ADOBE XD — The New Era
XD is the new standard for experience design
Today, I own a small agency in Portland, Oregon called Watson Creative. Like any creative team, when we’re not designing, illustrating and otherwise creating, our agency enjoys posturing as armchair software engineers. Not in any meaningful way, mind you, only from the highest “I would have done it this way” level.
Although we can often lament our existing tools, wishing they were able to perform in a certain way, human behavior hasn’t changed since my time at Nike. Translation: we don’t have the time or patience to learn something new.
We were lucky to have Adobe visit our office last summer to do a focus group on a program that was new to us: Adobe XD. They shared valuable insights on the way we create with our entire creative staff and presented streamlined workflows that all centered around prototyping – amplified iterative refinement.
Here comes the number crunching. Pfeiffer Consulting reported in their benchmark research from Adobe XD CC: Streamlining User Experience Design, that you can expect nearly a 10x productivity increase in various workflow situations, with 3x faster workflows with prototyping alone.
This might be true, but how does it measure up in our workflow? We used Illustrator from 2013 to late 2017, then switched to Sketch. We’ve gone from Illustrator to Sketch to XD and ran the numbers for websites designed in Illustrator, Sketch and XD. Below is what we found when summing up the numbers from our entire project team in regard to concept, sitemaps, wireframes, design, prototyping, development, Q/A, and launch. Already we are saving around 25% on hours for our overall projects.
Although our overall workflow efficiencies with XD haven’t quite reached 10x faster than Adobe Illustrator, we fully anticipate that we’ll get there in time. Given the efficiencies we’ve achieved in such a short time, we can only continue to improve.
As other agencies make the move over to XD, they’re seeing the same efficiencies in their studios. Hugo & Marie is a creative agency based in New York City that previously used Photoshop for web design. The feedback on XD from their design team is simple yet critical: every little thing Photoshop can do for site design, XD can do faster.