As Alexander puts it, “My mother did a lot of photography and used some of the Adobe Photoshop Elements, so I was introduced to the products then.”
“Once I got into high school, I began taking multimedia and technology courses where I became familiar with products like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and, to some extent, Illustrator. Again, into college, I studied radio and television and had a minor in advertising, so my Adobe skillset expanded with the inclusion of InDesign, Audition, and more Illustrator. Once I got to grad school, I continued in a similar direction, and though it hadn’t released yet, I was quite excited about XD. Once it released, I was all over it, and I continued to use a variety of other products along the way.”
Appreciate what a simple UI does for your ability to design
The old adage “Keep it simple, stupid” seems to be a good rule of thumb when designing interfaces. One of XD’s strengths is its usability and lack of friction for the designer.
XD doesn’t hit you with too many options, said Alexander. Once you’re in the platform, you’re free to do what you have to do to complete your tasks.
“Adobe XD is simple, which is nice. It gives a few options — then the rest is up to you. There aren’t a bunch of settings and templates to muddle your decisions. It asks what kind of artboard you want, and you build. Simple as that. Once you’re in, you have free rein to make boxes, write stuff, design the next big thing,” Alexander said.
How to use XD’s features to your advantage
Adobe XD offers students the resources they need to get their design projects done while encouraging their creative expression. Understanding the nuances of XD gives students a leg-up as they start using the tool.
Alexander identified several features he deems his “top bits” for students:
- Repeat Grid : Being able to group pieces of a design and replicate them is absolutely wonderful, not to mention you merely need to snag a group of photos or a .txt to fill it.
- Symbols: With any design, there are bound to be things that are the same from one screen to the next, and this tool is wonderful for just that. If you’re working on five pages or 50 pages, having a place to put grouped assets right there to grab is always useful.
- Creative Cloud Libraries/Folders: For students, this is your key to highly functional teams, by placing assets/files, colors, and fonts. Also, if you happen to find yourself in a lab, you don’t need to bring an external hard drive to work on a project.
- UI kits: These are high on my list of “What did I do to deserve this goodness in my life?” because I definitely don’t want to be making a pixel-perfect header every single time from scratch.
- One big design space : Everything is on one plate, or table, just like paper prototyping or whiteboarding. You can drag things off to the side if you don’t need them or import artboards with content that you need. The workspace is nearly limitless.
- Link publishing : Along with Creative Cloud, there are prototype-testing capabilities that are insanely simple. Being able to go from design to prototype to test is massively streamlined.
According to the designer, XD’s ability to partner with the Creative Cloud is the platform’s biggest strength, as the possibilities for the product are virtually endless, thanks to its ability to sync with the other Adobe products.