Adobe XD

Category Website Builders
Reviewed by Nitish Singh
Updated Mar 28th, ’22
Tekpon Score
9.3

Adobe XD Review

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Adobe XD is Adobe’s latest software offering. It has become the latest member of Adobe Creative Cloud. It is a UI/UX design desktop-based tool that lets you create wireframes, prototypes, or any form of visual design. The collaborative features are also well-done, where you can easily share your work with auto-generated specifications. Adobe constantly adds new features to improve its tool. You can try out Adobe XD through their free Starter plan with paid plans starting at $9.99 per user per month.

UI/UX
9.8
Ease of use
8.7
Value for Money
9.5
Features
9.2
Customer Support
9.5
Pricing Details

Starting from: $9.99/per user/monthly

Pricing Model: Subscription

Yes, has free trial

No free version

PROs
  • Supports a wide variety of artboards
  • Great learn and tutorial section
  • Frequently updated with new features
  • Simple to use interface
  • Repeat Grid functionality
  • The prototyping feature is great
  • Excellent responsive design support
  • Great collaborative feature
  • Excellent compatibility with Windows and macOS.
CONs
  • Repeat Objects can sometimes glitch
  • No CSS export
  • Small plugins library
Best for
  • Freelancers
  • StartUps
  • Small business
  • Medium business
  • Large enterprises
  • Personal
Deployment
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
  • Desktop - Mac
  • Desktop - Windows

What is Adobe XD?

Adobe Experience Design(Adobe XD) is the latest software by Adobe. It is primarily aimed at prototypers, designers, and game developers so that they can create designs or prototypes fast while communicating effectively. Technically, it is a vector-based design platform that is powerful and easy to use.  Adobe XD made into the market in 2015, but it has grown tremendously in users and features. Also, Adobe is pushing Adobe XD to match the market expectations and quickly establish its position as a strong player for UI/UX and prototype designer solutions.

Adobe XD falls under the UI/UX solution, but it is not mature enough to replace the likes of other already established products in the niche, including Figma and Sketch. The product works well-being part of the Adobe ecosystem. As a designer, you can use other Adobe software and create a workflow that works well with your requirements. For example, you can use Illustrator and Photoshop to refine your design solutions further.

The first few things that you will notice about this tool is how fast it is! You can quickly zoom in and zoom out and play with hundreds of design elements without worrying about it being slowed down. Currently, Adobe XD is available as an app and can be downloaded for Windows and Mac systems with cross-platform compatibility so that teams can work without any compromises.

With Adobe XD, you can primarily work on the following:

  • Create wireframes
  • Create interactive prototypes
  • Build a design system
  • Do web design
  • UI or visual design
  • Mobile apps design
  • Game design

What is Adobe XD used for?

Adobe XD is a UI/UX software. So, if you are someone who wants to create a prototype for your next app or website, Adobe XD is for you. It lets you design a modern, flexible and animated prototype that can be shared and communicated with the clients/engineers or managers before being finalized. As it is a vector-based design platform, you should be able to use it for all of your work.

Adobe XD takes over the overall prototype and design creation process where you can use it from ideation to asset delivery. The tool also offers workflow and time-saving features that enable teams to collaborate more easily. This means that team members can easily leave feedback via comments.

Overview Adobe XD

Some of the key features that make working efficiently with Adobe XD include:

  • Responsive Resize – Easily create a new size by dragging 
  • Components and states – Adobe XD offers reusable elements that can be used later, streamlining the process. It lets you sync different elements in the design and make changes throughout the elements without going through them.
  • Stacks and Padding let you save time by easily adding space between an element and the other boundary within your design.
  • Repeat Grid – Easily copy elements and create multiple elements of the same by dragging the element. This keeps the elements/copies in sync, improving consistency and saving time.
  • 3D transformation – Add 3D transformation to improve your design significantly and add perspective for a more intuitive understanding and control.
  • Sharable libraries – Easily share assets across teams for better collaboration.

You also get plugins and interactive features such as auto-animate, scroll-groups, triggers, anchor links, etc.!  With Adobe XD, you can create a website design, app design, marketing campaigns, voice assistant design, and game design.

Share design

Getting started with Adobe XD

Adobe XD is feature-rich UX design software. To get started, you not only need to have a strong foundation in user experience, design, and prototyping. To simplify how to get started, let’s cover it by answering the following questions.

Getting started with XD

Who can use it?

