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?

pros-and-cons-of-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.

 

Best UI/UX Software: Sketch vs. Adobe XD

Best UI/UX Software: Sketch vs. Adobe XD

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Hi Bastian, thanks for your comment! No, I haven’t tried XD since I wrote this blog. I would recommend that everyone try both Sketch and XD to see which is better for their personal workflow. I’m still a big fan of Sketch as it has continually met and gone beyond my expectations. Regarding, Craft and it’s prototyping feature, I am also patiently waiting. In the meantime, I find that Marvel, (which has a Sketch plugin) is a terrific prototyping tool. Not to mention, its free version allows you to create unlimited prototypes. I may be wrong, but last time I checked, Invision has restrictions on this. Anyway, hope that helps!

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Hey Scott. Since you wrote your article, did give Adobe XD a new try ? I saw they added a lot of functionalities over the last months. Is Sketch still leading the segment ? because I very interested in the prototyping part. I was waiting on Craft by InVision but the prototyping part of the plugin looks like it will never come … Happy to hear more from you. Have a nice day.

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Thanks for the comment @augmentin! To each his own I say! 🙂 If you do decide to give Sketch a try one more time, it does have plenty of pre-defined popular displays (i.e. HD desktop, iPhone 6, iPhone SE, etc) as well as raster and vector capabilities. It also has some great plugins (i.e. Sketch Mirror, which allows you to see what you’re designing on your smartphone in real-time). Regarding Webflow, I’ve been using it myself lately and I’ve been happy with it so far! I look forward to the future of the product. I’m sure it’ll bring great things.

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i don t like it for web design we need a mix between a tool design like photoshop illustrator and a tool that emulate a browser, or the logic of a browser. I tested webflow and macaw and i think this last it s the best tool for web responsive design. Sketch don t resolve my design problems.

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Hi Peter! Thanks for commenting. Let me start by saying, I’m very aware that it’s an early preview and I’m super excited to see where your team takes it. Thanks for clarifying about the hex codes, I’m excited to see the updated version of this. As far as the prototyping tool, I was thinking about linking two elements on one page (i.e. Think smooth scroll on a one-page website). From what I could tell, that wasn’t possible. However, regardless of all my feedback, I want to point out how great it is that you’re here commenting asking for even more feedback! Talk about user experience! Keep it up! I look forward to your future updates.

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I work on the XD team at Adobe. Just wanted to clarify two things:

* This is an early preview. Lots more functionality is coming – new updates will be released about once a month.
* You can enter hex codes, though it’s clumsy: switch to the 2nd tab in the color picker, then change the dropdown to “RGB Sliders.” This is the Apple default color picker, and we know it’s not great. Expect a nicer replacement soon!

Also, a question for you: can you tell us more about what you want to do by linking to another element on the same artboard?

Happy to hear more of your feedback!