Next time you fire up Adobe XD, prepare to be amazed by its range of useful and impressive new features. Let’s find out more about them.
XD, Adobe’s UX design tool for web and mobile app prototypes, has long been a favourite of UX designers everywhere. If you’re a UX designer using Adobe XD, you already love features like the ability to create a grid of repeating items and being able to design symbols to denote logos and buttons.
Although it’s been around for more than three years now as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe’s expert developers are always adding new capabilities. It keeps XD ahead of the crowd and helps users take their designs to the next level. Just in time for the Adobe MAX 2019 event at the start of November, Adobe announced the release of XD 24.0. It’s one of their biggest releases yet, with a whole raft of new features for designers to get their teeth into.
In this article, we’re going to examine some of them in more detail. Let’s go.
UX design is often a team effort rather than an individual pursuit. With XD’s new Coediting feature, you can invite other designers to work with you on a project. When you invite collaborators into your prototype, you can see who is in there and what they are doing in real-time. With Coediting, XD creates one central ‘true’ version of your document, enabling you and your collaborators to edit it together, without duplication of work.
It’s essential for UX designers to know how a prototype has changed and improved over time, particularly now you can have multiple designers collaborating on one project. With the new release of XD, you can see your document history, so you always have the full picture. You can also open previous versions of your document, copy elements from earlier documents to your current one, or revert to previous versions. This means if you (or your client) change your mind about something, it’s super-easy to fix.
With the new release of XD, Adobe has improved the way users can share their prototypes with collaborators and stakeholders. With share mode, users can:
– Create web links to share projects – give each link a unique name for easy tracking
– Customise the way you share to match the situation, such as design reviews or user testing
– See which artboards you’ll be sharing in an artefact
– Manage permissions
– Set up password protection on your shared documents
Since the early days of XD, users can create components to avoid having to recreate the same interface elements repeatedly. XD 24.0 brings you component states. Now, your components can support different scenarios signifying user interaction; tapping a button or opening a tab, for example. This saves time, as you no longer have to create multiple components for each scenario.
The wait is over. The feature XD users have been demanding is here; hover trigger. Now, you can set off specific actions in your design when a user hovers their cursor over an element, such as a button or link. As part of XD’s component states feature, hovering joins other user interactions such as tapping, dragging and voice commands.
To save even more time for UX designers, XD now supports multiple interactions on an object. Previously, XD users would have to duplicate artboards to support different user interactions; one artboard for tapping and one for dragging, for example. Now, this is a thing of the past. You can now set up multiple interaction scenarios on a single object without any duplication of work.
Redesigned Plugin Manager
There are more than 200 plugins available for Adobe XD, many designed by XD’s loyal community of users. These plugins can be super-useful for UX designers, including offering the ability to automate everyday design tasks. Adobe has redesigned its Plugin Manager platform to help you find the plugin you want, when you want it. While you browse for plugins, you can see recommendations and user reviews. You can also contact developers to get support.
Enhanced Creative Cloud Libraries integration
Creative Cloud Libraries allows users to share assets across different Adobe Creative Cloud applications, such as Photoshop. With the new release of XD, comes an enhancement to this feature. You will now be able to create and manage your libraries inside XD, as well as use assets and components from XD in your libraries and use them in other Creative Cloud apps. This makes it easier to create a centralised library for all the system assets in your organisation.
Adobe XD’s new features have the potential to transform UX designers’ workflows. They help save valuable time, as well as providing new opportunities for creativity. We can’t wait to find out how UX designers are going to use their new powers.
Join Adobe XD Evangelist Stephanie Maier for her workshop on all things XD at this year’s Mobile UX London Conference.
At the workshop, you will learn more about key features that can save you time and make prototyping easier, including:
Responsive Resize – easily resize groups of objects on your artboards for different size
screens while maintaining placement and scalability.
Repeat Grid – quickly replicate lists, visual cards, and other elements across your artboards while ensuring styles and spacing stay intact.
Auto-Animate – automatically animate changes between artboards to create micro-
interactions or interactive content in your prototype.
Assets panel – manage your colours, styles and components centrally.
Stephanie will be sharing the latest updates to Adobe XD just unveiled at Adobe MAX – The Creativity Conference in early November.
All attendees of the workshop will receive an exclusive copy of Hack the Design System, a collaboration between Idean and Adobe filled with tangible perspectives and recommendations around building design systems.