In case you live under a rock, Adobe has finally released the first version of Project Comet. However, now it’s no longer called Project Comet. It is now called Adobe Experience Designer, or Adobe XD for short. Adobe has been there for many of us since the beginning.
The old-school cats have been with Adobe since they bought Fireworks from Macromedia and the young tadpoles were introduced to Photoshop as the industry standard for web design. Whether young or old, you’ve probably used Adobe and gotten to know their software pretty well.
Here’s the thing: It is now 2016 and there are some pretty huge competitors out there. Photoshop was originally a photo-editing tool and was essentially a hack for creating websites. Company’s like Bohemian Coding have capitalized on this and created a pretty incredible application meant for UI design and UI design only. With the boom of UI/UX designers on the market, this couldn’t have come at a better time.
Sketch has grown in popularity for both it’s ease-of-use, it’s general capabilities, and (most importantly for some) it’s lack of a subscription model! With this giant amount of success I would imagine that Adobe has seen a decrease in subscription sales (I, for one, am part of that number). So, what did they do? They created something exactly like Sketch! (or at least it seems that this is what they tried to do).
So let’s get down to it. What is the best UI/UX software out there? Is it Sketch or Adobe XD?
Adobe XD is overall a beautiful software. In my opinion, it’s interface is even nicer than the, acclaimed, Sketch. It’s ability to prototype in the app is so, so nice. The fact that you can design, then prototype, then design, then go back to prototyping again without ever having to leave the application, is a tremendously awesome feature. Not to mention, the interactions involved in the prototyping process are quite pleasant. That beautiful curvy line that you can stretch across your artboards like a rubberband makes prototyping that much more fun. Prototyping through drawing an overlay around a button is fine, but, c’mon, that interaction has been around since the beginning of Fireworks! And how about that repeat grid guys? I must say that I’m loving that. For those of you who haven’t tried it out yet, the repeat grid is an easy, fun way to duplicate your elements that much quicker (i.e create a list of cards for mobile in about a half a second). Furthermore, the drag and drop masking feature is perfection. Once again, for those of you who don’t know…You can drag an image directly from your desktop and drop it into a shape that you created. So much fun!
However, this is where I think Adobe has gone wrong.
XD is beautifully designed, it feels incredibly light-weight, and is even fun to use. But it seems that this was their main focus (at least for their first release). The prototyping tool is beautiful, but you can’t seem to link to another element on the same page. The type tool is light and pretty, but the option to adjust your leading is non-existent. The color picker looks nice, until you click it and find that there is no option to type in a hex code. It almost feels like Adobe is trying to build a tool for beginners.
Sketch on the other hand, although it’s pen tool and bitmap capabilities aren’t as robust as Photoshop and Illustrator, it’s certainly a far more robust tool for UI design than Adobe XD. Overall, Sketch’s pen tool, type tool, shape tool, and pretty much every other tool in there is more equipped for a real world professional UI designer.
To conclude, XD is beautiful and has some really cool new features. If you haven’t tried it out, I highly recommend giving it a test to decide for yourself. But for now, I’ll be sticking with Sketch for my mock-ups and Marvel for my prototypes.