Adobe XD is primarily aimed at designers who want the best tool to create wireframes, prototypes, and designs for web, apps, games, and other web experiences that have visuals in them.  If you are already using UI/UX tools such as Sketch or Figma, you can also try Adobe XD. Adobe XD is capable of opening and working with popular UI/UX tools files, including Sketch. Recently Adobe XD also added a voice prototyping feature, making it a great software for those who want to do voice prototyping.

In short, a designer should find himself at home with Adobe XD, but if you are a developer, you can also make effective use of XD to create wireframes and prototypes for your apps and games. If you go by the questions asked during installations, the following people can use the Adobe XD software:

  • Student
  • Marketing professional
  • Teacher, staff, or faculty
  • Professional photographer
  • Video professional
  • Visual or graphical designer

  • UX designer, mobile or web
  • IT professional
  • Product manager
  • 3D artist
  • Hobbyist
  • Mobile, Web, or UX designer

How to download Adobe XD

Before you start downloading Adobe XD, you need to make sure that you meet the minimum requirement. Currently, Adobe XD is available for macOS and Windows.

For macOS, you need to meet the following requirement:
  • macOS v10.15 or later.
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 13 inch or larger display sporting 1400 x 900
  • Internet connection
And for Windows, you need the following:
  • Windows 10 1909 64 bit or later
  • 13 inch or larger display sporting 1280 x 800
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Pen and touch input support
  • Graphics card support 3D DDI feature set

download & install XD

You can also use the tool on mobile devices, including iOS and Android. If you meet the download requirement, then you need to go to the official webpage or their Adobe XD downloads webpage from where you can start downloading it. You can also install it on multiple computers but can only use it on one computer at a time.

Once downloaded, you will be prompted to install it. The installation will redirect you to the login page to log in to your Adobe account. If you can redirect successfully, it will continue the installation process and ask for some permissions, as shown below.

Next, it will ask you some questions that you can skip. However, you may also want to answer those as it will help you set up the application accordingly.

Start working with Adobe XD

Once the installation is complete, Adobe XD will open. The initial dashboard looks like the below.

working with XD

The free version of Adobe XD is the Adobe XD free Starter plan. The limitation includes one active shared link, one active shared document, and two editors. You can also check out Adobe XD templates and UI kits that lets you jumpstart your project.

On the left navigational menu, you get your options related to Home, Learn, and other file options. For example, if you are new to AdobeXD or UI/UX design, you can go to Learn. It will redirect you to a webpage where you can learn about Design, Prototype, Components, and Collaboration.

You can create a New File from the top left. Moreover, you can also use templates where you can create Web, Instagram Story, iPhone, and so on. You can also create a custom size for your requirement. Once you select the template, it will open up a new video, where you get access to tons of features!

XD tutorial

On the top, you can see Design and Prototype. So, you can create your design first and then move to Prototype once finished. The Share option is also easily accessible, making it easy to share your design with managers, clients, and other team members. Next, you get a clean canvas to start your project! If you get stuck, you can always check Adobe XD documentation.

Adobe XD Features

In this section, we will take a closer look at Adobe XD features. All these features are glued together to provide a seamless design experience, and you are bound to see improved workflow with collaborators and team members. Let’s explore Adobe XD features below.

  • Layout and Design

The layout and design features let you quickly get started with our work. You can pick up styles and colors for your layouts with these features. The key layouts and design features include:

3D Transforms:  3D Transforms let you create real-life 3D designs. With it, you can rotate cross planes and put layers in depth. The 3D gives your design life as you can easily rotate or move objects in a 3D space. To make 3D transforms work, you need to do the following:

  • Select a component
  • Enable 3D transformations
  • Rotate and move across the axis

3D transforms

Components and States: Components and States let you design once and reuse them everywhere. You can easily change your documents and designs by changing them simultaneously with components. This saves you time as you do not have to duplicate them. To use them, you need to:

  • Design a UI element using text, drawing, and text
  • Make a component by selecting layer and right-clicking to select Component
  • Add States by clicking + and add interactions

Components and States

Repeat Grid: With Repeat Grid, you can simplify copying elements within your design. This way, you do not have to copy elements and paste them. Instead, you need to click and drag the element creating repeating grids. The feature is very helpful for replicating elements, and you can easily add more menus, product listings, photo galleries, etc. To use it, you need to do the following:

