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AMA: What’s Next for Adobe XD?

11 months ago from , Adobe XD

Note: For those of you adding questions or comments after 5pm PDT, we will respond during the following workday (most of our team is based in San Francisco). Thanks and have a good day or night!

Hi everyone,

A month after XD 1.0 was launched at Adobe MAX, we’ve released a major update that addresses popular feature requests like Layout Grid and Design Specs (Beta) for easier handoff to developers. Text underline will (finally) be available next month, and we will continue to release updates just about every month.

Today we’re excited to talk about XD’s roadmap for 2018 -- here’s a snapshot of the features being worked on:

Design

Prototype

Share

Are these the most important features for you? Is there anything missing, or what else do you want to see on the roadmap? Our team is here from now to 2pm PDT to chat and answer your questions. Let us know what you think!

Our goal is to build the best solution for UX design with your feedback. Stay in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, or UserVoice, and check out what other designers have created with XD.

Cheers,

Rich

68 comments

  • Zachary Bruce, 10 months ago

    I appreciate that your team puts speediness-first when growing this tool to be feature-complete and haven't sacrificed that sweet 60fps scrolling. Really excited for the Prototype features being introduced.

    One thing that's been plaguing me as a designer using Xd, though, is mocking up longform content + lots of variable data. There's a distinct lack of control on paragraph style editing. I feel like it's almost there, but is any of it on your roadmap to get typography layout adjustments such as these parity with Illustrator/Photoshop?

    Some UserVoice posts I'm thinking of: - Spacing before and after paragraphs - Paragraph styles - Independently adjust the line height of an individual selected line in a paragraph - Tab button should indent text - Text bullet points - Wrap text around complex image shape

    Also, I'm also IN LOVE with Repeat Grid to save loads of time. I'm currently using the "3 .txt files on my desktop I edit and drop in" method to get actual data in there. What is the team's thoughts on the data import feature demoed in 2015? - Design with Data

    You guys have made one hell of a tool. Thanks for your hard work!

    10 points
    • Anirudh Sasikumar, 10 months ago

      What is the team's thoughts on the data import feature demoed in 2015? - Design with Data

      Hi, I'm from the XD team and demoed a data panel early on. We’re still excited about designing with data and will be working towards it. However, we’re trying to ensure the basic set of design/prototyping features needed for the tool is rock solid. Progress is being made on all fronts, stay tuned!

      P.S: Some foundational work for designing with data is already in the product (in a subtle form). An example - drag/drop of multiple images from the creative cloud window - when the images update in the cloud, the Repeat grid updates.

      8 points
      • Zachary Bruce, 10 months ago

        thanks, really gotta use the CC Library stuff more, it's just difficult when you can't add to it/reorder stuff from the panel in Xd

        2 points
    • Hoyle Wang, 10 months ago

      Hi Zachary - we'll be adding more support for additional paragraph styles in the near future. Thank you so much for your feedback! If you don't mind, I would be interested to know your priority of the UserVoice items you've linked.

      2 points
  • Emanuel SerbanoiuEmanuel Serbanoiu, 11 months ago

    I couldn't help but laugh that Underline text is the top feature in the list. It's like a design one liner joke.

    7 points
  • Kjelle Vergauwe, 10 months ago

    I was wondering why XD seems to focus more on a new UI tool like Sketch App, Figma, etc... There are already so many UI tools out there right now, it just kind of feels like you were late in the game and are trying to catch up.

    I just wish you guys took the opportunity to create something different out there in this current market. It seems like the end goal is focused on a complete UX / UI suite, but for now the focus has been solely on UI.

    When can we expect more UX stuff like:

    • Designing with data / manipulating data
    • Basic logic and scenarios in the prototyping facet
    • Integrate more User Testing abilities (prototype analytics, feedback capture,...)
    • True adaptive views / Responsiveness in prototyping
    • Basis components to quicly prototype ideas instead of finished UI's (form element behaviour, scrollable containers,..)

    These are actual features we need to design a complete User Experience (as you claim). I feel like a lot can be learned from some other tools on the UI/UX spectrum like Framer, Axure, Origami, proto.io,...

