Back in months, Adobe gave a glimpse of a new vector-based design application, code-named Project Comet, for creating websites and mobile apps with dynamic user experiences and interfaces. On March 14, Adobe unveiled the official name, Experience Design (XD) CC, and is making a preview (unfinished) version available to all UX designers. It’s available now as a free download for Mac OS X (10.10 or later, and Adobe ID required), followed by iOS, Android, and Windows 10 versions at a later date. Adobe says commercial release is scheduled for later this year, but adds that the roadmap is contingent on user feedback. Project Comet/XD seems to be Adobe’s evolution of the discontinued Fireworks application.
Unless your job involves designing websites and apps, XD will have little use for most consumers. With that said, even users unfamiliar with UX could start building as it doesn’t involve coding. For designers, however, XD lets you quickly design and prototype by using tools and workflows similar to those in other Adobe CC applications. It lets users build apps and websites on the fly, and easily update them when required. Designing happens in real-time, and users can share their interactive prototypes (with animation) with the public. With XD Preview, a step-by-step file familiarizes users with the software, as well as tutorials and a set of UI kits; a forum has been set up via Adobe’s website for more info.
“This first Preview release includes focused and intuitive design and layout tools; a dedicated prototype mode for defining interactive hotspots and transitions; desktop preview mode for testing prototypes and seeing changes in real-time; and built-in sharing that enables stakeholders and teams to access prototypes in their browser, on the desktop or from mobile devices,” Adobe says. “Designers are able to bring in existing assets from Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Photoshop CC, key desktop apps essential to UX design workflows and once designs are finalized, assets can be easily exported to developers for production work.” Down the road, expect to see tighter Illustrator and Photoshop integration and support for CC libraries and Adobe Stock