Adobe XD and Creative Cloud Libraries.
One of the key aspects of the integration between Adobe XD and other Creative Cloud applications is the support of Creative Cload Libraries. In a nutshell, these Libraries allows a user to share a variety of design elements—raster and vector images, but also colors and text styles, among many others—that can then be inserted in another application. The Libraries maintains a link between the placed item and the original stored in the library; when the original is updated or modified, changes are immediately applied to all placed copies, unless the user has unlinked the item from its original.
This can increase the efficiency of exchanging data between different applications significantly. It is particularly useful in teamwork: The Libraries can be shared with other members of a team or outside collaborators. This means that a logotype, say, that is created by a designer in London will automatically be updated in the app prototype that is created in California.
As far as Adobe XD is concerned, the Libraries is the backbone of integration with Photoshop and Illustrator, allowing elaborate graphics to remain in their native environment and to be sure that any change to them is immediately applied across all artboards of a prototype.
Building the ideal UX design workflow.
What sets Adobe XD apart from other prototyping solutions is its integration with Creative Cloud. This allows for a workflow that combines the immense creative possibilities of Photoshop and Illustrator (among others) with tools and management features that are developed from the ground up with the necessities of UX design in mind.
This means that for the first time, UX designers have the possibility of integrating those different feature-sets in a way that can make the prototyping workflow significantly more efficient, as these benchmarks show. The core question is, of course: what is the most efficient way of combining these programs? Thanks to Creative Cloud Libraries, it is possible to use the creative design tools to their full capabilities, without losing the possibility to change key design elements even at a late stage of the prototyping process. Such a design modification could even occur in the middle of a user testing session of an interactive prototype.
Finally, there is the question of developer hand-off. Adobe XD’s Design Specs feature provides developers on-demand access to measurements, color values and even cut and paste of texts through an online interface.
In other words, Adobe’s new application clearly does not aim to replace Photoshop or Illustrator, but to complement them with a toolset and workflow integration that can boost efficiency when dealing with the many intricacies of modern user experience development.