Exploring the Adobe XD October 2018 Update

This year’s Adobe Max conference announced, as usual, plenty of feature updates to Adobe products. Among those updates were some very interesting features which came to Adobe XD in the October 2018 update. Let’s take a look at four of the biggest updates which came to XD.

We’ll be covering:

  • Add-ons
  • Linked symbols
  • Auto-animate
  • Voice prototyping

Adobe XD Latest Updates

1. Add-ons

A highly requested feature and one which has notably been missing from Adobe XD until now is the ability to use third-party plugins and integrations. Thanks to the new Add-ons feature, this is now all possible.

new xd add-ons welcome screen
New Adobe XD add-ons welcome screen

When you open XD you’ll now see a new Add-ons menu option, which takes you to a screen like the one above. This gives you access to:

  • Plugins
  • UI Kits
  • Integrations

Browse and install whichever add-ons you need with just a few clicks of the mouse.

2. Linked Symbols

If you’re constantly using the same symbols in your XD documents you’re going to love this feature. Linked symbols allows you to share symbols between documents (and users) and receive notifications when changes are made to your master symbols.

linked symbol in adobe xd

Now when you paste a symbol from one document to another, it will show a green outline with a link icon in the top left corner. The symbol in the Assets library will also show a link icon, showing the current status of the master version. If the master version has been updated, you’ll be shown a preview and prompted to update the current document:

update linked symbol

3. Auto-Animate

Perhaps the coolest new feature in Adobe XD is Auto Animate. This really helps you achieve a higher level of fidelity when creating prototypes, giving you extremely immersive animations.

Transitioning from one artboard to another has been a staple part of Adobe XD since its conception, but now you can also animate individual elements from screen to screen. As long as your elements retain the same name, if their properties change, those properties can be animated. To do so, when defining screen changes, select Auto-animate rather than Transition:

Auto-animate

4. Voice Prototyping

Another new prototyping feature to this release is “Voice Prototyping”, which allows you to use voice commands and speech playback. These are things which are becoming more and more relevant thanks to AI and virtual assistants.

The image below shows how you can define a transition between screens, as usual, but by using Voice as the trigger, instead of the more familiar options like Tap. You can also see the command “Show me Lady Liberty” which in this case needs to be spoken to trigger the state change:

Voice triggered transition

Upon reaching a screen, we can also dictate that some speech playback occurs, perhaps informing us of the page we’ve landed on.

This is done by setting a timed trigger, some speech playback, and the phrase to be spoken:

speech playback

All in all, these voice features are a great addition, particularly for designers interested in accessibility.

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