XD is Adobe’s tool for helping user experience and user interface designers prototype and wireframe new mobile and web applications. The company started testing this application back in 2016; today, it’s finally coming out of beta. XD (which was previously known as the Adobe Experience Design tool) has now hit its 1.0 release, as the company announced at its annual MAX conference today.
As Adobe group product manager for XD Cisco Guzman told me, “XD is all about designing at the speed of thought.” With over one million downloads, XD clearly hit a nerve in the industry and a number of companies already adopted it as a core tool even during the beta.
“Being a designer in today’s modern environment is actually less about just creating the aesthetics of visual design or the workflows that a UX designer might be tasked with or the interactions that a UI designer would be focused on,” Guzman noted. “It’s actually about working with people and failing fast and early.” So that’s what Adobe focused on in developing XD: building the tools that ensure that designers can spend their time designing and not worry about wasting their time on replicating things for multiple resolutions, for example.
So with XD, designers can now easily wireframe their solutions, create low- or high-fidelity designs and easily transition between their artboards and interactive prototypes. And when they are done, they can easily export their assets for production use. “XD is a UX/UI solution for designers who want to start their day with an application and hang their hat on it at the end of the day,” Guzman joked.
Over the course of the beta test, the company closely listened to feedback and added numerous features and made lots of changes to XD. That meant making it easier to working with repeating colors, symbols or patterns, for example, but also adding an annotation feature in addition to the existing commenting feature for team collaboration. The team also used this time to improve the overall speed of the application, which is something Guzman mentioned a number of times during our call and which gives the app a very fluid feel.
Looking ahead, Guzman says that its team isn’t done yet. “We’re looking for all those places where friction exists and the designer has to do time working on things that don’t relate to the core strengths of a designer,” he told me — and that’s the guiding philosophy for the continued development of XD, too.
Specifically, though, the company says that it will continue to focus on core tools to add features like JPG export and support for layout grids, for example. There also will be more third-party integration with tools like Zeplin and Sympli soon, as well as the ability to publish design specs.