Adobe Creative Cloud

November 2, 2016 /UX/UI Design /

Collaborative Design with Adobe XD

One of the core motivations for creating Adobe XD was to enable designers to design at the speed of thought – removing friction in the design process wherever possible.

With this in mind, we started our journey by delivering XD on Mac, bringing together design, prototyping and sharing tools, while also focusing relentlessly on performance and quality. We then added support for real-time design and prototype preview on iOS and Android, making it easier than ever to craft beautiful mobile experiences.

We’re extremely close to releasing the first beta of XD on Windows, bringing the same speed and efficiency to the large number of designers using PCs. With the availability of XD on Mac and Windows, we hope to improve interoperability for design teams in mixed environments – something that is a real issue when using software that is only available on a single platform.

While we’re excited to see how Adobe XD will make a positive impact to your efficiency and creativity as a designer, we understand that designing compelling experiences involves a much larger group of people, including other designers on your team, developers and additional project stakeholders.

At Adobe MAX, our annual creativity conference, and in this blog post, we’re previewing the next set of capabilities that we’ll be adding to Adobe XD throughout 2017, all of which are centered around collaborative design – with the goal of helping you design, prototype and iterate faster than ever before.

Note: Like everything we work on for XD, we spend lots of time getting feedback from customers and iterating on designs and functionality, so everything described here is subject to change before release.

 

Working with Stakeholders

Publishing prototypes for review by stakeholders has been a core capability since we first released XD.  With our MAX release, we’ve added support for commenting on prototypes. Looking beyond 2016, expect continued improvements to both the commenting and design signoff experience.comments1Another critical step in the stakeholder process is the handoff between the designer and the developer.   From talking to our customers, we’ve heard that when working with developers to implement the design, you want to provide as much information and as much interpretation of the design in one place.   While you could create a PDF and add annotations to provide additional context and guidance, it is a slow and tedious process of exporting and updating. To simplify this process, we will be adding the ability to publish and share design specs and style guides directly from your XD document.

With the addition of design specifications in XD, you’ll be able to provide developers with a link to a version of your design document that they can view and interact with directly inside the browser. In this view, they’ll get access to artboard and object level annotations you’ve made, be able to download assets, get code snippets for the target platforms, inspect animations and transitions, as well as take measurements so as to get layouts just right.specWhile the spec provides a view on the XD document, a link to a style guide will provide an easy to consume view of the assets used within your project. Whether you’re a developer who needs an asset for implementation or a marketer who wants a logo for use in campaign, the published style guide will provide an up-to-date repository of colors, fonts and assets for download and re-use.libraryAcross the prototyping, document specs and style guide experiences, stakeholders will be able to review and comment so as to provide feedback on the design, as well as use the assets you’ve created for production purposes. We believe these tools will dramatically improve how you collaborate with stakeholders and are excited to add them to XD in the coming months.

Working with Other Designers

As a designer, you’re not just collaborating with stakeholders, especially on larger projects, you work with other designers to divide and conquer to meet deadlines.

Existing approaches for collaboration among multiple designers require splitting work into separate design documents, which ultimately means needing to merge multiple versions of the documents and sharing assets across documents. With the added pain of assembling everything together for final review and delivery, managing a single source of truth is time-consuming and difficult.

With our goal of reducing friction and ensuring focus on designing, we’re excited to be adding the ability for multiple designers to collaborate in real time on the same document in XD.

This will be as simple as inviting your co-designers into the XD document and then working on your artboards.  While you’re editing an artboard, others can see what you’re doing and use your assets, but they can’t make edits to your work. When you’re done and move onto editing a different artboard, the artboard automatically becomes available for another designer to work on, allowing you to focus on design rather than managing files and assets.

As a cloud-connected native desktop app, XD will support multiple designers working on hundreds of artboards in a single document, with the amazing performance and fidelity that you expect as designer.

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Of course, with multiple designers working together, you might find that an incorrect design change happens inadvertently – that’s why we are adding visual versioning to XD.

With visual versioning, you can access automatically saved revisions, as well as create milestone versions of the document.  Directly within XD, you can now quickly go back to any point in your design, find the version of an artboard or design asset that you need, and bring it forward to the latest version of the document in no time at all.

Since the versioning capability is cloud-based, the capability will be available by default when you save your document to the Creative Cloud. Once you’re cloud-enabled, you’ll be able to publish prototypes, specifications and style guides, as well as co-edit in real-time, secure in the knowledge that your document versions are automatically managed and available to you.

When Will These Collaborative Capabilities be Available?

We’re actively working on the collaborative workflows highlighted here and will be exposing these gradually to selected pre-release customers before making them incrementally available through our public beta releases starting in early 2017.

We hope you are as excited as we are about the opportunity to collaborate more effectively with other designers, developers and project stakeholders as you work on mobile and web projects.

You can reach out to our team here in the comments or @AdobeXD on Twitter – we look forward to hearing from you.

UX/UI Design

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Join the discussion

  • By Sarah Johanna - 11:40 AM on November 2, 2016  

    Please you have to include gestures (swiping, 3D touch, zoom etc) for the beta release. It is essential for mobile prototyping…
    Please let me know if you will soon?
    Otherwise I will have to do my prototype with another software though I love using Xd so much already!
    Best,
    Sarah 🙂

  • By Kirsten - 2:07 AM on November 3, 2016  

    Yes! Style guides and specs! This is the main thing thats stopped me from using XD. Can’t wait for it.

