Back to School with Adobe XD
Whether you're a design student or hobbyist, here's everything you need to master Adobe XD this school year.
As we head into September, the season inevitably evokes that back-to-school feel, even for those who’ve long since hung up their college diploma. Since design is a field that is constantly evolving, it’s almost as though school’s never out. There’s always something new to be learned, an uncharted path to take, skill to explore, or style to discover.
So whether you’re heading back to design school or experimenting with experience design for the first time, learning industry-leading prototyping software like Adobe XD will enhance your design skills exponentially. Here’s everything design students and hobbyists alike need to boost their UX skills this semester.
Download Adobe XD for free
First and foremost, download Adobe XD if you haven’t already. The free starter plan includes an active shared prototype, 2 GB of cloud storage, access to hundreds of free Typekit fonts, and more, so you can get started right away.
Tip for design students: Students from accredited secondary and postsecondary schools are eligible to receive significant discounts on full Adobe programs, including XD. Visit our students page here to find out if you qualify.
Where to start
If you’re already proficient in Adobe programs such as Photoshop, navigating XD will feel like catching up with a friend. One of XD’s greatest features is its power to import files from Photoshop and transform them into wireframes and interactive prototypes. Start by opening a .PSD file in XD and watch as your layers evolve in functionality. For more tips, check out this guide on everything a Photoshop user needs to know to get started in Adobe XD.
Design students, this guide on everything you need to set yourself up for success with Adobe XD takes things a step further by providing insight into building great user interfaces and rounding up the best XD features for students to know. It breaks things down so the program feels less overwhelming.
Check out these free Adobe XD resources
The Adobe XD team and design community are rich in resources to help you ace your XD studies.
- Tutorials – Learn how to make prototypes, to lay out and design websites and applications, kick off your designs using UI kits, and more. These free resources vary from complete beginner guides to skill refinement.
- User Guides – Access comprehensive guides that introduce you to everything from Adobe XD’s basic key features to detailed prototyping step-by-step guides.
Helpful articles and guides:
- Fast-track your XD know-how with these tips and tricks.
- Handy keyboard shortcuts to improve efficiency and speed.
- Easily preview prototypes on mobile devices.
- Stay up to date on the latest news, features, and releases.
Read the Adobe Blog:
If you’re interested in UX trends, thought leadership, product updates, and interviews with UX designers on everything from career paths to industry insights, then the Adobe Blog is the space for you. Earn extra (imaginary) marks by staying up to date on what’s new in UX.
Here are a few recent articles to get you started:
- Better Products, Stronger Teams: Why Diversity and Inclusion Took Center Stage at Adobe Design Summit
- Reimagining Gmail: UX Lead Jeroen Jillissen on the Email Service’s UI Redesign
- Women in UX: Meet Mona Patel, Founder of Motivate Design and Bestselling Author of Reframe
- Adobe XD Adds Integration with Microsoft Teams
- What It Takes to Be a Great Leader in Design
- Pacific University Uses Adobe XD to Redesign its Website for a Mobile-First World
Fast-track your skills with UI design kits
If you’re ready to dive right in, or perhaps you’re more of a hands-on learner, UI kits will put you on the fast track to developing solid UX design skills. Each UI kit is created in collaboration with top designers and comes complete with design files, tutorials, artboards, and more. Here are a few links to some of our favorite UI kits. Read more about our UI design kits here.
- Editorial Design UI Kit inspired by Bauhaus: inspiration from graphic design and illustration rooted in typography.
- “Terminator 2” themed UI Kit: a fun and futuristic kit designed with Territory Studio.
- Sky Travel UI kit: for travel-themed applications and websites.
- Transportation UI Kit: Navigo includes more than 60 customizable screens to get your started.
- Smart watch UI Kit: if wearable technology is your thing, this comprehensive kit will get you on your way.
- Ecommerce UI Kit: a friendly and “pawsitive” UI kit.
The XD community is also a great resource for sharing UI kits on Behance. Check out some of the kits available here, including many of the official kits from Adobe.
Share your designs with the community
Speaking of the Behance community, whether you’re working with UI kits or creating your own projects, sharing your work with the Behance community is an incredible way to gain valuable feedback, share your progress, interact with other UX designers, and discover endless miles of inspiration. Consider this space the cafeteria where designers catch up and share ideas.
Check out the Adobe XD gallery on Behance here to see what else is being shared and to share your own work. Bonus points for collaboration!
Sign up for the newsletter
Looking for something to read on your commute to school? Look no further than Adobe’s experience design newsletter. Sign up today to receive our top XD news and blog articles directly in your inbox — highlighters not required.