Apps & Software

Adobe XD launches as an early preview build for all Adobe ID accounts

Adobe released “Adobe Experience Design CC” this week, an early preview of the company’s user experience (UX) design and prototyping solution. The new tool empowers UX designers to deliver mobile apps and web sites, quickly and easily.

First demonstrated as Project Comet at Adobe MAX in October 2015, Adobe is releasing this Preview to invite the UX design community to give input into the evolving product feature set.

Adobe Experience Design (XD) is available as a free download to anyone with an Adobe ID and the company expects the first commercial release to be available, for Adobe Creative Cloud members, later this year. With the majority of content going mobile, it is no surprise UX design is one of the fastest growing creative disciplines. According to Behance, the world’s largest online creative community, interaction design projects grew by 52% in 2015, more than any other creative field.

“In our fast-moving, connected culture, poorly designed app or web experiences suffer a painful and short shelf-life,” said Paul Gubbay, vice president of Creative Cloud product management at Adobe. “Designers have been waiting for the right UX tool to simplify app and web experience design. From the beginning Adobe XD has been a constructive collaboration between our team and the design community and we look forward to the feedback from designers worldwide.”

Adobe XD integrates design and prototyping in a lightning-fast, fluid desktop application. The solution helps designers move seamlessly from wire-framing and design to prototyping and preview, in order to iterate quickly and craft the apps and websites that keep users coming back. This first Preview release includes focused and intuitive design and layout tools; a dedicated prototype mode for defining interactive hotspots and transitions; desktop preview mode for testing prototypes and seeing changes in real-time; and built-in sharing that enables stakeholders and teams to access prototypes in their browser, on the desktop or from mobile devices. Designers are able to bring in existing assets from Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Photoshop CC, key desktop apps essential to UX design workflows and once designs are finalized, assets can be easily exported to developers for production work.

“XD positions itself very well,” said Marc Hemeon, CEO and founder of Design Inc., an agency focused on helping companies design and build stand-out products. “I can sketch a few ideas out, get a prototype, get it on my phone, and just very rapidly change it in real time. Super simple, super fast, super easy to use.”

Today, Adobe XD is available for Mac OS and in the future will add mobile companion apps for iOS and Android, in addition to bringing the desktop app to Windows 10. Increasing platform support over time allows Adobe to focus on the core product features and then bring tailored experiences to each platform. Further integration with Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC is planned, as well as support for essential Creative Cloud features, such as CC Libraries and Adobe Stock. This roadmap will be heavily influenced by the feedback Adobe receives from designers.

“Prototyping and usability testing are key skills we are instilling into our students, as they take their first steps in user and experience design,” said Tom Green, Professor Interactive Multimedia, The School of Media Studies at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, based in Toronto. “Adobe XD is not only a great tool for giving students the opportunity to create interactive prototypes from their designs but to also iterate those prototypes as they move through the User Testing process.”

Pricing and Availability

Adobe XD is available for free to download for Mac: creative.adobe.com/products/download/experience-design. An Adobe ID is required. The first commercial release of the product is expected to be available later this year. Adobe XD will be offered as part of Adobe Creative Cloud membership plans.