  • Design the element
  • Drag it to create the repeat grid
  • Now populate it with real content

repea grid with XD

  • Easy Import: Adobe XD works great with Adobe Creative Cloud Integrations. This means that you can easily work with other software and import the design to Adobe XD or vice-versa.
  • Content-Aware Layout: Adobe XD is smart enough to arrange your design components as you work. With Content-Aware Layout, you do not have to worry about minor adjustments across your design. 
  • Adobe Fonts: Utilize Adobe Fonts that work great with your design and across the whole Creative Cloud account. 
  • Responsive Resize: Adobe XD let you create a responsive design for your screen sizes. 
  • Blend modes: Use blend modes to create stylistic effects using images and layers.
  • Edit in Photoshop: Use PhotoShop to your advantage by editing some aspects of your design and easily importing it into Adobe XD.
  • Background and Object Blur: Use a focused effect to amplify your design.
  • Vector drawing tools: Use Vector to your advantage by drawing lines, shapes, and paths to create exciting layouts and elements.

  • Prototyping and Animation

Adobe XD is also excellent when it comes to prototyping and animation. It allows to add interactions easily, motion, and user flows without writing a single line of code. The key Prototyping and Animation features include:

Auto-Animate

With Adobe XD, you can easily add animation to your elements using Auto-animate. For example, you can easily add smooth transitions, visual feedback, and playful interactions. Moreover, you can also add motion effects. All of these can be done without writing a single line of code by just learning how to use the tool. For example, users can do it in the following way.

  • Connect two artboards by dragging a wire.
  • Now add action and select “auto-animate.”
  • Select the Trigger, such as time, drag, or tap.
  • Next, preview your prototype and see your animation in action.

Auto-animate

  • Video and Lottie Playback: You can easily add playable videos and render animation with this feature.
  • Scroll Groups: Using this feature, you can easily create interactive carousels such as menu loops or lists. In the end, you get a professional-looking design that you can scroll.
  • Voice Prototyping: Adobe XD also include voice prototyping that lets you use the internal speech playback to create voice commands and embed voice-enabled features.
  • Anchor Links: Easily anchor links and create connected layouts and clickable links such as navigation menus and scroll-to-top interactions.
  • Audio Playback: Add sound and playback to your design for improved personality and usability.
  • Gamepad and Keyboard Support: You can easily add interactions to your design with keyboard and gamepad support.
  • Device Preview: You can easily do previews on mobile, including iOS and Android, using Adobe XD apps.
  • Overlays: Create complex designs and prototypes by using overlays that let you create dialogue boxes, slide-out menus, or on-screen keyboards.
  • Triggers and Wires: Add or improve user interactions by dragging wires and connecting artboards.
  • Export to After Effects: Easily export the Adobe XD designs and prototypes to After Effects to add deeper animations.

  • Collaboration and Handoff

Adobe XD the strongest suite is their collaboration and handoff features. With this, you can easily share your work and get feedback. The key Collaboration and Handoff Adobe XD features include:

Design Specs

Design Specs enable designers to easily streamline the handoff process to developers with as much context as possible. With it, you can share not only interactive prototypes but also CSS code snippets, customized variable names, and downloadable assets. Furthermore, all of these can be shared using one link enabling everyone to be on the same page.

inspect-images-in-design-specs

Coediting

Love working with your colleagues? Well, with Adobe XD, you can do so using Coediting feature. It lets you work on the same design together and share feedback in real-time. Design can be a collaborative process, and Coediting enables you to work seamlessly with anyone you want without worrying about location or time zone. This also improves efficiency as everyone involved in the project is synchronized. Of course, you need to create a cloud document and invite others using their email to get started.

design with your team

  • Cloud Documents: Save your work and assets in the cloud for easy accessibility and collaboration.
  • Share link: Create one sharable link and get feedback from collaborators.
  • Document history: Adobe XD stores previous wor into versions so that users can access it easily.
  • Design tokens: Create design tokens – a customizable name for characters and colors for guiding developers.
  • Mentions and Comments: Easily collaborate with others using mentions and comments.
  • Private Invites: Only share with people you want with private invites.
  • Record Videos: Want to share a video? Then, you can easily record videos and showcase to stakeholders the prototype demo with interactions. Unfortunately, this feature is only available on macOS.
  • Password Protection: Password protects your design for improved security.
  • Share to Behance: Want to share your work on Behance? You can easily do it by sharing your work directly with Behance from Adobe XD.

  • Design Systems

Design Systems lets you easily scale your solutions with Adobe Cloud Solutions. Here, you get access to Creative Cloud Libraries, where you get a big library of logos, graphics, colors, and assets across different Adobe software, including Illustrator, Photoshop, and more!

