Designing apps and websites has never been easier than with Adobe XD

Initially, name Project Comet, Adobe XD (or Adobe Experience Design) is on its way to becoming one of the most accessible design tools on the market. Initially developed for Mac OS, it has been made compatible with Windows as of the end of 2016. At the time being it is still in beta testing, but it looks incredibly promising.

What sets Adobe XD apart from any other design tool is the ease of access it offers. The app has literally no learning curve and can be used by professionals and hobbyists alike. Its interface contains only seven buttons, each with a clearly defined function. Not only is its interface clean and easy to use, but it also features a lot of options meant to help the user. From the point of view of a user, Adobe XD manages to take the functionality of any other design software, and make it accessible enough that a child could use it.

The application has given up the layer system seen in other tools and has introduced a hierarchical system in its place. With it, the user may choose which elements or groups of elements to position on top or under everything else. While the application doesn’t appear to have a vector editing option, the feature can be accessed by double clicking on virtually any shape. This will cause a new menu to appear which has several vector related options. This is all done without any new toolbar icons, again as a testament to Adobe Experience Design’s strong minimalist philosophy. Also, as a way to help both casual and professional users, the features an intuitive Smart Guides system. This system has been ported from Photoshop, but has been improved to be a lot more accessible. Another useful feature is the Repeat Grid function. This allows the designer to select layers and them clone them horizontally or vertically. Any changes done to one of the segments will repeat on all the others.

The app offers two different modes of use: design and prototype. In the design area, the user can insert, modify and delete elements. He can also group them together or insert text boxes. The prototype area allows the designer to actually link the different screens together and to set the transition animations and speeds. Adobe XD allows the users to interact with the prototypes, in a way that mimics normal usage. After creating a prototype comes the need to share it. The app offers options to share a creation online, by uploading it to the Adobe servers and then sending a link to the people chosen by the designer. Exporting assets are just as easy. As far as compatible export formats are concerned, Adobe Experience Design only offers PG and SVG, for the moment.

Adobe XD might not be ground breaking as far as the amount of functionality it offers, but it is unique in its philosophy regarding the clarity of its features and how easy they are to use.