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AMA: All About Assets in Adobe XD

over 3 years ago from , Design Marketing, UI/UX @ Adobe

Note: For those of you adding questions or comments after 5pm PDT on 3/20, we will respond during the following workday, 3/21 (most of our team is based in San Francisco). Thanks and have a good day or night!

Hey everyone,

We’re excited to join you for another AMA. Last week we released an update for Adobe XD that includes support for opening Photoshop files in XD, copying symbols between documents, styling grouped elements, and working with Sketch files. We will continue to release updates just about every month.

Today we’re excited to talk about the future of assets in XD. High on the list is to deliver search, filter, and reverse highlight of colors, character styles, and symbols on the canvas from within the Assets Panel. Also for symbols, we’re working to add functionality like swapping, resizing, and more. We’re also planning to simplify bringing assets into XD and moving them across documents. As the team makes progress towards these enhancements, we want to hear from you.

He’re a few of the top requests that we have heard from the community:

Are these the most important areas around assets for you? Is there anything missing, or what else do you want to see related to assets? 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, Kyle

17 comments

  • Thibaud Van VreckemThibaud Van Vreckem, over 3 years ago

    on the top of that list, I would add: being able to add and edit states inside symbols

    3 points
    • , over 3 years ago

      Hi Thibaud, thank you for the feedback! The team is looking into this. If you don't mind sharing, how do you show states in your designs/prototypes now and what would you like to see improved about that process?

      1 point
      • Thibaud Van VreckemThibaud Van Vreckem, over 3 years ago

        I've been using layer comps within smart objects in ps until recently. the process has it's own specific issues that I won't detail here.

        Reasons why I would consider symbol state useful:

        • in the end this is how designs get implemented, so It does sounds natural to have some symmetry.

        Examples where symbol state would be helpful:

        • Button (active, focused, hover, disabled,...) in a single symbol, update corner radius once, updates everywhere in all states.

        • Navigation (variable active element) in a single symbol, update font size or font-family in a single place, updates everywhere in all states.

        • etc

        I recently started using XD, although at first I was set back by the various shortcomings, I must say the experience proved to be a huge improvement over ps. Performance, outstanding features (repeat grid) and streamlined workflow are great foundations for a promising future

        2 points
        • , over 3 years ago

          Hi Thibaud, thank you for the additional details, that makes sense to me. I am glad that you're seeing the performance, high quality features, and simplified workflow when using XD. More to come!

          1 point
  • Petr Široký, over 3 years ago

    All right guys, regarding symbols, the absolutely essential thing that's missing for me is the ability to change and add content to symbols I've already placed into my artboards. Being able to change images or text is good, but at the same time absolutely not enough.

    I work with a lot of content that repeats itself, for example, e-commerce - it's not uncommon for me to have rows and rows of products, where I often need to change things around and I happen to use symbols a lot.

    As an example, sometimes I need to make few variations of a certain symbol (let's say change size of background or it's color, etc.), but just right and there, and making let's say 5 different variations as new symbols is not as convenient than just being able to change the already placed ones, not mentioning that I would have to adjust all of them in case of changing something vital for all of them. If I just "demote" them from symbols to simple objects, that adds more work for me in case I'll want to change something for all the similar symbols in general.

    As for assets, we need better work with text styles. Ideally, the way I would like them to work is like CSS. That I could change a font family for whole artboard with a single click, instead of having to add a font, text size and weight to a single layer, I would like those to be indipendent and more flexible. As it is right now, it's horribly limiting and hardly saves me any time. I often experiment with sizes and different fonts and this is something that would save me a lot of time.

    Also, another never ending pain is having a paragraph with different fonts. I like being efficient, and sometimes when you don't have fixed height of an element (which is extremely common with text), it's nice to have a paragraph that will of course automatically sort itself out - having a title and a content under it that I don't have to adjust manually is nice.

