How Perficient Digital is Changing Client Conversations with Adobe XD
For many companies, finding the right ‘fit’ when choosing an agency partner is critical and can make or break the success of a company’s campaigns. Given all the time and energy invested in establishing solid agency relationships, most clients look for an agency partner they can work on over the long term, choosing a team whose working style and culture are consistent with their own. It’s a foundation for success.
An increasingly important selection criteria today is an agency’s ability to adopt agile methods that speed creating and iterating on new ideas. To that end, savvy agencies such as Perficient Digital are embracing Adobe XD to bring experiences to life faster than ever.
“Client expectations have changed and they no longer want to go through the traditional creative waterfall process,” says Michael Adamson, a client services director at Perficient Digital. “It’s not just getting the concept right. It’s also very much about how we can help them solve a problem. They want to go straight to the experience and iterate from there.”
Perficient Digital, a member of The Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA), uses Adobe XD as a hub for its Adobe creative toolset—along with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop—to produce interactive experiences for both prospective and existing clients. In cases where the agency has complete creative control from the outset, teams will work entirely in XD, right through to developer handoff. And when they inherit a project midway, they can simply convert assets and designs created in other applications to XD files so they don’t need to start from scratch.
“When working in Adobe XD, we can come in anywhere in the creative process,” says Michael. “We can share our designs and prototypes with stakeholders, review their feedback, and deliver design specs and assets to developers without ever having to leave the application. It’s built for maximum collaboration and productivity.”
Time savings of more than 50%
Performance and the frequent rollout of new features are two of the main reasons Maxx Morgan, a senior creative lead at Perficient Digital, prefers to use XD. He appreciates how XD lets him work 50% faster than other applications, especially when he needs to turn around a prototype overnight.
“I’ve had many late nights where I opened XD and just started capturing as much as I could in a prototype to present at the client site the next day,” says Maxx. “The application is always able to keep up with me.”
In addition to the auto-animate and flexible components capabilities, one of his favorite new features is the ability to create a design system that serves as a single source of truth for his team.
“The design system feature in Adobe XD lets us create a central UI kit that can absorb any file that we create outside of XD and eliminates consistency and version control issues we experienced in the past,” he says. “It streamlines the entire design process.”
With those barriers removed, Perficient Digital is experiencing noticeable efficiency gains. The ability to work quickly and creatively is especially useful when the agency works on a client pitch. Designers can reverse engineer the prospective client’s style guide simply by inspecting elements on their website and adding typography, brand colors, and even the company logo to the asset panel. The result is a concept that not only stays true to the brand but brings a client’s vision to life.
Jaw-dropping reactions to voice prototyping
Michael and Maxx recently created a mobile app that included voice prototyping and pitched it to a client the following day. During the presentation, they handed out mobile phones so that attendees could interact with the prototype directly in XD. For something that was relatively simple to create, the impact was significant—especially when they demonstrated the voice feature.
“It was the closest I’d seen to a jaw drop in a long time,” says Michael. “Adobe XD makes it easy for the customer to get the full interactive experience without ever having to leave the application.”
One thing it does leave is a lasting impression. According to Michael, every time the agency has presented an experience in XD, the client requests a link to the demo so it can be shared easily with others in the company. For many clients, this is a novelty—most have never seen their concepts come to life so early in the process.
“It’s difficult to explain how you would remove friction from the purchasing process or improve the browsing experience without an interactive environment,” says Michael. “Adobe XD helps us change the focus from the toolset to the experience, resulting in much more productive conversations.”
Putting the power of XD to work in new ways
Perficient Digital is also pushing XD beyond its intended use by taking advantage of the flexibility to use it as a presentation tool.
Michael crafted his first interactive presentation in XD within days of first trying it. Creating transitions and animations, which can be tricky in other software, was seamless in XD.
“Adobe XD is incredibly versatile, and we just scratched the surface of its potential,” says Michael. “We’ll continue to experiment and push the boundaries of what it can do to uncover even more possibilities to benefit our clients.”