- Not as many plug-ins as there are for Sketch
Can Your PC or Mac Run Adobe XD Pre-Cracked?
Adobe XD Pre-Cracked runs on both macOS and Microsoft Windows. Its main competitor, Sketch, is for macOS only. On either OS you get XD from the Creative Cloud Desktop app, which eases installation and updating, even though it means installing yet another program on your system. On Windows, you need a 64-bit PC running Windows 10 version 1909 or later with 4GB RAM. XD natively supports Windows pen and touch input. On macOS, you need version 10.15 (Catalina) or later with 4GB RAM, and it can run as a native Apple Silicon app.
Getting Started With Adobe XD
Once you’ve chosen a Creative Cloud subscription option, getting started with XD is a breeze. When you launch the program, the first thing you see is your home dashboard. A Learn button takes you to the Adobe Learn & Support website for the XD Step-by-Step Guide. There you can choose from several levels of learning, and off you go.
Augmenting the XD educational resources is a multitude of other demos and video tutorials on Adobe’s site, including access to past Adobe XD Free Download sessions and Adobe Live streams where you can learn from pros as you watch them work on a project. You can also submit your questions in related forums.
On the home screen you see a choice of artboard presets in standard device viewport sizes, which you can use to begin a design. The screen also sports links to user interface kits, prototype links from your projects, and files that colleagues have shared with you.
Adobe has been stepping up and standardizing how you collaborate with colleagues and clients across all the Creative Cloud apps. This means that efficient sharing, feedback tracking, iterating, and publishing are all built in. Adobe reps told me that they would soon add the ability to share live in-app conversations with colleagues and clients. Additionally, XD supports team collaboration via Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Adobe XD Pre-Cracked has three modes: Design, Prototype, and Share. As you might guess, you design and layout your pages, or screens, in Design mode. Drawing a hand sketch is a great way to begin any project, and it’s especially true for a design that involves figuring out information hierarchy and interrelationships, like a website:
After I’ve worked out a viable navigation and flow, I launch XD and create a low-fidelity prototype (aka wireframe) which is a tighter, cleaned-up version of the hand sketch—although still without the copy, photos, or color:
Following stakeholder approval of the lo-fi prototype, I add existing copy, branding, and imagery, and build a high-fidelity prototype to begin the design review and iteration cycle. Design mode is also where you specify scrolling parameters, responsiveness, repeat grids, and interactive (and micro-interactive) transitions, such as resting and hover states.
Depending on the sophistication of the client, I may also use this version as a working interactive prototype that looks and works like an actual website, complete with scrolling, working navigation and buttons, resting and hover states, and more. Below is a zoomed-out shot of the screen artboards just before prototyping.
Once stakeholders have signed off and provided final approval, it’s painless to generate and gather necessary files and CSS indications for transfer to a developer, so long as you’ve organized and built your XD file with mindful file housekeeping. It’s essential to chat with your developer both early on and throughout the process so you can synchronize best practices such as asset organization, design specs, and file-naming conventions. Even more critical is making certain your stellar design is buildable within the budget and the tech of platform they’re using.
Some interface designers note that Sketch has more design and illustration capability than XD. If you need to create or customize a graphic that’s more advanced than XD’s range, however, it’s fast and easy to pop into Illustrator, do the thing, then copy and paste your pixel-perfect graphic into XD. That’s only an option if your Creative Cloud subscription includes Illustrator; the standalone XD subscription does not.
Interactions and Prototyping
Creating an interactive prototype in XD is intuitive and strangely satisfying as you wire everything together with virtual rubber band connectors. While you are still in Design mode, you can define micro-interactions of your components, such as hover and trigger states (see the image below).
Move to Prototype mode to define transitions and interactions between artboards using XD’s auto-animate to visualize how your content moves between artboards. When defining your auto-animations, you can play around with Drag and Time triggers to create some impressive motion effects. The image below and the first screenshot above show examples of it.
Moving from Design to Prototype mode you see much the same interface as in the artboard screenshot above, except that the right-hand contextual Properties Inspector is now populated with interactivity rather than design attributes. Also, selections (now blue) in Prototype mode represent hot spots (clickable or tappable areas) rather than design elements.
Being able to define and validate the navigation mechanics and interactions, such as micro-interactions and animations between artboards, taps, and clicks, before development begins is an invaluable benefit of XD and other prototyping tools over pure design apps like Photoshop and Illustrator.
XD has no shortage of features that support prototyping modern interaction designs. Here are three notable ones:
First, Responsive Resize lets you see how your design and content will look across multiple devices in real time or manually. Note that the last time I looked at Sketch, it didn’t have an auto responsive reflow, but that company has since added a Smart Layout feature that can automatically resize symbols (components), though only on a local basis, not for responsive design on multiple screen and device sizes.
Second, Components—similar to symbols in other apps, including Illustrator—let you avoid duplicating your efforts when you need multiple versions of the same thing, like topics in a navigation header, or the header itself. Each copy of the component is an instance that you can assign multiple attributes for different situations, like the resting, hover, and click states of a button.
Third, Repeat Grid is a huge timesaver because it allows you to take a single graphic or group (say a photo, a price, and a name) and simply drag it in any direction to magically pull out a repeat grid of your original object(s). It’s a perfect facilitator for a grid of objects for sale or company headshots. Then just drop your group of photos and the grid populates and remains editable for further customizations.