Should I switch to Adobe XD for my UX mockups?
I tried using the current beta of the Windows version of Adobe XD (v. 0.6.14.2 as of Feb 15, 2017), just this morning, testing it for the UX design of a set of new tools for a client, and although she personally likes this product very much (as well as the team of product managers within her company), I stumbled upon significant issues that I couldn't overlook, and suggested her to use other tools instead...
This is what I wrote her:
At the moment, Windows XD lacks certain design capabilities that I deem necessary to complete a good UX design, e.g.:
No rulers and guides (these are essential for good layouts & design grids)
No master pages (certain design components on every page could be done once and shared through out a document, enabling me to modify them, if necessary, only once, and it updates through out the screens) - Symbols are a work around, but they are not a locked background, and they are harder to maintain
No brush tool (like in PowerPoint or Word, enabling copy and paste of styles between objects and text, brings outstanding efficiency and a time saving)
No simple copy/paste from Photoshop/Illustrator etc. (to move complex objects) - only SVG import, which is limited, cumbersome and doesn't support all needs
No support for tabs in text (to enable efficient building of tables)
No transparency modes (as in Illustrator or Photoshop)
Fills do not include gradients (you need to import the object in SVG for that from Photoshop), nor any support for fill patterns
No ready made smart objects library (e.g. bubble, tooltip, etc.)
No export to PDF (currently only PNG export is supported on this Windows version), or to Illustrator / PSD (with layers), to enable further work
Poor tools capabilities, e.g.:
Alignment capabilities (distribute only based on width)
Typographic capabilities - placement of super script, kerning (is set for the whole block, and not to a specific word), un-proportional scaling is missing, etc.
Navigation between artboards is cumbersome (Zoom out and then zoom in, or panning using the hand...)
Minimum effects - there's only support for blur and shadow
To sum up, I feel XD shows a great promise and is a great tool to play with, for quick conceptual mock ups, and its time will come - but at the time being, it is not suited to provide a finite 'pixel perfect' design (and this is the main reason why Adobe doesn't sell it yet). Hypothetically, when I modify an image, I could use even MS Paint if required, but I prefer using a matured and a stable tool, e.g. Photoshop, to enable me to do more, using less effort and time. Same here, when I prepare a UX layout. The features I listed above are essential for good UX design. I believe that the work around does not worth it, at this stage... Furthermore, it is still in Beta, and crashed once on the 2 hours I was using it (on Windows 10), without offering any resurrection capabilities (for the work done on it till the crash). So, I prefer to continue as is, planning the UX on Visio / Illustrator / Photoshop, and provide the product team samples using PDF files.
What do you think? Would you make the same decision as I did?
PS. To monitor the current state of the Windows Beta's features click here >