Adobe XD Review | The Focus Group Creative Department
Adobe XD Review
Adobe Experience Design (XD) has been around for quite some time now, and though it is still in beta, it has already gained a lot of popularity with designers and developers. Personally, it was a Godsend, packed with tools and features that make developing, reviewing and testing designs faster and more streamlined. I am a huge fan of minimalism in general, and XD delivers on its user friendliness, clean workspace and shallow learning curve. With the latest update that has rolled out, I want to review my top three favorite features of XD.
One of the most unique features to XD is the Repeat Grid. This allows for fast replicating of shapes in a grid, such as buttons or images in a gallery. I use it for every project, and it has saved me a great deal of time. This tool also allows for fast populating, by selecting the images you want to drop, and simply dragging them over. When you are ready to export your newly gridded images, just tap the Repeat Grid button again and the individual shapes are released, and ready for export. Farewell to the time suck that is individual clipping masks and tons of individual layers.
The crowning feature of XD is its Prototyping functionality. Once you have laid out all of your awesome pages, you can click Prototype to switch to a new workspace that allows you to link them all together. Here is where you form a complete sample of the flow of your page or app. XD has polished this function a bit more by allowing for more transition animations. You can simulate just about any commonly used page transition, found both in mobile and desktop. You can even simulate click through galleries and slider wipes.
The only drawback is when you transition back to the previous page, the screen starts back at the top. So, if you were further down in the page of your demo, you have to scroll back to where you were.
Previewing and Critique
Lastly, and to me the coolest of all, are Adobe XD’s demo functions. There are a variety of ways to demo your cool new page or app. From recording a click-through demonstration, generating a demo link for live preview, or by hooking up your USB cord and grabbing the free device app to view an instant preview on your device. This allows both your collaborators and clients to see your interface as intended, instead of just flat .JPGs and sticky notes. You can also ease the proofing process internally by sending the demo link to the rest of your teammates, who can then comment or review your notes. This ends any ambiguity of how the site or app will flow from page to page, and to some degree, functionality.
Adobe XD has certainly solidified itself as my exclusive tool for web design. The only thing it can’t do, with all of the cool features and tools that come with it, is simulate things like SVG animation, hover, or parallax. However, it does give the client a clean representation of the most important aspect of their site: the user experience.