Designing A Design Tool For Designers
Fast Company has had a lot to say about Adobe XD. From a “slick design with zero learning curve” to “revolutionizing the way designers design and prototype websites and apps.” The publication recently recognized XD in its 2016 Innovation by Design Awards as a winner in the app category and and as a finalist in the experience category (XD is part of Creative Cloud).
That’s some pretty heady stuff. But my favorite comment from Fast Company may be about the completely new development process we are employing and the thousands of independent designers who are looped in to test builds and to provide feedback to our pre-release programs. They call it…
“A uniquely nimble and transparent approach from an industry behemoth.”
To be honest, designing a design tool for designers is an intimidating undertaking and, as lead designer, my job is to make sure we get it right. So far, the pre-release (version 0.5) meets our goals, but as the version number indicates, we’re not there yet. We continue to go through rounds of testing and user feedback to help us determine which changes and updates make sense. It’s crucial to us that the features we’re working on are done right not just done fast. Implementing changes is a very rigorous process that we take seriously.
To me, this is the geekiest fun job to have and I get excited when we talk to users. The other day I had a Twitter conversation with a UX designer who had posted a really great critique about the wiring handles in our prototyping modes. I wanted to find out more, so we talked about what he was using it for and how to make it better. I actually put those ideas back into the design. That experience is emblematic of how the whole XD team engages with designers.
We’re currently going through rounds of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) on the next Adobe XD release. In addition to looking at the testing data, we’ve conducted several individual interviews, extensive internal testing, and we also rely on a lot of user feedback tools like UserVoice, Slack, usertesting.com, and social media to help us determine which changes and updates make sense for XD now. We take user feedback to heart so we can build a tool that’s really effective, but simple and intuitive to use. If you haven’t already downloaded our pre-release, you can join now to see some of our newest features in beta and provide your own feedback. My team is eager to hear what you have to say!
The truth is that real design and real design work already can be accomplished in XD, even though it’s still being called a preview. I know this because my team and I — and much of the broader design team at Adobe — use XD to do design work every day. In fact, we use XD to design XD! My team is passionate about building a tool that helps you build products with great UX/UI design and we’re really focused on making the user experience of that tool as high quality as possible.
If you’re headed to Adobe MAX, be sure to join my session where I’ll be presenting even more about designing the future of Adobe XD. The entire Adobe XD team also will be leading sessions at MAX and our XD Keynote will showcase new features and give a sneak peek at even more. Whether at sessions or in our booth in the Make It area, we’ll be easy to spot with special XD shirts, so join us for demos, pointers, tips, answers to your questions, or just to hang out. We look forward to meeting you and getting your feedback in person.