Teaching mobile-first design
One Creative Cloud app that has made a big splash at Full Sail is Adobe XD, Adobe’s collaborative design and prototyping app. For modern designers, understanding how to design websites, apps and games for mobile devices is an essential career skill. In fact, as mobile usage continues to grow and overtake desktop usage, many designers are switching to mobile-first designs.
Eric Rosenfeld is programme director for the Graphic Design and the Digital Arts & Design degree programmes. According to Rosenfeld, teaching mobile-first design techniques was traditionally quite difficult. Students needed to understand HTML, CSS, website design and responsive techniques before moving on to the more complicated world of mobile design.
“With Adobe XD, design students can immediately start prototyping designs for different screen sizes,” says Rosenfeld. “We can quickly move into conversations about branding, marketing and usability for mobile screens without getting bogged down in learning a completely new technology.”
Design students work with Adobe Creative Cloud apps, such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, every day. Students become very familiar with Adobe workflows, making it easy for them to start using Adobe XD. They can build their first prototypes using templates and default interface elements that adjust responsively to different screen sizes, giving them good examples of how elements can be designed to scale and change. After creating a working prototype, students can even view the results live on their smartphones.
Using Adobe XD helps design students explore their ideas for websites and apps without needing to learn new technical and coding skills. One student had an idea for a potty-training app that would get both parents and children involved in the potty-training process. The child’s app experience would involve a simple interface, bright colours and fun visuals to “reward” children for using the potty. The parent’s app experience would focus more on charts and calendars to visually track a child’s progress.
The student used Adobe XD to design and prototype the two app experiences. Because the student didn’t need to worry about programming and development, she could focus energy on the design and have a more complete picture of her vision before talking to developers.