Adobe has announced the immediate availability of Adobe Experience Design CC (Preview), an early release of its much anticipated user experience (UX) design and prototyping solution.
This tool empowers UX designers to help deliver mobile apps and websites, quickly and easily. With enterprises and organisations using mobile apps and the web to define themselves to customers and constituencies, designers today are on the front line, creating the experience-led initiatives crucial to standing out in a crowded digital landscape.
First demonstrated as Project Comet at Adobe MAX in October 2015, Adobe is releasing this Preview to invite the UX design community to share their feedback, ensuring that designers give critical input into the evolving product feature set. Adobe Experience Design (XD) is available as a free download to anyone with an Adobe ID and the company expects the first commercial release to be available, for Adobe Creative Cloud members, later this year.
“In our fast-moving, connected culture, the shelf-life of a poorly designed app or web experience is painful and short,” said Paul Gubbay, vice president of Creative Cloud product management at Adobe. “Experience-led businesses are putting more demands than ever on creative teams and we hope this Preview release of Adobe XD helps move the market for UX tools forward. From the beginning this has been a constructive collaboration between our team and the design community and we look forward to the feedback from creatives worldwide.”
“Business and governments across Asia Pacific are rapidly seizing the opportunity to put the customer at the center of operations. They are bringing improvements to user experience across a wide range of customer and citizen transactions and communication touchpoints,” said Michael Stoddart, director, digital media, Asia Pacific. “Smart APAC businesses are putting digital transformation at the core of their corporate strategy, seeking to boost both productivity and innovation by putting the right technology and skills in place. There’s no doubt that achieving digital transformation is critical to continued economic growth in Asia Pacific.”
Available initially for Mac OS, Adobe XD is a lightning-fast, fluid desktop environment with smooth scrolling, panning and zooming of complex projects and graphic-rich art boards, despite the large file sizes involved.
This first Preview release includes, focused and intuitive design and layout tools; a dedicated prototype mode for defining interactive hotspots and transitions; desktop preview mode for testing prototypes and seeing changes in real-time; and built-in sharing that enables stakeholders and teams to access prototypes in their browser, on the desktop, or from mobile devices. Designers are able to bring in existing assets from Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Photoshop CC, key desktop apps essential to UX design workflows and once designs are finalized, assets can be easily exported to developers for production work.
Adobe plans regular updates for XD, with upcoming releases adding support for multiple devices as well as deep integration with additional Creative Cloud tools and services, such as Creative Cloud Libraries and Adobe Stock, the company’s fast-growing stock asset marketplace. A Windows Preview of Adobe XD is expected later this year.
Design Crucial To App & Web Site Success
The art and science of designing compelling mobile apps and web experiences has never been more important, whether it’s a global brand or a local business. With the explosion of content and proliferation of apps, the battle for consumer attention is fierce. With so much content and commerce going mobile and online, it is no surprise UX design is one of the fastest growing creative disciplines.
According to Behance, the world’s largest online creative community, interaction design projects grew by 52 per cent in 2015, more than any other creative field. Adobe XD helps creatives move seamlessly from wire-framing and design to prototyping and preview, in order to iterate quickly and craft the apps and websites that keep users coming back.
“Comet begins to answer the challenges we’ve all faced when collaborating and prototyping at digital speed,” managing director and co-founder of S1T2, one of Australia’s leading creative technology agencies. “Adobe’s taken a generation of experience, to start over and begin the next generation of digital design tools.”
“XD positions itself very well,” said Marc Hemeon, CEO and founder of Design Inc., a company focused on helping established companies and start-ups design and build stand-out products. “I can sketch a few ideas out, get a prototype, get it on my phone, and just very rapidly change it in real time. Super simple, super fast, super easy to use.”
Experience Design: A New Education Imperative
As the demand for experience-led mobile apps and websites continues to grow, colleges and universities must ensure their design curriculum reflects industry emphasis on user experience and user interface design. Institutions at the forefront of this movement are incorporating usability into design teaching, kick-starting the next generation of UX designers.
“Prototyping and usability testing are key skills we are instilling into our students, as they take their first steps in user and experience design” said Tom Green, professor interactive multimedia, The School of Media Studies at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, based in Toronto. “Adobe XD is a not only great tool for giving students the opportunity to create interactive prototypes from their designs but to also iterate those prototypes as they move through the User Testing process.”