Design systems

  • Extensibility

Adobe XD also supports external tools and apps which let you improve how you work with XD. With it, you get the following:

XD Plugins and App integrations: Adobe XD also supports plugins that let you add more automation and features. So, if you add third-party functionality, you can choose from available 250+ plugins that enable you to improve your workflow and do better iterations. For example, you can import services/apps to convert designs to code, add color-blindness support, etc.

To add XD You need to click the plugin icon and then open the plugins panel. You can launch the Plugins marketplace and search for the plugins you want to add. Some of the notable XD plugins include:

  • Chart for XD
  • Frontify
  • Anima
  • Overflow
  • Stark
  • Tiled
  • unDraw
  • Web Export

Plugins APIs: If you are an advanced user, you can also take advantage of the Plugins APIs offered by Adobe XD. The API lets you create XD plugins or add connectivity to Adobe XD and your custom solution.

Adobe XD Pricing

Adobe XD price starts at $9.99 per month. It also comes with a seven-day free trial where you can try the app.

XD Single App

$9.99per user
Monthly
  • Prototyping and Animation features
  • Design and layout features
  • Link sharing
  • Coediting
  • Unlimted Export PDF
  • 30-day document history
  • 100 GB Cloud storage
  • Unlimited linked libraries
  • Portfolio Full font library

All apps

$52.99
Monthly
  • Prototyping and Animation features
  • Design and layout features
  • Link sharing
  • Coediting
  • 60-day document history
  • 100 GB Cloud storage
  • Unlimited linked libraries
  • Portfolio Full font library
  • 20+ Creative Cloud apps, including XD

XD for teams

$22.99
Monthly
  • Prototyping and Animation features
  • Design and layout features
  • Link sharing
  • Coediting
  • Unlimted Export PDF
  • 30-day document history
  • 100 GB Cloud storage
  • Unlimited linked libraries
  • Portfolio Full font library

All Apps for teams

$79.99
Monthly
  • Prototyping and Animation features
  • Design and layout features
  • Link sharing
  • Coediting
  • 60-day document history
  • 100 GB Cloud storage
  • Unlimited linked libraries
  • Portfolio Full font library
  • 20+ Creative Cloud apps, including XD

See all Features

Adobe XD Alternatives

Adobe XD is fairly a new entrant in UI/UX marketplace and is growing rapidly. However, it still lacks some mojo compared with other already established tools such as Sketch and Figma. If you are someone who thinks Adobe XD is great, but still want to give other solutions a try, then check out the Adobe XD alternatives.

  • InVision

This tool is a popular alternative to Adobe XD. It offers an easy way to create responsive and interactive prototypes. InVision is also known for its collaborative features where you can increase team efficiency. It offers both free and a premium plan that starts at $7.95 per month per user. Some notable InVision features include transitions & animation tools, vector editing, multi-user collaboration, workflow synchronization, and asset libraries. inVision is available on macOS and Windows. Moreover, you also get Android and iOS support for sharing and reviewing prototypes.

  • Figma

If you are looking for the best Adobe XD alternative, then check out Figma. It is one of the most popular UI and prototyping solutions. Its popularity comes from its collaborative approach, where you can enable teams to design with faster outcomes and efficiency. Another advantage of using Figam is that it works directly from the browser, which means better usability and accessibility for the users without downloading any dedicated solution to their desktop.

Figma classifies as an all-in-one design platform where you can design, prototyping, and design systems. Recently, they also added FigJam providing an online whiteboard for teams to explore creativity, do activities, and brainstorm. Figma offers a free version that lets you create 3 Figma and 3 FigJam files but relaxes on limitations by providing unlimited collaborators and personal files. Figma’s priced plan starts at $12 per editor per month.

  • Sketch

Apart from Figma, Sketch also stands out as one of the strongest Adobe XD alternatives out there. It is a vector-based graphics editor where you can create prototypes, designs, and wireframes. With hundreds of different plugin support, you can streamline your workflow and improve efficiency.

The interface is also great and easy to work with. Sketch offers a native macOS editor but lacks Linux or Windows platforms support. So, you should only go for Sketch if your team has access to macOS. Sketch pricing starts at $9 per user per month and offers access to advanced features such as bitmap images, screen mirroring, and symbols.

  • UXPin

UXPin is a code-based design tool that provides flexibility to designers by using both tools and code to create excellent designs and prototypes. Moreover, using the approach reduces the work required to transform the design into working prototypes using code. So, how does it happen? Here, you can use code components and create your design or prototype. Then, each of these components can be edited using code.

