• Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 2 months ago

    We’d love to hear what you think about this update!

    I don’t want to be consistently negative about XD updates, but I honestly don’t know how you’re proud of this work. Let’s take a look at the new guides feature. There are many missed opportunities. Here’s some situations XD’s guides don’t cater for (please feel free to correct me if I’ve made any mistakes):

    • Can’t create guides when you can’t see the artboard left or top edge.
    • Can’t position to anything other than whole pixel increments (no guides at 10.5px, for example).
    • No way to create or edit guides by typing in values.
    • No way to see or use guides in prototyping mode.
    • No way to create guides on many artboards at once.
    • No way to copy guides between artboards (this seems like it’s there, but not implemented yet?).
    • No way to copy guides between documents (this seems like it’s there, but not implemented yet?).
    • No way to clear guides (seems like it’s there, but not implemented yet?).
    • No way to change guide colour. Good luck if you’re designing something that’s close to light blue. They’re pretty hard to see on white, too.
    • No way to create lots of guides at once, like GuideGuide or Photoshop’s New Guide Layout.
    • Guides are drawn offset by 0.5pt left and up, which means they don’t accurately show where the guide is placed (example of a rectangle with guides snapped to the edges).
    • No way to know a guide’s position without moving it, which… moves it.

    I just don’t know how this feature could make it into production without catering for most of those use cases. Adobe’s other products already have good solutions for many of those items. I have plenty of other thoughts, but that’s enough negativity for now.

    9 points
    • , 2 months ago

      Thanks for the feedback. The XD team pushes for rapid time to market but we also release monthly and expect many of these features to be iterative.

      I've passed this to the team that just released guides and we can start including some of these use cases in our roadmap.

      5 points
    • Andrei GANCI, 1 month ago

      Hi Marc, thanks for the candid feedback.

      I agree that there are sensible improvements we can make in the guides feature. We are confident though, that even with some of the use-cases you mentioned not being covered, it still adds value to designers workflows as is. We don't want to keep this functionality unreleased for an extra 2-3 months while still working on those kinks when designers can derive sensible value from the feature today!

      With regards to copy pasting guides between artboards/documents and clear guides - that functionality does exist and is implemented (via the View>Guides Menu).

      We are actively working on addressing some of your feedback soon, namely guide creation when zoomed in and showing the guide position (without moving it).

      I'm curious what are your use-cases for guides being positioned at fractional values (10.5px) - what are the scenarios where those would be helpful for you?

      And the last thought ... I actually believe that us not shying away to do things differently (guides without rulers, in this example) and then having this sort of constructive conversations will result in better tools for designers in the long term.

      Andrei Ganci (Product Manager - Adobe XD)

      0 points
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 1 month ago

        Thanks for the reply, Andrei.

        We don't want to keep this functionality unreleased for an extra 2-3 months while still working on those kinks when designers can derive sensible value from the feature today!

        I understand. But, at the same time I feel like XD’s releases tend to always include features that don’t cover the required uses cases. It makes me question if those use cases were even known or understood. Symbols were released without support for resizing instances. That has been fixed with components, but I think it should have been clear from the outset that instance resizing was essential, even as part of an initial release of the feature. Customer feedback shouldn’t be required to know that.

        From the point of view of a customer, these releases build excitement with the announcement, only to be let down when I realise I can’t actually use the feature as is.

        With regards to copy pasting guides between artboards/documents and clear guides - that functionality does exist and is implemented (via the View>Guides Menu).

        I was seeing disabled menu items, but now realise that the artboard needs to be selected for those items to work. My apologies.

        We are actively working on addressing some of your feedback soon, namely guide creation when zoomed in and showing the guide position (without moving it).

        Great, thanks.

        I'm curious what are your use-cases for guides being positioned at fractional values (10.5px) - what are the scenarios where those would be helpful for you?

        I think there’s many use cases. If you’re designing an iPhone app, using an iPhone X as the base size, the device width is 375pt. The center of that is 187.5pt. XD does have automatic center snapping, but because it’s rounded, that actually snaps to 188pt on the artboard. So, anything with an uneven width or height that requires center snapping needs fractional guide placement.

        I understand why it may be desirable for the center snapping to round up, but without being able to place fractional guides and turn off center snapping, objects can not be correctly centered.

        On a 29×29pt icon (spotlight and settings for iOS), a 0.5pt centering error is huge.

        I actually believe that us not shying away to do things differently (guides without rulers, in this example) and then having this sort of constructive conversations will result in better tools for designers in the long term.

        I agree. I don‘t think XD’s guides landed on the mark though.

        1 point
    • Alex Curtis, 1 month ago

      Some of these requested features just seem strange to me, and I would actually suggest that Adobe XD creators not even waste their time on them.

      Can’t position to anything other than whole pixel increments (no guides at 10.5px, for example).