  • By Sebastian - 5:52 AM on November 3, 2016  

    Hi there thanks for the awesome update.
    But i have one feedback for you.
    In my opinion, no stakeholder want to create a Adobe ID to give a quick comment for the prototype share. This should be available as easy as can, without registration.

    • By Andrew Shorten - 12:42 PM on November 3, 2016  

      Completely agree – we are working on guest commenting so that no sign in required. Coming soon!

      Thanks,
      Andrew (Adobe)

      • By Matt - 9:04 AM on November 4, 2016  

        This will be a great feature to remove the burden of entry. Thanks

  • By Chris - 4:22 PM on November 3, 2016  

    Without features like gestures or the ability to build reusable components, and use common UI elements like text boxes, this tool will have a very hard time replacing those like Axure or proto.io. I LOVE Adobe tools and gave this a shot, but it’s got a long way to go to be considered for use for real prototyping. If you can’t approximate the experience, it isn’t a prototype, it’s a clickable walk-through.

  • By Alex - 4:35 PM on November 3, 2016  

    I’ve been using XD daily and I loved the announcement. Just missed the ability of animation for micro-interactions (things I can do with Flinto, for example). It would be nice to, at least, to expose the design files so external developers could create plugin (export to a flinto, like Sketch offers). Any comments on that?

  • By Michael - 7:35 AM on November 4, 2016  

    Please..Please can we extract to interactive PDF?

  • By Dmitry - 9:14 AM on November 4, 2016  

    Looks very promising guys! Amazing job.
    I wonder if you are looking into partnering with some micro-interaction prototyping tools such as framer? Would be great to have an ability to export layers to Framer. Prototyping capabilities in XD are nice, but we’ll always need to rely on something like Framer to go beyond what’s possible 🙂

    • By Nitin - 4:57 AM on November 8, 2016  

      I’m also in favour of XD having micro-interactions and animation.

      If this gets implemented along with the style-guide and the ability to spec-up for developers then we have ourselves the one-stop-shop we’ve all been waiting for.

  • By Matt - 9:14 AM on November 4, 2016  

    The new MAX update is a big step forward. Having symbols and layers as well as commenting will make a big difference in boosting efficiency.

    To riff on some of the above ideas, having an option to include animations built within re-occuring elements would be great. For example, a hamburger menu. If the ‘symbol’ had an up/down state, persistent wires and could be saved in the library. BOOM! Prototyping would be greatly expedited.

  • By Karl - 4:05 AM on November 7, 2016  

    This may just tempt me back to Adobe CC from Sketch/Zeplin/Invision. Looks really great and I cannot wait to see the results.

  • By David - 12:19 PM on November 7, 2016  

    Hi there, didn’t know about adobe XD until tonight…
    This tool seems to be much more about webdesign and UI/UX design… What about the print? Is this tool will be able to get a catalog or a book edited by several designers with all the indesign sepcs (linked pictures, typeface & fonts, etc.)? I wonder…

  • By Anthony - 3:51 AM on November 8, 2016  

    I guess we can kiss the true meaning of the word “iterate” goodbye now? I haven’t had an iterate this morning yet so I thought I would reach out btw. 🙂 Do designers really want to be bombarded with comments about their subjective creativity, or do they really want to be left alone to get on with work… I hope XD has a stealth mode hmmm

    • By Nitin - 4:51 AM on November 8, 2016  

      Perhaps Adobe will introduce a feature where you’re able to manage who recieves/annotates on the prototype.

      Going back to your original point about being bombarded with comments – I feel it can depend on the environment you work in. If you’re the sole designer then surely its good to recieve feedback be it good or bad. Leaving you to collate the feedback from stakeholders and amend accordingly.

  • By Nitin - 4:54 AM on November 8, 2016  

    Really eager to see the function where the designer can spec-up the design for hand-over to a developer.

  • By Renato Reis - 12:33 PM on November 8, 2016  

    Oh my! Can’t wait!!! 😀

  • By Gigith - 1:47 AM on November 11, 2016  

    hi
    there are different unit for mobile platforms, for ios pt android dp. will there be a easy way to do this in xd? or creating style guides for specific platform are we including these units in xd.

  • By Yoann - 9:00 AM on November 15, 2016  

    Hi,

    I know that the next feature presented above (design specs and style guides directly from XD document) will be available through your public beta releases starting in early 2017. But do you have a more specific month for launching those features? 🙂

  • By Ryder Smith - 6:56 PM on November 15, 2016  

    I’m University IT and have art college professors SCREAMING at me almost daily because the enterprise version of CC (which we have to run) doesn’t contain XD, and it isn’t possible to install it. This means they cannot teach this software when in fact it is already being used by some professionals.

    I haven’t seen this much demand in academia for a program since Photoshop 2.5.1. When can we expect a version to be included in the enterprise version? I’m being told it doesn’t matter if it’s only a beta or a preview, it is needed and needed now. Thank you.

    • By Andrew Shorten - 11:32 AM on December 1, 2016  

      Hi Ryder,

      Great to hear that XD is in demand.

      XD is installable within enterprise environments that use named user licensing. It is not available in environments that use serialized installs.

      Please reply here if you need additional support in relation to providing access to XD within your organization.

      Thanks,
      Andrew (Adobe)