What is Adobe XD? A Full Introduction to Adobe XD

Peter Martinez updated on 2023-03-23 14:48:53

What is Adobe XD? To answer that question, we need to understand its place in the Adobe ecosystem. The company has a wide range of creative tools for various purposes and Adobe XD is one of many such utilities. It is integrated with other Creative Cloud apps such as Illustrator and Photoshop and also offers a rich plugin environment to leverage third-party applications. To really understand what is Adobe XD, we need to look at various aspects such as what Adobe XD is primarily used for, what is it particularly well-known for, how it is priced, Adobe XD meaning, and other such basics. Let’s begin with the first question: what is Adobe XD?

What is Adobe XD and What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using This Tool

So, what is Adobe XD? It is many things. For example, it is a design tool to create wireframes and mockups for any type of design, including UI/UX design that is done before a website or an application is developed. It is also a vector editing tool, which means you can create and edit vector images, as opposed to raster images. Vector images are better because they retain their clarity even when zoomed in. Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using Adobe XD for your UI/UX design needs:


  • Create quick mockups, wireframes, and prototypes
  • Prototype for specific platforms - web, Android, and iOS
  • Attractive UI
  • Extensive asset libraries
  • Syncs well with other Adobe software products


  • Basic functionality
  • Transitions and animations are quite basic
  • Bit of a steep learning curve
  • iPhone preview requires the device to be connected to the computer
  • No native code export

What is Adobe XD Good For?

If you want to do a quick mockup or an interactive prototype to show a client, this is a great tool. The assets are extensive and you have a lot of basic transitions and effects to show interactions. It’s a solid choice for rapid designing and prototyping, as long as your design or application is not too complex. The interface is not as user-friendly as other apps like Sketch, but it is quite functional. The only thing you need to watch out for is shortcut keys for various functions. Since these are different from the ones for Photoshop and other Adobe tools, it can be confusing in the beginning. But if your company is already paying for a creative license, then this is a good default tool to have.

Comparing Adobe XD with Competitors

Specific comparisons with other prototyping tools like Sketch, RP Axure, and Wondershare Mockitt show us the good and the bad of Adobe XD. For example, XD is much better than most of the competitors mentioned in terms of asset libraries and access to third-party resources. The interface is not as user-friendly as Sketch or Wondershare Mockitt but the UI design itself is quite appealing.

Although the software is not strong on effects and transitions, you’ll find all the most frequently used animations, which is good if you’re only doing an initial prototype to show your client various types of interaction. Another major advantage over the competition is that it is part of Creative Cloud, which means it is well-integrated with other apps like Illustrator and Photoshop.

But possibly the biggest advantage is that, since it is bundled with other apps as part of Creative Cloud, there’s no additional monthly or annual expense. That’s one of the reasons a lot of designers use this software - because they’re already using some of the other applications for their day-to-day design work.

About Adobe XD Pricing Analysis

Although the utility is bundled with other Creative Cloud apps, it can also be used free or as an individual app. The free version, called the Started Plan, only allows one shared document but two document editors. You can store up to 2GB of data on the cloud, but link-sharing is limited to a single link. If you upgrade to the XD Single App plan for $9.99 a month, most of the limits are completely removed and you get up to 100GB of cloud storage. You also get access to Creative Cloud Libraries on both plans, as well as the entire Adobe Fonts library with the paid plan.

For businesses, the paid plan starts at $22.99 a month per user and offers features similar to the individual paid plan. In addition, there is a web-based admin console and access to onboarding webinars for new users.

For both individual and business users, Adobe has bundled the Creative Cloud apps collection for $52.99 a month and $79.99 a month (per user), respectively. The features are similar in both plans, with additional tech support and onboarding resources for businesses.

The single app plan is quite reasonable for individuals when compared to most other subscription-based tools, but the real value is in the bundle plans that include 20+ Creative Cloud applications.

Finally, a little bit of trivia on Adobe XD meaning. A lot of people wonder why the product is called Adobe XD. It’s simple. Since the tool is meant for UX design or user experience design, XD actually stands for eXperience Design. Fun fact, right?

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The Best Adobe XD Alternative

One of the biggest disadvantages of using Adobe XD, as we saw earlier, is that there is no native code export support. Most of the third-party plugins don’t work well if your prototypes are even a little complex, which means it’s extra work for the design and the developer. In addition, since there’s no code available within the design platform, code inspection by the developer is not possible. That makes the handoff process quite challenging.

For that reason, Wondershare Mockitt is emerging as the best Adobe XD alternative for design and prototyping. The software automatically generates HTML code as well as multi-platform style code for each component, so all the developer has to do is download the assets. In addition, the entire prototype can be downloaded as an HTML demo package, which is impossible to do with Adobe XD. These are just some of the features that make Wondershare Mockitt stand out from the competition. Here are some more key capabilities:

what is adobe xd
  • Extensive asset libraries, with options to customize and share libraries with team members.
  • Easy page and widget state creation (dynamic widgets.)
  • Convenient linking of assets to various page states.
  • Assign Master status to widgets for global editing.
  • Rich template library so you don’t have to start from scratch.
  • A simple way to annotate your designs.
  • Commenting option for collaborative projects
  • Share designs by creating a URL or QR code
  • HTML demo package and mobile apps for offline preview
  • Seamless handoff process

Why Switch to Wondershare Mockitt?

One of the most compelling reasons to switch to Wondershare Mockitt is the gentle learning curve for new users. The intuitive interface and clear design of the software make it easy to hit the ground running. In addition, you can even import your Sketch files and automatically get multi-zoom slices with one click, and then proceed to prototype the designs. Besides, since the tool is essentially cloud-based, there are a lot of collaborative features that are useful for team members working from different locations. Finally, the price factor is equally appealing. Individuals can take advantage of the free plan, which allows up to 3 projects and 20 screens per project. Upgrade to the $49/year plan and you get unlimited screens and projects along with 5GB of cloud storage included. The most stand-out feature is that you can export to HTML or PNG, which is a huge advantage over Adobe XD, which does not natively support HTML export.