UX designers need to depend on a number of tools to go through the different stages of the UX workflow. The sketch is a well-known and highly streamlined vector graphics editor featuring a large number of highly useful plugins. We see this tool as fast becoming the industry standard. Nevertheless, the one downside to this tool is that it is available only on Mac OS. This will mean that those who do not have an Apple machine cannot use it. The good news is that Adobe is now working on a competitor tool known as Adobe XD which is a cross-platform tool and an able competitor to Sketch.
Adobe XD Overview
Also called as Adobe Experience Design CC, Adobe XD can be described as a lightweight vector graphics editor and prototyping tool which was declared as Project Comet at Adobe MAX 2015. Preview launched in March 2016 as part of the Creative Cloud, Adobe XD is receiving regular updates month on month and has now entered the beta phase.
UX and top highlights
The Adobe XD interface wears a highly familiar look to the users of Adobe and Sketch alike. Leaving out the darker buttons and menus of the Creative Cloud, Adobe has now given the best of the two domains. Unlike what you see on Sketch UX, Adobe XD displays a set of tools on the left side screen. On the right, you will find the layer panels and dynamic properties similar to how they are arranged on the Sketch interface. Users say it is a pleasure to use Adobe XD. It is highly user-friendly and very easy to learn.
Repeat Grid is a unique feature you find on Adobe XD. This tool can let you replicate a group of objects. This is a highly useful feature while working on a Material design card sporting variable data and comfortable spacing between copies.
When you try to create an interactive prototype on XD, you will not need any third party plugins, whereas you will need them on Sketch. The Adobe prototyping editor lets you connect the interactive areas visually to other screens deploying wires and by incorporating transitions. Once you get ready with the interactive prototype, it is also possible to share and publish the prototype to be viewed on the web or on the Adobe XD mobile app. Nevertheless, XD prototypes at present do not support gestures or headers which are fixed sections. This is something that is possible on some exclusive prototype tools like InVision that can connect with Sketch.
Adobe added the Assets panel as part of August 2017 update in order to yoke together the interactive style guide, character styles, colors, and symbols. The sketch color variables, symbols, and character styles are confined to their own panels. On the other hand, when you change an element in the Assets panel on Adobe XD, all possible uses of the asset in your artwork duly follow.
Very soon, Adobe XD upgrades will bring out “Handoff for developers” which will let the designers publish their project’s style guide along with fonts, assets, and colors hexadecimal codes that can be downloaded too. Developers can also hope to survey the elements inside the prototype in addition to accessing the inspection feature and an interactive prototype.
Since Adobe XD comes bundled with Adobe Creative Cloud and that you can use it on Windows, it is worth trying and can be a viable and even better alternative to Sketch.