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trial version adobe xd

Adobe Project Comet overview:
a new perspective on UX


Recently, Adobe have announced the release of Project Comet product preview version. The official naming of this product is Adobe Experience Design CC, or, shortly, Adobe XD. The product is now available only for Mac OS.

With no hesitation, I began to kick an Adobe brainchild around. So, here we go!

The welcome screen of Adobe XD gives us an opportunity to choose focus area of design, set of UI kits for iOS, Google, Material Design and Windows.

welcome screen
Welcome screen: choose the focus area.

In the first 5 seconds, I had the impression, that I continued to use Sketch. The idea of creating the similar interface will definitely work for developers benefit. Despite the fact that it was partially borrowed

adobe xd overview
User interface Adobe XD.

Set of tools as habitually situated on the left side and consists of following tools only:

  • Choose: V.
  • Rectangle: R.
  • Ellipse: E.
  • Line: L.
  • Pen: P.
  • text: T.
  • Artboard: A.

This set is fair enough to creation any interface. On top, you’ll find 2 tabs: Design and Prototype (a bit later about it). On the right side, control panels for object layers styles and text. In fact, that’s all.

Wait! The main thing — Play button for demonstration of created prototype.

Well, we decided to try XD on practice and have created a small application for catering using it. And yes, it was quite easy!

We have noticed a number of Adobe XD advantages. Some of them pleasantly pleased me and my team:

  1. Drag and Drop asset for every object using for XD design.
  2. Repeat Grid — an interesting tool, which speeds up work while creating a numerous of copies of grouped elements.
  3. Render goes on very fast and file sizes are fairly light.
  4. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator и Sketch sources are supported.

It was a slight disappointment to find out that there is no panel of layers, however, it is not noticeable at this stage. Moreover, there is a markable issue with colour schemas types and the gradients are absent. Don’t forget, that it’s a Preview version yet.

Application prototype
Application prototype.

Layout is ready, let’s move to the pith and marrow of XD — prototyping.

Everything is as easy as ABC: just set the logical sequence of transitions between screens in a Prototype mode.

Prototype development adobe
Prototype development.

The icing on the cake: we can see the ready-to-go prototype at once with the help of inbuilt emulator (the very same button Play). Moreover, the introduced changes are displayed in real-time mode. Just awesome!

Prototype preview
Prototype preview.

You can share a working prototype with selected users not leaving Adobe Experience Design. As for me it’s splendid!

Take a look what I have done — the working project prototype.

Adobe XD has artboards and layers export, implemented competently enough. There is an export to PNG, SVG for web, Android and iOS. Unlike Sketch, in XD you only have to choose original resolution of layout — the rest exports independently and with necessary prefixes.

Generally, it was nice to try a new Adobe product, though in a fairly raw.

The one and only serious lack, to my mind is that there is no Windows version still. Windows users were impatiently waiting for announced cross-platforming launch.

Developers promised to launch Windows version within 2016 year.

You can find a list of future product features in the company blog:

  • Enhanced design features, including support for gradients, richer text, effects and blend modes.
  • An improved color picker.
  • Support for working with layers.
  • More control over the sharing of prototype links.
  • Authoring of scrollable content.
  • Micro-interactions for prototyping.
  • Real-time design preview and prototype testing on mobile devices (iOS and Android).
  • Reusability and sharing of design assets and styles, leveraging Creative Cloud libraries.
  • An extensibility/API layer for plug-ins.
  • Availability on Microsoft Windows 10 (preview release estimated for late 2016).

Adobe team thrives on feedback of their users, so you can also share your ideas on improvement of the product.

I am waiting for a new Adobe product ready to make UI development easier.