Accelerating feature roadmaps
While voice, animation, and extensibility were among the biggest announcements at Adobe MAX, designers were astonished by the pace at which useful features are being unveiled these days. For the Adobe XD team, it was the chance to shed more light on their working process to provide features and tools that empower UX designers to meet future challenges.
“Some of the features come from observing and listening in to conversations designers have,” explained Andrew Shorten, senior director, project management for Adobe XD. “Often we’ll go and watch people work, and they won’t always think something is a pain point or a friction for them, but we’ll look at them and think, ‘you do that thing 25 times a day, there has to be a better way for doing that!’”
Designer and developer Heather Weaver particularly liked the new assets panel and said it was a great tool for helping to create cohesive design systems. “Previously, I was leaving the document and going to the developer specs for this information, so having it baked in and clickable makes my design flow a lot more efficiently.”
Senior visual designer Cody Brown, meanwhile, favored the responsive resize feature. “Any feature that saves time for designers is a huge win in my book,” he said. “It allows us to spend more of that saved time to refine our products and build a more polished experience.”
“Manually resizing everything, copying and pasting things across is what designers do,” Andrew Shorten added. “So we look at patterns like that and explore whether there’s a way for us to provide a different way of work, algorithms or logic to automate some of it, and then extrapolate out a solution that ideally makes it feel like magic and just works.”
For Digital Karma’s CEO Jill DaSilva the ability to open Illustrator files with XD was one of the highlights. “I work with many different designers and like to let them use the design tool that works best for them,” she explained. “Sometimes that can be a challenge. I recently had one project that had source files in Illustrator, Sketch, and Photoshop. Thanks to this new update, I can now bring all of the files into one tool for prototyping and sharing.”