Adobe XD launches free starter plan, starts $10 million designer fund, aims to boost ecosystem

Adobe's XD respresents a clean slate for designer workflows and a starter plan aims to broaden its base.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Adobe is updating its Adobe XD design platform with a starter plan that makes the software available to everyone for free.

The Adobe XD Starter Plan includes a desktop version on both Mac and Windows 10, full design and prototyping capabilities and mobile preview apps on iOS and Android.

In the big picture, Adobe's Starter Plan recognizes that designers are becoming a more vital part of enterprises working across multiple screens. Designers are being included in customer experience talks and increasingly have to interface with marketing, business and engineering folks. In some ways, Adobe's XD Starter Plan rhymes with Tableau's strategy to segment its customer base into different roles to expand adoption.

Khoi Vinh, principal designer at Adobe, said in an interview that "designers now have a seat at the table and have evolved to be problem solvers."

Under the Starter Plan, a designer can create an unlimited number or XD documents, export assets for productions and create videos. The plan also includes the ability to share one prototype and one design spec, but will require an upgrade for unlimited sharing.


The effort is part of Adobe's plan to build out the Adobe XD ecosystem. Adobe XD represents a clean slate for the company's design tools and aims to streamline tasks and creative workflows via lessons learned from Creative Cloud usage. Adobe XD is being used internally by Adobe's developer and designer teams.

Adobe is also allocating $10 million to the Adobe Fund for Design to invest in designers and companies developing add-ons, extensions and integrations with Adobe XD.

For the May release of Adobe XD--the platform gets monthly updates--the company focused on productivity. Adobe added the ability to paste to multiple art boards, more easily swap symbols and password protect design specs. Adobe XD also gets improved Photoshop and Sketch integration.

Here's a look at a few screen shots of Adobe XD and the new features.


Vinh said Adobe XD is on a mission to remove steps from the design workflow. "We are using artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to learn what our users are doing and then making the app better by removing friction," said Vinh.

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