What’s the real impact of AdobeXD on your design & business processes? | Adobe XD pros and cons
What’s the real impact of AdobeXD on your design & business processes? | Adobe XD pros and cons
Adrian Miclăuș takes the new digital paradigm into consideration and pinpoints the pros and cons of AdobeXD. Through the lenses of design, explore how the tools you use shape the process of thought and collaboration.
Adrian A. Miclăuș
6 min. read
What’s the real impact of AdobeXD on your design & business processes? | Adobe XD pros and cons



Introduced to the public in 2015, vector-based design program Adobe XD has become one of the most discussed and used platforms for designers to ideate, create, and launch successful products into the world.


Adobe XD has been developed from the ground up, specifically to create and facilitate a vastly better work environment for designers, while also improving the ideation and review process for stakeholders and product owners.



What was life like before XD?


Up until its launch, many remember how tedious and unrewarding the experience was when it came to designing for web and mobile applications. A great number of people still used Photoshop or Illustrator for their projects, and suffice to say that designing for the web differs substantially from print. 


I, one, started with graphic design and continued for several years before migrating to the field of UI/UX and Product Design, so I’ve had little exposure to the difficulties of web-based design in programs that were not meant to be used as such, though I’ve gone through them a couple of times.



How did AdobeXD change the life of the designer? (and entrepreneur)


It is important to remember a few key points that Adobe XD manages to break through and other programs do not:



  • Design is a river 

Forever moving from one place to the next, Interaction Design can not be bound in pixel-constrained, fixed environments, and must be adaptable across multiple channels.



  • Teams create products

Every successful product has had a solid team behind it, that’s why it’s so important to have reliable means of communication for providing feedback, reviews, and discussion boards for your design project.



  • Freedom of choice 

A modern design process is shaped up through multiple ways of developing your product. Examples include wireframing, prototyping, UI design, and many more.


With UI and UX design being at the forefront of its ambitions, Adobe XD is ideal for designers and creative people alike, and it is almost a guarantee that you will experience a breathtakingly easy way of sketching, wireframing, UI designing, and prototyping your product to make it the best version it can be.



What makes one choose XD? - AdobeXD pros



1.Boost your workflow through the use of Components


How many moments did you find yourself in when you had to make the smallest adjustment, say increasing the font size of the text inside a button, from 12px to 14px, and you had to manually go over every screen in order to edit it completely?


God knows I’ve had my fair share.


Ever since I’ve discovered and worked with XD’s components, my workflow has improved considerably. 


Built with responsibility and efficiency as its main attributes, components in Adobe XD let you create elements of your design (ie. components) that can be reused however many times you need to, and work on a drag-and-drop logic. Their hierarchy divides into just 3 parts, main components, instances, and states.


The main components provide the basis of your design. Any change that you make on one will propagate onto every copy of it (ie. instance).



Instances are essentially copies of the main state, but the interesting thing is they can be modified independently of their parent component. Once an instance has been placed into an artboard and modified, it exists independently of the other copies.



States let you interact with your components and easily switch between their different UI depending on specific contexts.


2.Easily shift your perception with 3D Transform


Gone are the ways when we’d unnecessarily switch from program to program just to import an image to illustrate depth and perception through our design. 3D Transform is a powerful tool that lets us, through various space controls, present different perspectives that can be useful in fields such as augmented or virtual reality.





3.Keep all things organized through Shared libraries


Keeping things organized and having each element in its own dedicated space is something very important for me and also a virtue I recommend every person, not just designers, try to expand on. 


That said, most often than not, especially on big projects, chances are you’d end up with a really noisy file, filled with variations, mockups, current or reviewed designs, and knowing how to tidy stuff up can be really handy.


Adobe XD helps on this issue by letting us create, publish, and share our libraries from different XD files. This can drastically reduce the amount of clutter or unnecessary bits of design that you might have in your file, and help you concentrate more on each individual task.





4.Check-in with reality through AdobeXD Prototyping feature


When it comes to testing and validating your product, having a working prototype is fundamental to the success of your project, that is why, in my opinion, the greatest and most important asset of Adobe XD is its prototyping capabilities.


With functionalities such as Auto-Animate and Voice triggers, you can create marvelous, interactive designs, capable of simulating experiences that would, sometimes, be hard to differentiate from the real thing.




Alright alright, I think you’re already tired of hearing me boast about XD so much, so the next question would be:



What’s not that great about it? - AdobeXD cons


Well, to tell you the truth, from a solo designer’s point of view, things are relatively smooth, but when it comes to developmental handoff and collaborative work, it can become fairly difficult. 


Let’s go through some known issues:



1.Real-time collaboration could use some refinement


Working alongside other designers increases productivity and creativity, but only if done in the right manner. 


So far, when multiple people are working at the same time on a file, this feature becomes unreliable in XD, prone to lags and crashes. Files having to constantly sync can reduce your work time by a great measure.



2.Development handoff needs your full attention


Your development team needs all the help it can get to successfully build your vision, so providing them with all their requirements is a must. 


Adobe XD is inconsistent with how it handles what measurements devs can see inside screens, and also exporting issues have been reported for whatever a developer may need to export from a screen.



3.Always keep an eye open for any other miscellaneous issues


Although modern and constantly updated, XD suffers from lacking some features that have been asked for by users for years. 


Some of them include more dedication to third-party plugins and a more complex component system. Connectivity issues are also a persistent matter that finds its way onto the spotlight from time to time.



Key takeaways


So far we’ve discussed features that let you work faster, smarter, and are more reliable and responsive than previously seen, and now it’s time to write up a few key takeaways.



  • Although UI/UX oriented, Adobe XD can be used for much more, such as reviewing, discussing, and sharing design projects.
  • AdobeXD helps you maintain a consistent and responsive design by using the components system.
  • You can declutter your workflow and keep files neatly organized by publishing and sharing libraries of components from each of them.
  • If you want prototyping done right, XD is your champion.



This is only the tip of the iceberg


Adobe XD has a lot more to offer and if you want your curiosities to be fully satisfied, I encourage everyone to head on and read our whitepaper


I’ve been using Adobe XD since 2018 and I’m pleased with how much I’ve grown and it’s grown throughout these years. Whatever your needs may be, you most definitely can count on the reliability and easiness it offers to not only designers, but product managers, product owners, developers, and stakeholders.


Although young and ambitious, there is no doubt that this is just the beginning for Adobe XD, and I’m excited to see what they come up with next.



About the author


My colleague, Andrada Farcaș, and I have joined our forces to create a design white paper to help individuals from all kinds of backgrounds to simplify their customers' experience, create a design that matters, and set a product successfully on the market. It’s called “Unleash your UX/UI design superpowers - Your essential handbook for generating the design that matters” and you should definitely check it out. It will cost you less to read it than it will if not.





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