AMA: Adobe XD 2017

6 years ago from Demian Borba, Product Manager for Adobe XD

  • Julian H, 6 years ago

    Seeing a lot of competitors rising in the UX field I wonder why a big player such as Adobe is so slow at adding features to XD making it suitable for professional production. Not even speaking of disruptive new features but to get production ready (like Sketch, Figma etc.).

    Working for one of the biggest design agencies in Germany we've been working on our pipeline for over a year now and we were hoping for Adobe XD to become our go to tool for UX design, we're now switching from PS to Sketch.

    1 point
    • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 6 years ago

      That is a fair question given the sort of money Adobe brings in, and given XD has been out for 1.5 years and hasn't done much since launch.

      Image title

      Then again, Figma had 5 years and $18M and came up with an equally unimpressive product.

      1 point
      • Jernej Horvat, 6 years ago

        In my opinion there's been a lot of progress from the initial version of XD back in march 2016 to the current one. It could probably be faster but on the other side it's one of the most stabile tools currently available on the market. So not to deal with time wasting bugs is a benefit.

        Also people tend miss the fact that even though Adobe is a large company, projects like XD initially start with a small group of people. The project team starts to grow only after the product has some positive traction on the market. Even then you cannot just add 100s of new members since it could brake the whole product development process. But this is just in general, not sure how Adobe has done it with the XD team.

        1 point
        • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 6 years ago

          What new features have they introduced since March? To my knowledge, they spent the first few months fully implementing the stuff they promised at launch, then worked for half a year on gradually getting the Windows version on par with the Mac one, and then they started introducing common sense things like Layers or Symbols (not the really common sense ones though like guides or underline).

          This in my opinion makes the landscape look like this:

          PS: Old, clunky and slow, full of bugs but sturdy and very capable.

          Sketch: new, unreliable and slow, full of different bugs and not as capable but a lot more efficient for some tasks.

          XD: new, fast and lacking major bugs (to my knowledge) but too basic to do any serious work.

          I'm not saying XD is a bad app, it's just not powerful enough to make a dent.

          1 point
          • Jernej Horvat, 6 years ago

            I have used XD on three full projects so far and it worked fine. Had to do some mockups in PS to use it for animations in AE but other than that it was ok.

            As for major updates this year I think you've answered your question and is that not a lot? I mean we could always argue that it should be more especially if someone is missing a particular feature but still it doesn't seem to me that it's a slow product development process.

            0 points
            • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 6 years ago

              Support for windows is not a feature. The repeat grid is a feature. I'm talking about new things that make our lives easier, not things that 30 year old software like Illustrator can do.

              0 points
              • Interested Curious, 6 years ago

                Having windows support may not be a proper "feature" but it is in fact something that sketch will need to work towards to accomplish and is an ENORMOUS selling point for some larger brands who aren't going to switch their companies design teams to another type of computer for one program.

                That's pretty huge for already established brands and larger teams who don't all have macs.

                1 point
          • Andrew Shorten, 6 years ago

            With the foundation of new technology, performance and high quality, we're focusing our attention on the depth of features provided. You've made a number of comments here, but what would be most helpful is hearing the specific list of things that would make XD your go-to app.

            Thanks, Andrew (Adobe).

            0 points
            • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 6 years ago

              Sure, here's what it would take (for me):

              1. If XD was on par with PS or Sketch in terms of features (which it certainly is not), I would not consider its speed a good enough reason to switch. It would need to bring a more efficient approach to design to make the switch worth it. The repeat grid is a good example of this, it takes a common thing designers do and makes it easy, it's a feature that was designed for the modern world, and something apps like PS or Sketch (which were made for the market of 20 years ago) lack. Sadly, everything else is pretty standard in XD: the same layers panel, the same way to create every shape manually and set properties for each layer.

              Designs are no longer static, we create huge systems that are a pain to maintain with static apps, so we'd need a tool that finds more efficient ways to:

              • Manage styles and components globally (in a live app, if you change the outline colour and padding-bottom value of a field, every single field with that class updates also, whereas in apps like PS/Sketch/XD if you want to increase the bottom padding of fields, you have to move every single one of them alongside everything underneath them down by 10px then crop your art-board to account for the change.)
              • Make it possible and easy to design for multiple resolutions without having to create a different art-board for every single resolution you want to cover.
              • Make it easy for developers to pick up the design. Tools like Avocode do this well, but XD doesn't integrate with them.
              • As per point 2, it would also help a lot if it was easy to share prototypes with stakeholders and gather feedback without having to rely on external tools like InVision, which are based on static images so if I change the colour of my header and my document has 200 slides, I now have to re-export 200 images and upload them all to InVision, making sure they have the same name and no upload failed (which happens more often than you'd think in InVision).
              1. UI Design is never done in isolation, the work needs to be easy to share with stakeholders, easy for developers to take over, easy for other designers to collaborate on. It's also important how invested the community is in a certain tool, because the more people use it, the more resources for it you'll find.

              On this end, I think XD is nowhere nearly widely adopted enough to make it safe to switch. Apps like Avocode don't support it, it doesn't have the powerful exporting tools in Sketch or PS for sharing with others or uploading to InVision. Fragmentation is already a problem - for example I (a PS user) am leaving my company at the end of the week and the person replacing me uses Sketch. This means he cannot rely directly on any of my work, he has to recreate it from scratch.

              All of this means you pretty much have to go against the tide to use XD in a professional setting.

              1 point
              • Interested Curious, 6 years ago

                What I've noticed is a lot of UX designers forced themselves into photoshop for things that indesign does.

                Like the global changes for text is pretty easily done with the paragraph styles and character styles for indesign.

                Maybe those can be implemented in XD in the future.

                The support for multiple resolutions is almost there by default thanks to it being a primarily vector based application.

                I won't pretend to be fully entranced in the history of why photoshop was the go to in UX over Ai or ID but it's always seemed curious.

                0 points
      • Mick NMick N, 6 years ago

        Then again, Figma had 5 years and $18M and came up with an equally unimpressive product.

        I'm surprised to hear this. Our team recently switch to Figma and it has blown us away with what we can do. We're a remote team so being able to co-design and hand-off to clients instantly has been incredible.

        Exporting assets is a dream as well.

        0 points
        • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 6 years ago

          This is the main reason I heard people switched to Sketch 'exporting assets is easier'. I'd be curious to know specifically what kind of 'assets' do you need to export.

          All I ever need to get out of my PSDs are SVG files for the icons.

          0 points
          • Mick NMick N, 6 years ago

            Yep, usually just SVGs, occasionally PNGs or JPGs, or sometimes SVG & PNG sets depending on what we're building. Figma makes this a pleasure to do.

            0 points
            • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 6 years ago

              You would switch apps for the 2 minutes per project it takes to export SVGs? Not to mention you still need to check that everything is correct with that SVG (i.e. it has no borders or artefacts), so you'd have to open it in AI anyway.

              0 points
    • Andrew Shorten, 6 years ago

      A lot of the initial work has been foundational - getting a high performance, high quality, native app on Mac and Windows takes time. We hear you though and know that expectations are high in relation to the features that are needed so that you can adopt XD into your workflow - we're working hard on those features and hope you'll keep checking out our progress over the coming months.

      When we meet your needs, we plan to make it easy as possible for you to move into XD, whether you are using Photoshop or Sketch.

      Thanks, Andrew (Adobe).

      0 points