    It stops being nice when I want to change something regarding the title or content text, because I have to carefully select the section belonging to the title or content and change the font, size, color or whatever I want to. I wish there was a way (again, like in html and css) to set up clear sections in the text area which I could then change without having to precisely select the exact part of that text every single time.

    2 points
    • , over 3 years ago

      Hi Petr,

      Thank you for the comprehensive response! I hear you on the need to create slight variations of a symbol, like as you mention in displaying a row of products. If you have not already, I would upvote this request here.

      For the text styles as part of assets, it sounds like you want to specify text styles for a specific artboard and then make changes. I did not find a request for this case but you can definitely add one here . As a workaround, have you used Character Styles in the Assets Panel to define a specific text style for use and then modify it from there?

      Based on your feedback, I would also upvote paragraph styles.

      1 point
      • Petr Široký, over 3 years ago

        As a workaround, have you used Character Styles in the Assets Panel to define a specific text style for use and then modify it from there?

        As I've mentioned, that's really not that helpful in it's current form. Yes, it's better than just straight up changing styles for each layer, but not by much.

        What I primarily want is to be able to just assign a "font size", or just "a font family" and then be able to change it for multiple layers at once. Right now, it's all together, which is nowhere near as useful as it could be.

        I'll add the request when I'll have some time to properly describe it.

        1 point
        • , over 3 years ago

          Hi Petr, I appreciate the follow up. Yes, it sounds like character styles are not enough to solve the particular use case your describing; it seems more like having the ability to create a typographical hierarchy for elements on an artboard (like all fonts use a particular font family, weight, or size). I would submit your request to uservoice.

          1 point
  • Stephen Leung, over 3 years ago

    What I don't like about the current batch export is I can't choose which file type I want to export for each image element in Adobe XD, after clicking on "Batch Export Icon". Some images could be great for JPG and PNG, and others would be SVG.

    So at this moment, I only use batch export where I know I want to export all the images to just one file type. Whereas others, I have to individually select the image element, and then hit export.

    I also wish there was a way to track which assets I have set to batch export. Which then allows to figure out what other assets I have remaining to set to batch export.

    1 point
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, over 3 years ago

    I'll admin I was wrong, I thought what made it not worth while switching to XD was the lack of basic features like text formatting, but that's there now and I am not seeing a lot of people rushing to switch. Would you tell us more about what adoption has been like (who's switching and why), and what your plans for the future are (i.e. what new features you plan on implementing and how those would help which segments)?

    1 point
    • , over 3 years ago

      Hi Cristian, designers come to XD for many different reasons. We've heard from the community that performance and a streamlined workflow make a huge difference in the UX process so these are priorities.

      We're also continuing to add enhancements to all core areas of XD, including design, prototyping, and sharing through our regular updates. Specifically for assets, the team is working to make it easier filter, search, and find them on canvas as well as add more functionality related to symbols.

      2 points
  • Ian ClarkeIan Clarke, over 3 years ago

    Is there an opportunity to add Symbol states? Simple example would be a hover state for an icon.

    1 point
  • Quentin Lo Castro, over 3 years ago

    Hello Kyle, if it's not too late to comment on this, I think adding a way to link smart object from Photoshop and Illustrator without having to add them into the CC library could really improve the workflow in my agency (and encourage more people to switch, I think).

    Thanks for the many updates, it's always great to hear from the XD team.

    0 points
    • , over 3 years ago

      Hi Quentin, thank you for the feedback. If you have not already, I would upvote this request here. If you don't mind sharing, could you explain more why you and your team would prefer using Smart Objects over CC libraries for linking assets from Photoshop and XD?

      1 point
      • Quentin Lo Castro, over 3 years ago

        Sure! We simply use an internal server to share all assets within the different teams of my company, there's no real need of the CC libraries.

        1 point
        • , over 3 years ago

          Thank you Quentin for the additional details, that makes sense. I will share your feedback with the broader team to look into.

          1 point