What is Adobe XD and what is it used for?

Have you tried Adobe XD yet? The appli­ca­tion is part of the design giant’s suite of appli­ca­tions. It meets a need which was being filled by addi­tion­al instru­ments like Sketch and Fig­ma. How­ev­er thanks to Adobe’s large cus­tomer base, XD is prov­ing itself a viable option.

Here, we’ll look at exact­ly what Adobe XD is — and isn’t — to help you dis­cov­er whether this tool might be worth research­ing. Whether you are already sold on Adobe XD and need to learn more, or you’re weigh­ing it up against the pros and cons of oth­er tools, we’ll give you a help­ful intro­duc­tion to earn the deci­sion easy.

What is Adobe XD?

Adobe XD is a vec­tor-based dig­i­tal design tool for sites and pro­grams. Use it to cre­ate and col­lab­o­rate on every­thing from pro­to­types into mock­ups to full designs. XD stands for“Experience Design,” and is Adobe’s suc­cess­ful new all-in-one UX/UI solu­tion to quick­ly go from con­cept to pro­to­type in design­ing sites, mobile apps, and much more.

Adobe XD is com­par­a­tive­ly new to the mar­ket — it was released in beta in 2016 — and was orig­i­nal­ly called Adobe Expe­ri­ence Design CC.

The appli­ca­tion oper­ates on Mac and Win­dows machines in addi­tion to iOS and Android for cel­lu­lar per­for­mance. You may use it like a direct down­load (the license pings your desk­top every month) or in the cloud for cel­lu­lar devices.

The tool is quick­ly turn­ing into a good com­peti­tor to more estab­lished wire­fram­ing and pro­to­typ­ing apps, such as Sketch or Fig­ma, as a result of strong cor­po­rate back­ing from Adobe and con­sumer famil­iar­i­ty, and cross-plat­form support).

XD filled a sig­nif­i­cant gap in the Adobe suite of tools. Before its release, lots of the avail­able fea­tures weren’t a part of Pho­to­shop or Illus­tra­tor and design­ers had to piece togeth­er ele­ments if they desired to use Adobe soft­ware for cre­at­ing user inter­faces. (This was a challenge.)

What’s Adobe XD used for?

Adobe XD is designed and con­struct­ed with cel­lu­lar and net expe­ri­ences in your mind, but the appli­ca­tions for it go much far­ther. Glob­al­ly, design teams are lever­ag­ing the strong fea­tures in Adobe XD for their full expe­ri­ence design pro­ce­dure and a whole lot more.

Gone are the times when white­board­ing and high­er fideli­ty design required to be done in sep­a­rate soft­ware. With wire­frame UI kits you can cer­tain­ly con­struct inter­ac­tive wire­frames to test your design and oper­ate through user flows. If you assem­ble com­po­nents on the way, all you need to do when you are ready to build the design is only update the components.

From craft­ing fine inter­face details such as iconog­ra­phy and typog­ra­phy, to strik­ing the per­fect lay­out bal­ance, Adobe XD gives UI design­ers the tools they need to do their very best work. Togeth­er with inte­gra­tions with oth­er Cre­ative Cloud pro­grams, such as Pho­to­shop and Illus­tra­tor, assets can be pulled in and placed with ease in Adobe XD. Use XD’s built-in guides to achieve posi­tion­ing pre­ci­sion and tune your design to perfection.

Just how much is Adobe XD?

In order to encour­age adop­tion, Adobe has made the base tier of XD avail­able free of charge. This is unusu­al for this sort of prod­uct offer­ing. The com­pli­men­ta­ry Starter plan allows every­one to down­load and use XD for per­son­al usage, includ­ing all design and unique fea­tures. Paid plans are for pro­fes­sion­al use where unlim­it­ed shar­ing and col­lab­o­ra­tion are need­ed, so full access to all these pre­mi­um char­ac­ter­is­tics is includ­ed. The pric­ing for Adobe XD starts at $9.99 per user per month. Adobe XD has 4 dif­fer­ent paid plans:

  • XD Sin­gle App in $9.99 per user per month.
  • XD Sin­gle App for groups at $22.99 per user each month.
  • Cre­ative Cloud All Pro­grams at $52.99 per month.
  • Cre­ative Cloud All Apps for groups at $79.99 per user per month.

With each upgrade, Adobe con­tin­ues to add new fea­tures and grow the per­for­mance of XD. This implies that while we con­tin­ue to evolve how we uti­lize the pro­gram, it enhances the over­all expe­ri­ence for our clients. Since the soft­ware is a sub­scrip­tion, new fea­tures are always free.

Is Adobe XD like Photoshop?

Adobe XD is a pop­u­lar choice for mobile app wire­frames. Image cred­it: Mobile App Wire­frame by Jef­frey Betts

For many years Adobe Pho­to­shop has been the appli­ca­tion of choice for design­ers to make web­sites, mobile pro­grams, and UI mock­ups even though it is main­ly a pic­ture edit­ing pro­gram! So it makes sense to ask if Adobe XD is sim­i­lar to Pho­to­shop. Although both can be used for build­ing mock­ups, XD is much bet­ter suit­ed to the task. Mean­while pic­ture edit­ing is per­formed with Pho­to­shop, which has more advanced fea­tures for heavy editing.

Both appli­ca­tions do share some fea­tures in com­mon such as lay­ers and actions such as image flip­ping, adding to the con­fu­sion. Unless you have a spe­cif­ic design need for XD, we rec­om­mend stick­ing to Photoshop.

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