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Beginner’s Guide to Adobe XD

Adobe XD is a prototyping program within the Adobe Creative Cloud that enables users to create and test designs primarily for websites and mobile applications. The program is vector-based, meaning that images created in the program are made through points and lines rather than pixels. This is beneficial for designers because their work can be scaled to any size without sacrificing quality or detail. The program has collaborative functions for entire teams to ensure any product meets the standards of all stakeholders, and it has plenty of intuitive functions that can improve workflow.

Read on to learn more about everything this unique program can do!

Basic Functions of Adobe XD

To best understand how Adobe XD works, it is helpful to break down the different functions into three main sections. Each of these sections represents a different window or panel within Adobe XD.


This window is where designers who use Adobe XD spend most of their time. Here, you’ll find all of the components to make your design visually appealing. You can store the color palette and fonts for your project to ensure a consistent design across multiple pages of your finished product. This panel also allows you to change all instances of a design with one click. For example, if your client wants you to increase the font size of all of the text, you can update the font in the design panel and this will update all text to the new font.

Shareable libraries are also stored in this panel. These collections are where all of your individual design components can be accessed, like logos and other unique elements to your project. This is especially useful when completing multiple projects for the same client. Having access to every unique request will help you and your team complete work much faster and leads to more professional results. 

A final element important to the Design panel is the properties section, which is where users can modify the layout or other properties of the element that you’ve selected. Adobe XD users especially appreciate the responsive resizing function in this panel, which allows you to design projects that can be displayed anywhere from a smartwatch to a billboard. 

Prototype and Preview

Once you’ve completed your design, you'll move into the Prototype panel which allows you to define how each screen interacts with one another and the order in which they need to be displayed. This panel allows you to establish a home page for your project and then employs a simple ‘drag and drop’ function so you can decide which screen comes next in the sequence. This screen also allows you to designate how you want the screens to transition from one to the next. For example, if you’re designing a mobile app you could choose a swipe or a click option depending on your preference. 

Adobe XD also has an auto-animate feature in the Prototype tab. This function is an intuitive design feature that automatically decides which components of your page should move and how. Once you’ve defined all of your transitions and interactions, you can preview your work in the Preview tab. Your preview can be shared with other team members and it can also be previewed on a mobile device with the Adobe XD app. 

Careers That Use Adobe XD

Becoming knowledgeable about all Adobe XD can do is a challenging endeavor, but it is sure to lead to tremendous professional benefits. Since more businesses are choosing to expand into the digital space as much as they can, the demand for professionals who are proficient in Adobe XD is likely to increase in the coming years.

If you enjoy working with Adobe XD, becoming a Front End Web Developer is one option available to you. These professionals create the dynamic elements of a website that users interact with, like drop-down menus and fillable forms. They use the prototyping functions of Adobe XD to test and edit their designs without having to rewrite their code or start from scratch each time. Front End Developers generally make an annual salary of $101,000, though this can increase with additional training and certifications. 

A User Interface (UI) Designer is another career option that uses Adobe XD to complete their daily responsibilities. The prototypes and wireframes available in the program are of particular use for a UI Designer since these tools create clear illustrations of sample layouts for a program or application. Adobe XD also allows these professionals to quickly change their design consistently since the program automatically updates all components when one is changed. UI Designers earn an average salary of $78,000 per year. 

The tools within Adobe XD are also useful for User Experience (UX) Designers, who are in charge of solving common problems that users encounter when using an app or a website. In addition to Adobe XD, UX Designers also have to be proficient in other programs like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. They generally make around $90,000 per year, but this can fluctuate depending on what part of the country they live in and their level of experience; UX Designers who have been working for over ten years make closer to $120,000 per year. 

Learn Adobe XD with Career Centers

Does Adobe XD sound like something you want to learn more about? You can check out the Adobe XD classes offered by Noble Desktop, a partner program of Career Centers, if you’re ready to dive in! Courses are available remotely and in person at its Manhattan campus. All of Noble Desktop’s classes are taught by expert instructors and are available for free retakes within one year. 

For complete beginners, Noble Desktop offers an Adobe XD in a Day course that covers the fundamentals of this powerful software. This class also includes a free workbook that students can take with them to reference after the course is over. For more intermediate students, there is an Adobe XD Advanced course available. Noble Desktop also has an Adobe XD Bootcamp as part of their programming. This course covers the beginner to advanced functionality of Adobe XD, including UX/UI design features. For students who are interested in certification, check out the UX & UI Design Certificate. This class includes perks like support building a portfolio and 1-on-1 mentoring with industry experts.

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