    6 points
    • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

      Hi Kjelle, we appreciate the detailed comments! We are committed to delivering an end to end UX/UI solution.

      In terms of designing with data, the team is still making progress, see Anirudh from the XD team’s comment in this AMA below. You can also upvote and follow the request here. For your projects, which types of data do you use the most (lists, images, etc.)?

      For prototyping logic, add your vote here and prototype analytics is here

      We are also working on making adaptive / responsive design easier. Vote for it here

      For basic components, have you checked out the free wireframe kits for XD? It has form components, though based on your post, I also recommend upvoting this feature request here

      0 points
  • Luca Vavassori, 11 months ago

    I am a big fan of XD (so much of a fan that I launched a blog and a course about it) and use it every day for clients work.

    Thanks for sharing your roadmap with us guys. I think it's a good list, but I have some feedback regarding the priority of those projects.

    If I were you, before moving on to new features, I would focus first on greatly improving features that you already have and that were implemented in a pretty basic way: I am talking about Symbols and the Assets panel.

    These are some of the features that freelancers, companies and design agencies need and use the most in their day to day workflows, especially when working in teams and having to maintain style guides and design systems.

    Sketch's way of handling Symbols, nesting, overrides and so on is just on a different level when compared to XD's. It's a massive part of many designer's workflow, and unless you guys get it on par with it (or make it even better), I don't see any Sketch power user ever making a switch to XD.

    I didn't try Figma, but I've read here and there that their Symbols management might be even better than Sketch.

    There's ton of great feedback on your Uservoice site about Symbols: https://adobexd.uservoice.com/forums/353007-adobe-xd-feature-requests/suggestions/16939339-scale-resize-symbols-individually

    https://adobexd.uservoice.com/forums/353007-adobe-xd-feature-requests/suggestions/19626142-override-styles-in-a-symbol-allow-symbol-differen

    https://adobexd.uservoice.com/forums/353007-adobe-xd-feature-requests/suggestions/19592509-nested-symbol-overrides-swap-inner-symbol-in-diff

    https://adobexd.uservoice.com/forums/353007-adobe-xd-feature-requests/suggestions/19875637-ability-to-move-organise-symbols-in-the-library

    Also for Assets panel improvements: https://adobexd.uservoice.com/forums/353007-adobe-xd-feature-requests/suggestions/31025998-reorder-assets-within-the-asset-panel

    https://adobexd.uservoice.com/forums/353007-adobe-xd-feature-requests/suggestions/30991567-label-assets

    I share the pain described in 90% of all the comments above.

    Personally I don't care if radial gradients or dotted strokes are missing. Yes, it'd be cool to have them, but the lack of it doesn't impact my day to day work that much. I don't even remember last time I needed to use a dotted stroke!

    XD has a killer advantage against similar tools: fast performance.

    Maintain this great level of performance + work on core features improvements like Symbols and Assets and I can see XD quickly gaining a great deal of market share in the months to come.

    Hope this helps. Take care

    PS: if I had to pick a "trivial" feature which i would really like to see done, here it is: https://adobexd.uservoice.com/forums/353007-adobe-xd-feature-requests/suggestions/13029870-shortcut-to-activate-eyedropper-to-pick-a-color :)

    5 points
    • Jonathan Pimento, 11 months ago

      Luca,

      Thank you for taking the time to list out those feature requests. I can assure you that while we add new features, we will continue to invest in improving and enhancing existing ones.

      Symbols: At the heart of the Symbol workflow, we believe that overrides and management is key to building a strong component driven workflow. In order to accelerate those workflows, we are investing in the following: 1. Ability to resize a symbol and preserve size overrides 2. Ability to swap symbols and nested symbols 3. Ability to label, reorder and merge symbols

      Assets: With the MAX release, we enabled designers to curate assets from their current document. We are now focused on enabling designers to build a shared vocabulary for those assets. In order to do so, we are investing in: 1. Search and filtering 2. Label, reordering, merging

      And more ...

