A fresh perspective and new visual identity for Adobe XD
By Andrew Shorten
Posted on 09-24-2020
Three years ago, we announced Adobe XD 1.0 at Adobe MAX 2017. Fast-forward to today, and XD is used by more than a million designers all around the world. We couldn’t be more humbled by the overwhelming support from the community that we’ve had over the past few years. While we are proud of our progress so far, we know we have a long way to go and our team continues to work tirelessly to support designers everywhere.
The Adobe XD community is…incredible. It’s innovative and diverse, made up of designers from all over the world with a range of backgrounds and experience levels. From the world’s largest enterprises to innovative startups, agencies, and freelancers to individuals expanding their creative skill set and learning UI/UX design for the very first time, XD has become a go-to tool for designers of all shapes and sizes.
To celebrate these exciting milestones, we wanted to share some reflections on our journey thus far—and talk a bit about what you can expect from XD in the coming months and years.
A new evolution for Adobe XD
As XD has grown over the years, it’s become so much more than just a design tool. The way XD appeared across a myriad of surfaces—demos, tutorials, announcements, events, livestreams, and so much more—became fragmented and inconsistent. We needed to evolve the way XD represented itself to reflect our journey, create cohesion, and connect with our growing community.
So, we set out to do just that.
Our aspiration is to craft an identity that is energizing, human, global, and inclusive: One that resonates with designers of all shapes and sizes and invokes a sense of curiosity. We wanted to capture the essence of experience design, bringing a diverse set of ideas, concepts, components, and voices together to create something bigger. After working through dozens of different concepts and ideas (the good and the very, very bad) and considering feedback from many different stakeholders, we paired a casual yet empowering tone with a powerful, bold visual style that celebrates the imagination and creativity in user experience design.
Driven by a newly-formed team across product, marketing, and the Adobe Design organization, we started from scratch to reimagine how people experience XD from the ground up. Now, we’re excited to share this ongoing work with our community.
We’ll be rolling out this new look and feel across different surfaces in the coming months, and developing the brand as our product and the world of user experience design continue to evolve. Today, you can see the first iteration of this new brand direction on the XD web pages on Adobe.com, in emails in your inbox, and on our social media channels, with even more to come at Adobe MAX. Our team would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the new direction.
Design like you always imagined
As we looked inwards while creating this new identity, we thought a lot about what we were trying to accomplish with XD and how we wanted to accomplish it.
Our journey thus far has by no means been an easy one. Early versions of the product lagged other tools in the market and we still have quite a lot to do. The size and complexity of Adobe requires relentless focus and ample communication to execute and keep teams aligned. Our dependencies on centralized services—both technologies and go-to-market engines—mean we constantly must break the mold in the way things work in order to better serve our community and meet our aspirations.
XD is often referred to as the “tip of the spear” within Adobe because, as from the very beginning, we do things differently. XD was built on a completely new technology stack from other products and required a product development velocity that, at the time, was unheard of within Adobe. We obsess over masking tremendous power behind simplicity and intuitiveness so that users can create something amazing, whether they’re a seasoned pro or using a design tool for the very first time. We build for designers all over the world, localizing the product in nearly a dozen languages with each release. We listen and consider the changing needs of designers and how our product needs to support a myriad of use cases, experience levels, and workstyles. Our history within Adobe is filled with formidable firsts, contentious conversations, and constantly educating ourselves and teams around us.
But this isn’t about our troubles. We want to build on these learnings and infuse them into the way we build and talk about Adobe XD.
Design isn’t about a tool. It’s about what you do with it. It’s not about trendy technologies or forced ways of working. It’s not about complicated frameworks and constructs or confusing terminology that alienates anyone who isn’t an “expert.” At the center of it all, design is about you.
At Adobe, we see design differently. We’re here to empower you to create without limits and with complete flexibility. To design all types of experiences and create things that look and feel real, getting your ideas as close to final as possible. You shouldn’t be bogged down with complicated interfaces, nested menus, or rigid constructs. Instead, we’re here to help you to design faster and without friction, regardless of your background or experience level. To be able to create whatever you want, however you want; designing solo or with a team, out in the open or in a space just for you, working across other tools or all in one, online, offline, Mac or PC—it’s entirely up to you and how you want to create.
XD is design like you always imagined, both in what you can create and how you can create it. We want XD to be a tool that doesn’t feel much like a tool at all.
To take what we’ve built and further deliver on this vision, we’ll be sharpening our focus on some key areas of XD that you’ll see reflected in our roadmap over the next several months:
- A ruthless emphasis on performance, quality, and scalability. We do not take this lightly and the experience of using XD is more important than any one feature we could build.
- Simplicity and intuitiveness in the experience. You’ll never need a manual to navigate using XD. We want to get out of the way and let your creativity do the work, regardless of your familiarity with design tools or other Adobe products.
- Bringing your ideas as close to final as possible. Furthering our prototyping capabilities with unparalleled fidelity, rich interaction and animation, and exploring new types of user experiences.
- More creating, less busy work. Leveraging thoughtful design and machine learning technologies, removing tedious steps in your design process and helping you move faster.
- Working together. Supporting a range of collaboration styles - from open, real-time design to structured methods of sharing and exporting design work to working with copywriters, developers, clients, and more.
Be on the lookout for updates across these areas over the next few months, starting with an exciting release coming up at Adobe MAX 2020. As always, our team is actively listening and learning from the community, so please share your thoughts and feedback with us. We are so incredibly grateful for all of the ideas, critiques, support, connections, and real friendships you all have provided to us over the years, and we really cannot thank you enough.
Topics: Design, News, Creativity, High Tech, Creative Cloud, Adobe MAX
Products: XD, Creative Cloud