Moreover, you can also create dynamic prototypes which work on macOS and Windows. Finally, if you want to share your design, you can also share it through Android and iOS devices. With UXPin, you can do mockups, wireframing, prototyping, UX design, UI design, Design systems, and much more! As for pricing, UXPin pricing starts at $19 per editor per month.

  • Zeplin

Zeplin is another interesting Adobe XD an alternative that is also aimed at code lovers. Here, you can easily design and prototype with the elements by using the in-build components and sourcing them from sources such as SourceForge, GitHub, Storybook, etc. Like other UI/UX design solutions, Zeplin also offers excellent collaborative features.

Its integration is also good as you can easily connect it with other solutions such as Monday, Proofhub, Jira, Trello, and Slack. Zeplin pricing starts at $6 per seat per month, where you can manage 12 projects at once. However, you can also try out Zeplin through its free version, where you can do one project with a 30-day version history limitation.

Figma vs. Adobe XD

Figma is one of the biggest contenders for the best UI/UX software. Another one is Adobe XD. But, if you look at the release date, you will find that Adobe XD is a new entrant that may bring down your confidence level when picking up the tool for your next design project. However, you can not go wrong with any one of them, as both let you create prototypes, wireframes, and other visual design works with ease. Let’s compare both of them below to get a better understanding.

Cost

With Adobe XD and Figma, you will get access to a free Starter plan. The Figma plan lets you create three projects with two editors. However, the history version is limited to 30-days, and the plan can cost you $12 per month per user. Adobe XD’s Starter plan gives you access to limited features with paid plans starting from $9.99 per user per month.

If you choose a free account, Figma is the way to go due to fewer restrictions. As for paid plans, Adobe XD is cheaper while offering more features to the users.

Supported Platforms

Adobe XD is a desktop-based application and is available for Mac and Windows. Desktop-based solutions tend to be more reactive and fast compared to web-based solutions. On the other hand, Figma is completely web-based and works on browsers that support WebGL. WebGL is fast, and that makes Figma quite responsive as well. So, in terms of supported platforms, Figma beats Adobe XD.

Toolbar accessibility

Both Figma and Adobe XD have excellent toolbar accessibility. In the case of Figma, the toolbar is located horizontally, whereas Adobe XD has its toolbar located vertically. If you previously used UI/UX tools, you will find Figma more natural and easy to use.

Screen Sharing and Collaboration

Figma provides better collaboration features than Adobe XD when it comes to collaboration. You can easily invite others to collaborate, and they can join directly from their browser. With Figma, you can access great collaborative features, including automatic saving and syncing & team libraries.

Document sharing

With Figma, you can easily share your document and invite people to either edit or view the document through the browser. You can set four sharing permissions, including owner, editor, admin, and viewer. Adobe XD lets you share work by creating links. You can optimize it before sharing for development, design review, user testing, presentation, and custom.

Developer Handoff

Developer Handoff is also well-done as it lets you embed specifications. If you need to make any changes, you can do it on the same document without the need to create a new sharable document. Once they receive the document, developers can grab code snippets, view annotations, and inspect the elements.

Adobe XD works differently as it separates the main design file and the specification sheets. You need to generate a link and then share it with others. If the designer changes the design, the specification sheet must be created and shared again.

Commenting

Figma provides a better commenting feature as you can add comments to designs while they are worked upon. As for Adobe XD, you need to generate new links in case of changes are made to the document. Other aspects include components, fonts, vector graphics, etc. Each one of them has its advantage and disadvantage.

Overall, you cannot go wrong with any one of them!

Adobe XD Review Conclusions

Adobe XD is undoubtedly an excellent UI/UX prototyping software that lets you do many things, including creating wireframes, visual design, website design, design systems, and so on! It offers excellent collaborative features. The tool selection is great with access to components and advanced features such as Repeat Grid, 3D Transforms, Auto-Animate, Voice Prototyping, etc.!

Adobe XD also offers excellent import and export functionality where you can take advantage of the Creative Cloud ecosystem. This means seamless integration within the Creative Cloud software, including After Effects, Illustrator, and Photoshop. The pricing is also well-done, starting from $9.99 per user.

In conclusion, Adobe XD is a great UI/UX design/prototype software and works great for team needs. If you are looking for more mature software, you can also look at its alternative, including Figma, Sketch, and inVision.