Let me just say… this is BIG, and I don’t mean flash in the pan big.
I’m talking about Adobe just discovered a new design frontier waiting to be explored. Let’s take a step back for a moment and picture early America. When Lewis and Clark set out to explore the wild, it was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western territories of the United States. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, in May of 1804 their expedition departed with the primary objective to explore and map a way westward through the continental divide to the Pacific coast. Little was known about what lay ahead but one thing was certain – progress! Like this bold frontier that awaited the early settlers design is also an ever changing landscape. Whether it’s a trend or a shift in direction, one thing is for certain… those who adapt, succeed!
That is exactly why I am here to talk about Adobe’s new experience design application (aka: Adobe Xd). Announced earlier this March, Adobe unveiled their new prototyping tool which allows designers to build and test websites/applications on mobile devices. Now I know what you’re thinking… this can be accomplished with staging servers, test environments and responsive design frameworks. While that is true, let’s be honest… it’s a clunky time consuming process and probably not the most efficient way to work. Part of being a good designer is staying on your toes, keeping your ear to the ground, and looking out for new paths to better improve your process. While this may not at first seem that much of a “wow” factor – believe me when I tell you this is a game changer!
Often times design, development, and testing is done in just that order – meaning three distinct phases. With Adobe Xd all that changes – this is the first all-in-on tool for user experience designers to not only conceptualize their project but actually build and test the application/website in real time. Similar third party apps like InVision have attempted to bridge this gap in the past. However the experience has been that of managing detailed comps with hot-spots to mimic user interaction. While this is a viable alternative and a perfectly acceptable method as well – Adobe has stepped up to the plate and raised the bar. Like the bold explorers Lewis and Clark, Adobe Xd is venturing into new territory. Their process is a fast and fluid design workflow which evolves as your design changes in order to alleviate unnecessary roadblocks to drive results and increase output. Specifically, a designer can switch between design and prototype mode with a simple click. From there you can share out the project using a link in which clients, co-workers, and managers can provide real-time feedback and edits.
Now, unfortunately design is a subjective medium; often times there is no clear right nor wrong answer. But that doesn’t mean the process has to be difficult as well. Now designers can create visual web designs, preview changes in real time, and share their prototypes with the broader team to expedite efficiency and consistently deliver amazing products.
Here’s a brief breakdown of how Adobe Xd can help you.
- Streamlined Design: now designers can expedite their workflow with intuitive tools that let them draw, replicate, and combine elements to develop interactive designs with production ready assets.
- Interactive Prototypes: what we previously seen as “nice-to-have” is now becoming a common practice. Everyone wants to see, touch, and experience how their app will perform among users for testing purposes. Now interactions and animations can add to that process be seamlessly integrated into development without leaving the design interface.
- Live Previews: as I mentioned before testing with users is important. Live previews allow your audience to see changes immediately and apply quick feedback with what they want to see.
- Easy Sharing: is your team constantly exchanging emails with large files weights? Yeah, we’ve all been there – but now with Adobe Xd you can send a link to coworkers and clients to share production-ready artwork.
For me as a designer, the possibilities of this new frontier are extremely exciting and something we will be implementing here at Yeti Society. If you are interested in exploring more of Adobe’s new product – checkout their landing page here: http://www.adobe.com/products/experience-design.html. As always I would love to chat if you have question or find this article particularly interesting. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – until next time, stay wild!