paste, additional information like drawing areas and layers are lost. In order to use the application professionally, being able to import from Photoshop and Illustrator is vital.
- Free trial in Beta: The functionality in the free trial version is somewhat limited. While the free trial is offered just to let you test the application, it could be improved. The application is even available for download on Android and iOS devices.
- Saving enriched PDFs: Adobe could work on including a solution that allows XD to save files as enriched PDFs, similar to the illustrator. This can make the transfer between the files and collaborative working a lot simpler.
Is Adobe XD better than Sketch for UX designing?
Both Adobe XD and Sketch are streamlined vector graphics editors with countless useful plugins.
If you look at the bigger picture, it is clear that Adobe aims to make Experience Design not only perform everything that Sketch does but also a sought-after vector graphics tool with plugins that cover the entire UX design workflow.
|Vector Graphics||Yes||Yes, and includes Illustrator in the CC subscription|
|Advanced Image Editing||No||No, but includes Photoshop in the CC subscription|
|Prototyping||No (only available with 3rd party plugins)||Yes|
|Handoff with Online Style Guide and Inspector||No (only available with 3rd party plugins)||No – announced as a future feature|
|Styles and Symbols||Yes||Yes|
|Document Grid||Yes – with columns and more options||Yes|
|Collaboration||No – possible with 3rd party plugins||No – a possible future feature|
|Windows Version||No||Windows 10 and above|
|Pricing and Licensing||US$99/year||Free Beta version. After that – US$9.99/month or US$99.99/year|
Overall, Adobe Experience Design is an innovative blend of functionality and creativity. The application boasts features that help designers do projects with ease and efficacy. From built-in prototyping to plugins and stock libraries, and more, Adobe XD is a complete package. So, to answer your question of whether Adobe XD is good for web design, YES – it is an interesting platform that offers the best of both worlds, making the process of mobile apps and web page designing a hassle-free task.