Design. Prototype. Propose. How One Man Used Adobe XD To Ask ‘Will You Marry Me?’

by Patrick Faller

posted on 06-27-2017

Adobe XD is known as a powerful design and prototyping tool, but at its core it’s a communication tool that lets users share ideas quickly and easily. We’ve seen lots of examples of great work shared online with #MadeWithAdobeXD, but nothing quite like this. When Lee Chapman, a Latvia-based project manager for CakeHR, was introduced to XD by his boss, he started dreaming up a plan to use the program outside of work. It was a mission of love.

Lee was dreaming up a creative way to propose to his girlfriend Zane (pronounced Zana), and he decided Adobe XD was going to be the way to do it.

“Zane and I met on Tinder, and I wanted her to relive the experience of our first date, so I decided to mock-up my own version of Tinder,” said Lee. The only problem — Lee isn’t a pro designer and had never used XD before, but that didn’t stop him! “I started on Monday and I proposed to her on Friday. That’s the amazing thing about XD, how quickly I could do this.” His first design and prototype was a milestone in many ways.

The Plan

Chapman spent nights working on his prototype, hiding the computer screen from Zane so she wouldn’t see what he was up to. Leveraging the prototyping power of XD, Lee created an immersive treasure hunt for Zane, mimicking the buttons and interactions of Tinder. The prototype led her from their home to the street corner where they first met, then on to the coffee shop where they had their first date. Lee simply wired up his design so each button interaction took her to a different screen, guiding her along the journey Chapman had planned.

“You could say I was able to quickly onboard her through the engagement experience. I quickly learned I could use the tool to direct her where I wanted her to go,” he said.

On Friday morning, after he had finished his design, Lee headed to work and sent Zane the link to his prototype, telling her to follow along with strict instructions not to skip ahead. She went on the journey, following the directions to locations and reading the love letters Chapman had composed on artboards throughout.

“The love letters detailed how our lives are going to be changing, and she told me while she was reading this in the middle of the street she was bawling her eyes out,” said Chapman.

As Zane was completing her treasure hunt throughout the city, Chapman was at home getting ready to ‘pop the question.’

The Proposal

The final screen in Chapman’s prototype led Zane back to their house.

“She let me know she was having the best time ever and crying her eyes out, and she was completely naive to what was next. It was also her birthday, so she thought it was her birthday present. She didn’t have any clue of the big finish until she came home,” he said.

That’s where Chapman was waiting in a tuxedo with flowers and a big question. He asked her to marry him.

“She said yes, and she loved the entire experience. To be honest, I think I nailed a pretty unique proposal.”

He calls his creation an MVP (minimum viable proposal) on a personal level, and says the end result felt like an immersive story, since it was so easy for Zane to use.

“I was able to give her that personal touch and that WOW moment throughout the whole experience, with every single push of a button.”

Easy to Design, Prototype, and Share

Because Zane would be using the prototype on her own, Chapman wanted to make sure it worked perfectly on her phone as she travelled to ‘their spots’ in the city.

“XD provides artboard templates to her version of iPhone, so actually having the dimensions there was so helpful. What I also love and found super useful were the UI kits, like the one for Apple iOS, which made it easy to add in the default images for the mobile application design,” he said.

He also found it easy to create a working prototype that would give Zane the open feel of an app, but still guide her on the experience he wanted to create.

“I really loved how you can create a prototype with click functionality. My design was very basic, but that’s because Tinder is very basic, and I wanted to ensure the prototype I made gave the impression of a real application,” he said.

Chapman has lots of reasons to be excited. On top of getting married, he and Zane are expecting a child, and no doubt their son or daughter has a lot of Adobe XD treasure hunts to look forward to.

“On a personal level, this is experience has helped me on my journey to learning how to be a UX designer. I’m not the best at UI or UX, but I was able to open up my world to create that user experience that no one’s going to have.”

You can follow Lee Chapman’s work on his Twitter, and click here to learn more about Adobe XD and its powerful prototyping tools.

Topics: Creative Inspiration & Trends, Design

Products: Creative Cloud