What is Adobe XD?
Adobe XD is a design and prototyping software used by a wide range of businesses to collaborate on interactive prototypes and designs. Its standout points are its collaboration features and Adobe Creative Cloud integrations.
Table of Contents
- What is Adobe XD?
- Adobe XD Review Summary
- Adobe XD Pricing & Cost
- Adobe XD Features
- Adobe XD Integrations
- Adobe XD Customer Service
- Adobe XD Alternatives & Competitors
- Is Adobe XD Right For You?
Adobe XD Review Summary
Adobe XD was founded in 2016 by Adobe Inc. It is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of software, which has served over 12,000,000 users Adobe’s San Jose headquarters.
Adobe XD’s features are tailored more for user experience designers and prototypers. This means that it does not include the user-friendly photo creation and editing features of Canva and Adobe Photoshop. Its strongest points are its tool kit and Adobe integrations.
Adobe XD’s pricing starts at $9.99 per month per user. Its pricing is generally between its two closest competitors, Figma and Sketch. Adobe XD, unlike Figma, does not offer a free plan.
Overall, Adobe XD is a powerful prototyping software built primarily for user experience designers who already own other Adobe products. Adobe XD’s native integrations with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop offers designers direct access to quality assets and photo editing. If you are not in need of these features or do not already own Creative Cloud apps, we recommend looking into free and more collaboration friendly software like Figma.
Adobe XD Pricing & Cost
Adobe XD pricing starts at $9.99 per user per month. Its business plan costs $22.99 per user per month and offers additional features such as an admin console and advanced technical support.
Note that Adobe XD is included with Adobe Creative Cloud. This plan is $52.99 per user per month and features other Adobe products such as Illustrator and Photoshop.
Adobe XD Features
Let’s discuss the major features that Adobe XD offers and how they can help your design needs. Product screenshots are included to add context and demonstrate the user interface.
Adobe XD is best for prototyping and wireframing. In this regard, it is very robust. However, we recommend alternatives like Canva or Visme if creating ready-made, well designed images and banners for your social media or small business is more important for you.
Adobe XD, like Sketch and Figma, is built primarily for wireframing. This means that it’s best for creating mockups and interactive demos. Contrast this with Canva and Visme, which are best suited for social media posts, business cards, and presentations.
Adobe XD works with vector graphics. These are scalable graphics you can create and export as SVG files. Because of this, it can be used to design logos similarly to Adobe Illustrator. However, note that Illustrator is a print-friendly software that offers more features centered around this model.
Adobe XD does not offer any native templates. It does, however, come with a number of downloadable kits on its site. Adobe XD supports the following templates:
- Apple Design
- Google Material Design
- AEM Components
- Microsoft UWP
- Amazon Alexa
Adobe XD’s tool kit is built for prototypes and designers. You can customize your interface to include the exact tools and guides needed. In addition to its tools, Adobe XD also allows you to create interactive demos of your prototypes. This means if you’re designing a website or mobile app, you can preview the user experience before moving forward.
Adobe XD also natively integrates with Photoshop and Illustrator. This gives you access to high quality assets and photo editing features.
Adobe XD’s user interface is sleek and slightly customizable. An example of an uncustomized user interface is seen below.
You can add a number of additional tweaks to modify your interface to your liking. These include:
- Grid lines
Adobe XD offers a large number of tool types to choose from. Each tool is designed to make prototyping simultaneously efficient and powerful.
The fundamental tool most users will start with is the Artboard. Artboards in Adobe XD have the same function as Sketch’s Artboards. They are canvases that house your prototypes and designs. Adobe XD comes with a number of frame templates including:
|Device Category||Device Types|
Once you’ve selected your Artboard, you’re free to insert text and images. Adobe XD does not come pre-installed with random generation features such as avatars, names, world cities, and images. These must be installed as free plug-ins from Adobe XD’s plug-ins page.