      Jonathan Pimento Product Manager - Adobe XD

      2 points
  • Ali Zendaki, 11 months ago

    multiple styles (e.g. more than one fill or borders) on a single layer? this is a huge deal for many

    4 points
    • Kyle Galle, 11 months ago

      Hi Ali, yes we hear you on multiple fills and borders. If you have not already, lend your vote here: Multiple fills. Are there specific components of your design where you use multiple styles the most?

      1 point
  • Martin Klausen , 11 months ago

    Spot on! Great selection and focus

    3 points
  • William RileyWilliam Riley, 10 months ago
    • Community Plugins.
    • React or Web Components as a source file, like how other product design tools are rallying around.
    • Making file formats between XD and Sketch sync up better is key.
    • Making XD web render-able is key for visual version control.
    3 points
    • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

      Hi William, thank you for the feedback!

      Are there specific plugins that you use the most? We would love to hear what makes your workflow seamless. You can also upvote the plugin support request here.

      For react/web components, are you suggesting that you can convert an XD file into React / Web components?

      In regard to your third suggestion, we are planning to make it easier to work with other file formats, including Sketch and Photoshop.

      For making XD web renderable, you can view XD prototypes in a browser but it sounds like you want a way to convert the design into code? Could you tell me a bit more about how that helps you with visual version control?

      1 point
      • Hamish TaplinHamish Taplin, 10 months ago

        I would image the React integration would be along the lines of [http://airbnb.io/react-sketchapp/](React Sketch App).

        1 point
      • William RileyWilliam Riley, 10 months ago

        Hey Kyle,

        For plugins, I'm mostly speaking to the idea of opening up the platform to third parties so that can add integrations. I'm not sure right off the top of my head what Adobe have historically used for this. But letting the community build around XD is a great direction because it's what makes sketch such a powerful design platform for product.

        Exactly what Hamish has mentioned. There are different strategies, but as a product tool, it would be sublime to render a component library in the editor - this can make a design system simpler to create and iterate on. Compositor's Lab (https://compositor.io/lab/) is also a great inspiration. The goal should be not to create code for handoff to the developer or engineer, but to create the UI components that are to be collaborated on with the developer or engineer. It's a fidelity issue. Hard to solve through people or process, but reliable once you design for components - like much of the industry has.

        Yesterday, Invision released a great book on design systems that I believe work very well with sketch, but XD and your tooling make it very tough to collaborate as tightly on a design system. https://designbetter.co/design-systems-handbook in this, it details the responsibility of engineering and design teams. Engineers use components to implement the design. So my recommendation here is coming from trying to get your product to bring design and code closer - make the component the source of truth, make it a symbol, make it reusable.

        The other file format issues are because moving between XD and Sketch could be a boon if you don't want to go in this direction. If you make the format interchangable, then Sketch can be design systems, and XD can be the place where the components come to life.

        Making them web renderable is the idea of not converting it to code - but using the code as the source file to render and edit the designs. The difference is nuanced, so I'm sorry I don't know how to make it clearer. It's this idea of hopping to different products in order to get UI completed. If we don't have to hop, that helps design and engineering collaborate together better.

        Thank you for the time, Kyle and XD team - I really appreciate what you're working on. We use XD at Flywheel.

        2 points
        • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

          Hi William, glad to hear you all are using XD at Flywheel!

          We will work with the community to make it easy to extend XD, especially as there are a multitude of unique problems that designers are trying to solve. It is still a work in progress, but we’ll let you know more in the future.

          For components, I see how that would significantly speed up your workflow and improve collaboration amongst designers and developers. Have you tried out the Design Specs (Beta) feature that we just released? I would love to hear your thoughts.

          It sounds like from your other replies, that you would like a tighter integration between the design system, the designer, and the developer. The team is working on ways to make these connection points more seamless. Below are a few requests that may line up with what you are looking for react component export, HTML export, Sketch import

          Thank you for being a part of this journey!

          1 point
  • Theus FalcãoTheus Falcão, 11 months ago

    Thank you guys. I'm so excited about next Adobe XD updates!

    3 points
    • Kyle Galle, 11 months ago

      Thank you Theus! The team is hard at work and we look forward to your feedback with each of our releases.

