Adobe is one of the biggest names in cross-platform professional design apps. Adobe, the company best known for Photoshop, also develops XD, the premier tool for website design. The only thing better than Adobe XD is the new updates, especially the beta “coediting” (beta) feature.
Now you can coedit design documents in real-time. If you’ve used Google Docs with live editing, you know how powerful this can be. Adobe XD is just as immediate and clear. You can see where your collaborator’s cursor is. Changes are saved in an accessible history you can recover (and even rename to track milestone versions.
All you do is invite another partner to collaborate on a doc, then enable coediting. That’s all it takes to do this magic. It’s so much better than exporting documents manually and sending them to stakeholders for feedback.
Once you’re ready to push your design into production, Adobe XD makes it easy to export with full design specifications for developers: colors, character styles, elements are all accessible, so you can get precisely what you asked for. That feature would almost be too easy without collaborative design because you’ll only get back what you put in. And XD now lets you put in much better designs to return a much better product.
Experienced designers understand how important it is to get the design right from the start. If you send a flawed design to a developer, the best outcome is that you’ll get a flawed product. Good developers are great at executing design exactly as you specified, so incomplete design often means frustration and a disappointing user experience. And it almost allows means wasted time and money.
Carried to the logical extremes, poor design can lead to internal workplace hostility between designers and developers, and, worse, to external conflicts between a design house and their clients. Either outcome is bad for business, and when both bad things happen, the results can be disastrous.
Careful collaboration with stakeholders before developers build out the design to spec is the best way to build great products efficiently.
Adobe XD live collaboration is still in beta. And it’s darned impressive for a beta product. (Remember how long Google tagged Gmail as beta?) It’s not perfect. For example, comments on shared links show up only on shared links. That means designers have to reference the link and translate any changes to the live document. That’s not all bad — it allows for a cleaner doc — but it’s a bit cumbersome because it requires operating in two different docs at once.
Despite minor flaws, the price is right. XD is free to download. Anyone with permission can view and comment on shared links, even without an Adobe account. Free users enjoy unlimited access to sharing and collaboration through April 2020.
XD is revolutionizing the way our design shop does business. It’s already increased productivity, efficiency, and production speed. Our clients have never been happier, and we’ve never been more proud of what we can accomplish as a team. Jump into the beta and see for yourself.