Note that Adobe XD offers native integration with Adobe Illustrator. This means that you can easily import assets from any Illustrator file you have to your Artboard or general file.
Prototyping can be accomplished in Adobe XD through its "Interactions" tool. Interactions in Adobe XD are similar to Links and Hotspots in Sketch. They are essentially redirects that you can create from one Artboard to another. This allows you to simulate the actual experience of using the end product you’re prototyping.
As you can see above, we’ve made connections with two elements. Once a user taps these elements, they will be redirected to the middle Artboard. You can also add additional animations and triggers to fine tune your prototype. These include dragging, overlaying, scrolling, and dissolving.
Having an array of animations and connection types available to you helps with immersion for your test user. It ensures your prototype can be as accurate as possible for both users and developers.
Another important feature Adobe XD offers is components. Components in Adobe XD are the equivalent of Sketch’s Symbols. Components can help you substantially streamline your workflow by applying any changes you make across your entire file.
The main use case for this is if you are using the same element multiple times across your file, such as a checkbox. You can mark any graphic, image, and text in Adobe XD as a Component.
Now, anytime you make a change to that Component’s shape, size, or color, these changes will be made across your entire project. This means that you do not have to go through your entire project and individually make the same changes multiple times.
Photo editing in Adobe XD is limited when compared to Adobe Photoshop. This is because it is more so designed for wireframing rather than photo editing.
However, note that Adobe XD natively integrates with Photoshop if you’re in need of advanced photo editing and already own both of these products.
You can make very basic adjustments to your images. Unlike Figma and Sketch, you cannot edit saturation and brightness. You can, however, edit a photo’s blend mode.
Although Adobe XD’s photo editing is not as robust as alternatives, we feel it does well in accommodating designers looking to make quick edits without disturbing their workflow. Additionally, if you have Adobe Creative Cloud, you can quickly edit photos in XD with Photoshop’s highly advanced editing capabilities.
Collaboration in Adobe XD is decent but not as strong as Figma. Adobe XD features real time editing for anyone who has purchased the product. Contrast this with Figma, which offers a free plan and can be leveraged by anyone with a web browser. This accessibility means that collaboration in Adobe XD is less flexible for your team.
Commenting in Adobe XD is similar to InVision. Comments can only be made in your browser. This means that user comments don’t exist in Adobe XD’s program, which interrupts your workflow and causes potential miscommunication.
Adobe XD is not fully cloud-based like Figma. You’ll need to save your own projects before uploading them to the cloud which takes up space on your harddrive. If this is a concern for your business, consider Figma.
Version control is strong in Adobe XD. You can access and restore versions for up to 30 days. Adobe XD’s advantage over Sketch in its version history is its capability of naming various versions. This makes restoring larger files easier in Adobe XD.
Adobe XD Integrations
Adobe XD integrates primarily with other Adobe products, as well as prototyping, document management, and collaboration software. Here are some popular integrations Adobe XD supports:
Adobe XD Customer Service
Adobe XD’s customer support team is highly reachable. They are available through live chat and phone. We’ve found that responses take, at most, only up to ten minutes.
Adobe XD’s primary resource is its blog: Adobe XD Ideas. This site includes tutorials of the software itself, as well as career advice, industry updates, and general design principles.
|Customer Support Channels||Live chat, email|
|Other Support Resources||Blog, guides|
|Application Status Page||Yes|
Adobe XD Alternatives & Competitors
Adobe XD has a number of competitors. Its most comparable alternatives are Figma and Sketch.
Here’s a full list of Adobe XD competitors:
Is Adobe XD Right For You?
Overall, Adobe XD is a powerful prototyping software built primarily for user experience designers who already use other Adobe products.
Adobe XD’s native integrations with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop offers designers direct access to quality assets and photo editing. If you are not in need of these features or do not already own Creative Cloud apps, we recommend looking into free and more collaboration friendly software like Figma.
If you're interested, you can try Adobe XD today.