Adobe XD: Adobe engineers show how to build full apps with the UX design tool – not just prototypes

At the Adobe Summit marketing conference yesterday, two of the company's staff demoed a version of XD that can build native apps rather than just online prototypes. Whether these apps were purely for testing purposes or could be put in App Stores wasn't revealed.

It's also not confirmed that this feature will be added to Adobe XD, but it's seems unlikely that it won't. It was shown as part of a session at the conference called Adobe Sneaks – something it does at both Summit and the Max creative conference. At Sneaks it demos concepts its teams have been working on to ask for feedback – some of which never become part of commercially available tools, but many do including Photoshop's Content Aware Fill.

Somewhat oddly, the session was hosted by TV presenter Davina McCall – part of a celebrity-heavy conference line-up following actor Colin Farrell and chef Heston Blumenthal an hour earlier. This is nothing new for Adobe, who had comedian and actor Nick Offerman host Sneaks at last year's Max conference in LA.

The ability to create native apps was based on a new Integration panel the engineers had developed. This allows you to populate layouts created in XD with assets hosted on Adobe's Marketing Cloud platform – using the Experience Designer toolset and automatically create links between 'pages' based on the relationship between those assets set in Experience Manager. (Experience Manager is a different thing from Experience Design CC, the former being an online marketing tool and the latter being XD's full name. Go figure.)

Even for prototypes (or for websites), the Integration panel also lets you design with live data – which helps you produce better designs faster. You can also quickly create multiple test versions of your app or site based on different data.

However, this isn't going to put app developers out of a job quite yet. The version of Adobe XD shown couldn't create apps with interactivity beyond moving from page to page.

New digital marketing ideas

The other concepts shown during Sneaks included a big screen for fashion stores that scans your body (using a Microsoft Kinect) and suggests clothes based on your measurements (below). If you login, it can further tailor its suggestions based on what you've bought before – or pass that information to a shop assistant for a more personal touch.

Image: Adobe

The engineers behind it also said that this could be used for online shopping by services such as Asos – though how many people who regularly buy from online clothing stores like that own a Kinect is unsure.

We were also shown a dashboard for detecting 'consumer fatigue' – ie when brands have bombarded you with some many ads or email that you start to go off them – better ways to tell what marketing activity has lead to sales, and using AI to create personas for marketing to.

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