Adobe XD 2021 review

Adobe XD is a relatively new app, but packs a punch and is improving at quite a pace

Adobe XD logo
(Image: © Adobe)

Our Verdict

Adobe XD is a great UI design app if you're already an Adobe CC subscriber. There is plenty of viable competition out there, but XD is rapidly improving with every update.

For

  • Works offline
  • Good prototyping on computer or device
  • Good sharing options with team and clients
  • Easy asset exchange with other Adobe apps

Against

  • No customisable workspace
  • No dark mode
  • Limited controls for shapes, guides and type
  • Lack of video or animated gif support

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Adobe XD (Adobe Experience Design) may not be the most familiar app in Adobe’s pantheon, but with a rising demand for UI designers, it will likely become an increasingly popular staple in every designer’s armoury. It's a relatively new app, used mainly as a prototyping, user interface and user experience design tool. It comes with a full Adobe CC All Apps subscription (see our Adobe discount page for the latest offers), but you can also buy a single license for $9.99 / £9.98 a month.

It it isn’t the only UI design app out there – the race is on to develop software that caters to the latest trends and eases the whole design process. The two most commonly cited alternatives to XD are Sketch and Figma, both of which have their own benefits and drawbacks. Sketch is immediately behind the other two because it is only available to Mac users. You can buy Sketch for a one off payment of $99 with the option to upgrade as new versions come out. Figma is free for starters or $12 a month for pros. It is solely browser based so unavailable offline, but is generally regarded as the overall best software of the three.

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The Verdict
3.5

out of 10

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe XD is a great UI design app if you're already an Adobe CC subscriber. There is plenty of viable competition out there, but XD is rapidly improving with every update.

Matt Smith
Designer and Video Producer

Matt has worked for various publishing houses and design agencies, covering studio photography, video production, editorial design, branding, illustration and motion graphics. He currently works for Future PLC with brands such as T3, Woman&Home, Marie Claire, Music Week, TechRadar, Golden Joysticks, Cycling Weekly, Brand Impact Awards, Horse&Hound and Tech&Learning. In the past he has designed titles including Mac|Life, IQ, Bow International, Drummer, iDrum, Acoustic, Clay Shooting, Sea Fishing and GunTradeNews. He has experience across the full Adobe Suite and is currently spending a lot of time creating projects in Blender and After Effects.