One of the biggest challenges that most designers face is how to communicate their vision for a solution in the quickest and most effective way possible. Many have relied on ‘localhost’ test sites or PowerPoint presentations and it has worked, but the time wasted setting up dummies that would never make their way into production has raised a lot of concern over the years. When I am thinking about the visuals of an application, a back-end or even a website, I want to be able to simply project my thoughts onto a clean slate, make them interactive and be able to pass that on to collaborators to critic. Working with a Mock-up tool like Azure, is great, but often times, I have to create design elements in Photoshop or Illustrator and then move them over to Axure for automation, which is okay until you have a make a dozen changes. Furthermore in applications where content designers require visibility into every component of a solution, there’s no room for place holders, every element of the prototype must behave in the same way the actual application would.
Earlier today 14 March, 2016, Adobe announced the availability of Adobe Experience Design CC (XD), which was formally called Project Comet. On it blog, Adobe says “Adobe XD makes it easy to undertake wire framing, visual design, interaction design, prototyping, previewing and sharing, by bringing together the tools you need for experience design into a single solution. We’re starting by delivering a basic set of tools in each of those areas, with the feedback we receive helping to determine the ultimate set of features that you need, while continuing to ensure we don’t compromise on delivering amazing performance and a comfortable design experience.”
The preview will be offered free of charge during the preview window, and unfortunately, is only available on Mac until later in the year when a Windows version will be released. No details on when exactly that would be.
Adobe goes on to say: In this first preview release of Adobe XD you’ll find:
- Focused design tools – create wireframes, screen layouts and production-ready artwork
- Prototyping tools – define flows, triggers and transitions as part of your design
- Built in sharing – create a video recording of your prototype or share a link to an interactive prototype hosted on Creative Cloud
- Support for bringing in existing assets from Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch
- Blisteringly fast performance – create projects that bring together complex designs for web, mobile, tablet, watches and more, without any slowdown.
And it doesn’t end here, based on the feedback Adobe has received from the over 5,000 designers that were involved in the beta, Adobe has already committed to the following enhanced design features, including support for gradients, richer text, effects and blend modes:
- An improved colour 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)
For those interested in gaining an in depth overview of XD, Adobe has lined up an Online Conference expected to run from tomorrow, 15 all the way through to 17 March, 2016, details can be found here: XD Online Conference which will be live on Twitch. And for Mac users looking to download the preview, find details here: Download