      2 points
  • Adam Trabold, 10 months ago

    Other than what you've listed so far: - Create & edit CC libraries. Organize & search are fine, but why can't I make/share directly in XD? Kind of useless at this point. If I'm using this to build a system, I need it to work everywhere. This is by far my biggest gripe left about XD. - Ability to import into AE for animating prototypes for video. - Multiple users in one file would be killer (like demoed at last year's MAX & Figma does) - File versioning

    2 points
  • Jakub FoglarJakub Foglar, 11 months ago

    This looks very promising! What about the multiplayer live editing we saw on Max last year?

    2 points
    • Rich Lee, 11 months ago

      Hi Jakub,

      Good question. We are working on live editing, with the goal of making it scale whether you’re working with one other designer, with a team, or if you're in an enterprise environment. We will continue to engage with the community and share our progress for feedback.

      Thanks!

      1 point
  • Dan RodneyDan Rodney, 10 months ago

    Off the top of my head, here are a few things I'd also like to see:

    • 2x JPEG export, with separate quality settings for 1x and 2x
    • Control over SVG code export (like we have in Illustrator)
    • Guides, or update Layout Grids to add a guide in the middle of each gutter (important when designing with web grids like Bootstrap).
    • Flexible sized symbols. For example, a button symbol: buttons with more text should be able to get wider than other buttons with less text.
    • Animation
    2 points
    • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

      Hi Dan, thank you for the list!

      Support for 2X with quality settings is on the roadmap. It will be the same options as you see for PNG. Are you looking for more than this?

      For SVG export, are there specific features in the Illustrator export that you need more than others like minification? You can also lend your voice here

      For Layout Grids, we are looking at how to make it work better with design frameworks like Bootstrap.From your post, this request might be the one to vote for here

      Symbol resize is on the roadmap and you can vote for it here

      For animation, could you tell me a little bit more about what elements you want to animate and if use any other tools to do that now?

      1 point
      • Dan RodneyDan Rodney, 10 months ago

        2x JPEGs typically should be compressed more than 1x JPEGs, so being able to individually set quality would be extremely useful, otherwise I'd have to do two separate exports (each with a different quality) and merge the results.

        SVG export (these are all features found in Illustrator's "Export As"):

        • Ability to minify the SVG but keep ID's (useful for coding animations)
        • Being able to control whether width/height are coded (Illustrator's poorly named "responsive" option).
        • Converting text to outlines upon export (without having to convert the design).
        • Controls for whether CSS or presentation attributes are used

        Animation is being much more heavily used in websites again, so I want to be able to animate anything on a page. While I will probably code a webpage using GreenSock or CSS animations, I want to be able to incorporate animation into designs at an earlier stage (because it's hard for clients to envision how animations will work or affect the page). It could be animations of any type, including scrolling and parallax animations.

        2 points
        • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

          Thank you Dan for the quick clarifications!

          On the JPEG export, I see how that improvement would streamline your process. I didn't discover a request in Uservoice for this use case so please feel free to add it here

          Thank you for also laying out the export options that you want to see in XD. I added it as a comment in the uservoice request around SVG export here.

          For animation, we do support vertical scrolling in prototypes but I hear you on wanting to show parallax in your prototypes. You can upvote it here.

          For other animations, check out our feature request page here If you don’t see one that matches your need, please feel free to add it.

          1 point
        • Demian Borba, 10 months ago

          Thanks for your detailed feedback, Dan. Just wanted to mention that we did a live stream yesterday on our Facebook page covering SVG workflows in XD. If you’re interested, you can visit the page to view the recording. Stay in touch!

          3 points
  • hassan aboueldahab, 10 months ago

    can't wait

    2 points
  • Web DonutWeb Donut, 10 months ago

    Thank you guys for reaching out to the community and asking for feedback. For admitting your product isn't perfect and constantly trying to make it better. That is why Xd is different and why we are using it on a daily basis. Thank you for making it easier for us to do our work!

    2 points
  • , 10 months ago

    Thanks for all of your comments. We are signing off but will be checking this thread regularly for more questions. We really appreciate your feedback and enjoy being a part of the community!