      Adobe XD is a design/layout tool for screens. That is what makes it different from something like Photoshop or Illustrator. Screens are limited by pixels, so why would you need to create something (especially for positioning or alignment, which is the purpose of guides) that lives in a magical realm of half a pixel? A pixel cannot light up "half-way". It isn't possible. So why would this even exist in the first place? I believe you can do this in Illustrator because this is a vector program, so it is not pixel-based, it is mathematical based and has infinite scalability.

      No way to see or use guides in prototyping mode.

      Why would you want guides in prototyping mode? This is the presentation mode, when you aren't aligning or moving anything around. Why would guides exist in this space? You are prototyping a product, and guides are not part of a product, they are just a tool used to create a product. So it actually makes sense to have guides removed from Prototyping mode.

      Some of these features would be nice to have, like adding guides by typing in a value (this one is important, i would agree), adding guides while zoomed in, copying guides between artboards, etc.. It appears like all these legitemate gripes are in the works.

      Other features you mentioned seemed very niche to me like copying guides between documents. While I could see a few use cases for this, each document is going to be somewhat unique, so I don't really know how this would be implemented in real life. I think the best way to handle this use-case is to duplicate a document and remove the parts you don't want. This would maintain the guides and artboards and would probably make the most sense.

      Most other features mentioned here would be cool to have, but I think it is a far cry from them being considered "crucial" or "unusable" without them. Yes, multiple color guides would be cool, but then again Photoshop doesn't even have that and that program is 25+ years old. Illustrator does have that and it is nice. But I could still easily use Illustrator even if it only had 1 color of guides available.

      I guess the point is, you might be blowing your frustration a bit out of proportion. As someone who uses Adobe XD frequently, very few of these complaints felt justified. And since they all focus around guides, I think there is a lot more to unpack in this program than just the guides. In all my use of Adobe XD, I have only really been bother by the lack of 1 of these features (the ability to create a guide by typing in a value). The other features would be great quality of life improvements to the app (like creating guides while zoomed in), but they don't ruin the app for me. Adobe XD is more than a guide simulator. It has many other redeeming qualities.

      Just because this program doesn't meet your very specific guide-focused expectations doesn't mean that the creators shouldn't be proud of their work. This is a good program, that is continously adding new features and I think they are doing a great job.

      1 point
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 1 month ago

        Some of these requested features just seem strange to me, and I would actually suggest that Adobe XD creators not even waste their time on them.

        It’s their product, so I’m all for it being up to them. (They can choose to ignore me, if they’d like.)

        Screens are limited by pixels, so why would you need to create something (especially for positioning or alignment, which is the purpose of guides) that lives in a magical realm of half a pixel? A pixel cannot light up "half-way".

        Screen designers typically work in iOS points, or Android dp, or CSS px, and all the templates in XD are set up this way. Given high DPI displays, one unit in XD typically relates to 2 or 3 screen pixels when running on the device. Positioning something at 0.5 in XD would mean lighting up a full pixel when actually shown on a 2× device (iPhone XR etc).

        For icon design, sub-pixel placement is valuable anyway, but it’s worth noting that one unit in XD typically doesn’t map directly to a single screen pixel — they’re often multiples.

        I believe you can do this in Illustrator because this is a vector program, so it is not pixel-based, it is mathematical based and has infinite scalability.

        In a general sense, vector shapes in Illustrator, Photoshop, XD, Sketch etc are all infinitely scalable. Of all those tools, XD is actually the only one that doesn’t have a canvas pixel preview. All the others do.

        Why would you want guides in prototyping mode? This is the presentation mode, when you aren't aligning or moving anything around. Why would guides exist in this space?

        You can move objects around in prototyping mode. When you move objects in prototyping mode, the other snapping positions work as they do in design mode — there’s center and canvas edge snapping. Given all that…

        Other features you mentioned seemed very niche to me like copying guides between documents.

        That’s possible now, via the guide copy and paste feature. My apologies for missing it in my initial post (I could see the feature, but it was disabled until I selected an artboard).

        Copying guides between documents is pretty handy if you’ve split a project into separate documents, or have a design system, or for many other reasons.

        Yes, multiple color guides would be cool, but then again Photoshop doesn't even have that and that program is 25+ years old.

        You can set the guide colour under Preferences › Guides, Grid and Slices though. Double clicking a guide in Photoshop jumps to the preferences to change the colour. Please note that I just asked for a way to change guide colour, not for a way to have individual guide colours.

        As someone who uses Adobe XD frequently, very few of these complaints felt justified.

        My biggest complaint by far is the lack of colour management. Everything you draw in XD is objectively the wrong colour, and way too vibrant on wide gamut displays.

        And since they all focus around guides, I think there is a lot more to unpack in this program than just the guides.

        I chose to offer feedback only on guides. I find a lot of the choices made in XD’s other features equally frustrating.

        We can talk about them, if you’d like.

        0 points