Sketch, a well-established design tool, has enjoyed phenomenal growth since its introduction in 2010. In 2016, Adobe introduced XD as a formidable competitor. After nearly three years of development, does Adobe XD offer enough of a challenge for designers to consider a change?
The UX design process is complex and requires the use of specific tools, methodologies, and frameworks. User research, analysis, wireframing, mockups, iteration, usability testing, and UI prototyping are just a few of the artifacts and processes designers work with while communicating with developers, stakeholders, and other team members.
Sketch has become the de facto standard for a large majority of digital designers due to its simple interface, expansive number of plugins, complete toolkit functionality, and frequent updates.
While Sketch became the tool of choice for UX designers, Adobe, long known for their award-winning design software and deep ties to the design community, did not have a similar option. They had Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks, but designers had no appetite for using three tools to accomplish tasks that Sketch could provide in one application.
In 2016, Adobe introduced XD (Experience Design). A serious contender to Sketch, they still had a lot of catching up to do. At the time Sketch was six years old, had a wide user base, and an entire ecosystem of plugins, making it a powerful design tool. The rivalry escalated over the next two years and Adobe XD grew from a nimble competitor to a highly regarded design tool that has won over many professional designers.
The Toptal Design Blog published an article about Sketch vs Adobe XD in 2017 when it was still in beta. Now, two years later, Adobe XD has seen multiple revisions with a clear objective: Offer everything a UX designer needs natively, and with great performance.
Is it time for UX designers to switch from Sketch to Adobe XD?
Adobe XD vs Sketch
Let’s explore how Adobe XD compares to Sketch. We will compare the following features:
- User Interface
- Repeat Grid
- Symbols and Asset Panels
- Responsive Design Tools
- Add-Ons and Plugins
- Prototyping with Auto-Animate
- Sharing and Comments
- Working with Developers
- Version Control and Real-Time Collaboration
Designers who are familiar with tools like Photoshop shouldn’t have a problem learning Adobe XD or Sketch since they all share a similar UI.