    2 points
  • Steven McClenningSteven McClenning, 10 months ago

    Any chance versioning (under the activity tab)will be supported for XD files saved to creative cloud?

    1 point
    • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

      Hi Steven, yes, thank you for the suggestion. Versioning is on our roadmap but how it will be implemented is still TBD. If you have not already, please feel free to upvote it on Uservoice: Versioning / file history. Do you typically save your XD files to Creative Cloud?

      1 point
      • Steven McClenningSteven McClenning, 10 months ago

        I would like to save all our XD files to creative cloud...

        Pros Easier to collaborate with team members Makes demoing prototypes on the mobile app very easy/convienent

        Cons (aka features that would facilitate my organization adoption) No versioning Better security measures (option for 2 factor auth) Password protected prototypes links!

        Thanks. We are big fans of XD.

        2 points
        • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

          Noted! We definitely want to make it easier for you to work with others. For security measures, password protection for prototypes is on the roadmap. You can vote for it here. For the 2 factor auth, is that just for accessing XD files or specific to prototypes? If it is the latter, I did not see a request on uservoice so please feel to add it

          1 point
  • Bruce Vang, 10 months ago

    There needs to be support for saving gradient fills. It's tough using XD when gradients are used so much in UI design.

    Also, color management for Display P3.

    1 point
    • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

      Hi Bruce, you can save gradient fills in the Assets Panel which you can then reapply across your design. Apply a gradient to an object and while the object is still selected, and open the Assets Panel (bottom left side) and click the plus sign next to Colors. You can then select other objects to apply the gradient and you can also edit the gradient by right clicking on the swatch. You can see a demo here. Let me know if that helps!

      In regard to color management, we agree that this is an important feature, especially as the number of devices with different color spaces increases. Please feel free to upvote the feature here

      3 points
      • Bruce Vang, 10 months ago

        That works. Thanks! It's still odd that saving the gradient in the color picker panel doesn't work like other UX applications.

        0 points
        • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

          Glad that helps and thank you for the feedback! Please feel free to upvote gradient swatches for the color picker here

          1 point
  • Jacob JJacob J, 11 months ago

    some animation tools would be dope

    1 point
    • Kyle Galle, 11 months ago

      Hi Jacob, we hear you on animation. What parts of your design do you want to animate and what tools do you use now?

      2 points
  • Scott Olsen, 10 months ago

    Things I need before I can commit to XD:

    • Character and paragraph style options (including saving and editing) on-par with Photoshop/Illustrator
    • Symbol functionality on-par with Illustrator (swapping and resizing as mentioned above, the ability to individually color SVG symbols with swatches would be a huge plus as well)
    • Guides
    • Ability to name colors, styles, and symbols

    Things that would be nice to have:

    • Ability to have the Assets panel and Layers panel both open
    • Some sort of layer comp functionality similar to Photoshop
    1 point
    • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

      Hi Scott, we appreciate the comprehensive list!

      In terms of character styles, have you tried managing them in the Assets Panel or applying them from your Creative Cloud Libraries? If so, are you looking to use these across XD documents or just more functionality in managing character and paragraph styles?

      We are looking to add paragraph styles in the near future but please feel free to add your vote here

      We hear you on additional symbol functionality. It also sounds like you want to override styles in a symbol. You can upvote the request here

      On guides, yes, it is on our roadmap. You can also add your vote here

      For the last item on your need to have list, I encourage you to upvote asset labeling here.

      On the nice to have’s list, I would love to hear more about when you want to have the Assets Panel and Layers panel open at the same time. Are you applying styles and/or colors to specific layers/objects?

      For layer comps, would you be able to share a bit more about how you’re using comps now in your workflow?

      0 points
      • Scott Olsen, 10 months ago

        More functionality in the styles themselves.

        I have a lot of real estate on my monitors and would love to not have to click back and forth to swap the two panels out as I work with both constantly.

        Currently my team is using Photoshop for our web design needs. Many pages that we create involve tabbed sections and such. We build out each tab's content in the same comp, save out each state (layer comps make this easier), upload each to InVision and create the hotspots there to prototype the page. I don't really think there's anything like this outside of Photoshop so I realize that this is probably not even a thought on the list of future features, but building these types of inner-page interactions in XD would require multiple artboards of the same page with quite a lot of duplicate content on each just to show each tab's content in a prototype environment.

