Having recently switched from Photoshop to XD, this article aims to share with you the reasons for making the switch. The author of the article works at a digital agency near Brighton, UK.
1. Quick and lightweight
Why load full photo editing software unless you need it? XD is quick and lightweight. It loads fast and you can work on multiple pages/designs at the same time without needing monster hardware and lots of time to process huge amounts of graphical data
2. Built-in grid system, perfect for websites
No matter what device you choose for your artboards, XD already has a 12 col grid you can turn on/off at the click of a button. What’s more, it snaps to the columns and shows you the spacing between elements as you move them so it is quick and easy to align things perfectly.
Link designs together to show the user journey. Removes guesswork from how things should work. So imagine you are working with a client and you want to show the user journey from landing on the homepage to viewing a product or service and then enquiring. You can do this by adding links between pages. It’s as close as you can get until the website is actually built.
4. Easier collaboration on projects
Share assets with developers – XD allows our developers to quick check typefaces used, copy text with a single click and download images and assets.
5. It’s a vector-based system
With the advent of high-resolution screens, the web has changed from being a low-res raster-based environment to a high-res vector-based one. XD addresses this by encouraging you to work with vector-based graphics and buttons. You can easily export assets without resolution limitations, as SVG files that are ready for your website. Your visuals are crystal clear because all text remains as actual text and vector graphics and icons remain sharp at any size. You won’t need to recreate graphics for high-resolution screens or have huge Photoshop files at X2 size.
6. Update your clients, easier and quicker than before
Cloud storage means it takes almost no time to share your design with your client. Simply make your changes and click “update link”. You don’t need to save the PSD as a jpg and deliver the jpg via some means, XD will give you the link to the design so your client can easily review it using their browser.
7. XD supports other Adobe products
XD is not graphic design software, but it makes it easy to work with various media from various sources. You can still edit and create great graphics in Photoshop and icons from Illustrator and paste them straight into XD.
9. Easily measure everything
XD constantly tells you the spacing between elements so it takes very little time to lay things out accurately. In a set of similar elements it intelligently guesses that the current element you are positioning should have the same spacing and shows you on screen as you move it. It’s so much faster and easier than in Photoshop where you have to physically measure and set guides etc.
10. Wireframe in XD, then easily evolve your wireframes into the final designs
Imagine if your design software was also your wireframing software? How quick would it be to go from wireframes to designs? That’s where XD offers massive time savings over Photoshop. XD is perfect for wireframing and designing websites.
11. Easily show responsive designs on different devices
XD offers you a variety of artboards from desktop down to individual phone models. You can show different artboards in one project so your client can easily move between desktop view, tablet, and phone. Because they are in one project, you can copy and paste elements between artboards and easily refine and simplify your designs for phones and tablets. The whole process is incredibly easy compared to Photoshop which is not designed for web or software design.
12. Save time with reusable components
Create components for buttons, icons, even your whole header. Then if you need to update them, you do it once and XD will reflect the changes everywhere.
Think of a component as a group of elements, but it’s like a CSS rule. You update it once and it changes everywhere. Now imagine a project with twenty or more pages and you want to change something in the header? Wow, XD is great at this!
XD has a range of useful plugins you can add to it from data visualization, HTML prototyping, and exporting and integrations with Flutter and Jira.
The Editors Choice within XD is a great place to get started with XD’s various plugins.
14. Cloud storage
Photoshop files can be large and need to be stored locally. XD uses cloud storage and comes free with generous storage allocation. This means you are less reliant on your own storage. Potentially this will save you the cost of having to upgrade your office server or hard drive and it takes away the worry of having to back things up all the time.
15. Live view
This XD feature lets you view and edit straight in your device. This really gives you the exact representation of how it will look on this device which helps you get the proportions right.
16. Great support for video
With the help of the Anima plugin, XD can actually embed videos straight into your designs. This video nicely explains how to do this in XD.
17. Get feedback without using other software
There are different sharing settings available in XD. They range from “presentation” that simply shows the design on-screen to “Development” for sharing assets and text to “Design Review”. Design Review allows you to collect comments via a post/reply style section on the right-hand side which keeps things in context and is often better than using email or some other software.
18. Multiple artboards in one project file
This encourages organisation, consistency and is just plain nice to work with!
19. It’s cutting edge
Congratulations you’re using cutting edge software that is constantly evolving! Whether you work for a Digital Agency, as a freelance web designer or software house, XD is ideal and your experience of it is valuable in your job.
20. Learn for free
You can start using XD today by downloading it here: https://creativecloud.adobe.com/apps/download/xd?promoid=B8NR3RT1&mv=other