        2 points
        • Kyle Galle, 10 months ago

          Thank you the follow up Scott.

          For character styles, this might be the feature request that you are looking for. If not, you can submit one here

          I am a big fan of using two monitors, so I see how being able to view both the Assets and Layers Panels simultaneously would speed up your workflow. The feature request to vote for is here

          I appreciate the additional detail about how you are using Layer Comps for web design. The team is thinking about how to handle states in XD but I also recommend upvoting your specific request here.

          0 points
  • Josiah TullisJosiah Tullis, 11 months ago

    You're going to need to support Sketch import/export. The advantages of doing this simply outweigh the obvious disadvantages. Please.

    1 point
    • , 11 months ago

      Hi Josiah! Yes, we are planning to make it easier to work with other file formats, including Sketch and Photoshop.

      2 points
  • Greg Le Sueur, 10 months ago

    Good features, but not the most important... The one that's second on your list "Animate individual elements separately (custom animation transitions / microinteractions)" is what I've been waiting for since the beginning.

    If InVision studio does this well it will be enough for me to switch.

    1 point
    • Elaine Chao, 10 months ago

      Hi, Greg! We're definitely working on higher fidelity interactions and animations, starting with overlays and moving quickly into features that will allow for additional control over individual elements. You'll see more features rolling out in 2018.

      0 points
  • Stephan Lenting, 11 months ago

    I’m currently working on a few projects with XD.

    Since I’m used to wireframing in Axure and designing in Photoshop, I have been wondering if there is a better and more efficient way to move from Low-Fi wireframes to High-Fi designs.

    I don’t feel XD is there yet, but obviously patience is a virtue and we’re all part of a developing world.

    I like the interactivity of Axure, I’m no coder but even I could make sticky elements and stuff move on a certain scroll point. That would be great for XD.

    What i don’t like about XD is that it feels my creativity is limited. As a designer i crave on text and paragraph options. I would love to use symbols to make a button with a label and an arrow icon at the end of the label. I imagine the button shape to auto-adjust width and the arrow to reposition based on text length. Moving then to the interactivity: giving such a symbol states for color variations or interactions.

    Those are my biggest priorities. Honoustly, advancing exporting / sharing / handoff should be your secondary focus after building a great design tab and a great prototyping tab.

    I’ve already voted several ideas on UserVoice. Thanks for listening!

    1 point
    • , 10 months ago

      Hi Stephen, sorry for the delay. Enabling rather than limiting creativity is definitely a high priority. It's in our DNA at Adobe and we know there's more work to do on that front in XD. Thanks for your feedback!

      1 point
  • Dragoș Jurca, 11 months ago

    I'm glad that you've finally introduced grids, but they also need to have a relative/adaptive function, not only an absolute one, based on pixels and artboard size. It should be able to define a percentage based column, have the ability to align and also a max grid width.

    1 point
    • Kyle Galle, 11 months ago

      Hi Dragos, yes, great feedback! The team is looking at adding more to grids in the future. I didn’t see a specific feature request for percentage-based grids, so please feel free to add it here

      0 points
  • Franco Calcagni, 10 months ago

    The most important feature (microinteractions of elements) is missed. That's a real pity. If it is not even planned for 2018 I am sorry but this tool will be almost unuseful for any professional UI/UX designer. I was really expecting to see that in the 2018 plan (or even before) but this missing feature will force us maybe to choose other platforms where that feature is available.

    Franco

    0 points
    • Elaine Chao, 10 months ago

      As I mentioned above, we're definitely working on increasing the fidelity of our animations, and you'll definitely see progress on this in 2018. As with the rest of the product, there's a lot of invisible work that happens before we roll out features, but once you get them, you'll see fast and furious improvements, as we're planning to continue our frequent release cadence. More to come in in the upcoming year!

      0 points
  • Deepan Kannnan, 11 months ago

    Please make it faster or I will use Invision Studio.

    0 points