Comparison 8 min read

ProtoPie vs. Adobe XD: Which Is Better & Why?

Discover what sets ProtoPie apart from Adobe XD and learn how you can establish a seamless workflow by using both.

Iulia Sorodoc
Iulia Sorodoc, Customer Success ManagerApril 27, 2022
ProtoPie vs Adobe XD, Which Is Better & Why?

TL;DR

  • Adobe XD offers a range of fantastic vector-based UI and UX design capabilities. Unfortunately, it only offers limited prototyping capabilities.
  • ProtoPie, however, is a no-code prototyping tool that allows designers to create hyper-realistic interactive prototypes.
  • By using the ProtoPie plugin for Adobe XD integration, designers can create a seamless end-to-end design workflow and benefit from each tool’s specific capabilities.

By using the right tools, design teams can collaborate effectively, create high-fidelity prototypes, gain invaluable user feedback at an early stage, and speed up the development process from start to finish.

But which tools are right for your team? How do you know which solutions to implement and which to avoid?

Here at ProtoPie, we’re taking a deep dive into some of the most popular and well-loved prototyping tools currently on the market. We’ve already analyzed how ProtoPie stacks up against Figma and Framer. Now, let’s take a look at how ProtoPie compares to Adobe XD.

This article will outline the pros and cons of using ProtoPie vs Adobe XD. It will also explain how ProtoPie’s Adobe XD integration allows you to use both tools into your design processes.

Specifically, the article covers:

  • An overview of Adobe XD’s key features & prototyping capabilities
  • What makes ProtoPie unique
    • Experiment with multi-touch gestures
    • Use conditional logic for more complex interactions
    • Create realistic camera interactions using ProtoPie's native sensor features
    • Build prototype with sensors without using any code
  • How you can have the best of both worlds by using ProtoPie & Adobe XD together

Adobe XD: an overview

Adobe XD is a vector-based UI and UX design tool that can be used to design anything from smartwatch apps to fully-fledged websites. It’s powerful, easy-to-use, offers cross-platform compatibility, and is available on both Mac and Windows systems. In short, Adobe XD offers design teams everything they need to collaborate effectively and craft jaw dropping experiences.

Adobe XD features

Adobe XD has a variety of features that help users design first-class digital experiences.

These include:

adobexd-repeatgrid
With the Repeat Grid function, users can create sets of replicated elements and explore different designs in Adobe XD.

Prototyping in Adobe XD: what to expect from your XD prototypes

Adobe XD does offer a limited range of interactive prototyping capabilities. For example, users can create simple animations in Adobe XD, using the auto-animate feature to introduce movement to their XD prototype. Then, they can use the prototype function to visually connect interactive areas to other screens using wires and transitions.

However, the tool falls short when it comes to creating more complex interactions.

adobexd-prototype
Adobe XD’s Prototype mode.

In the following section, we will go into what sets ProtoPie apart from Adobe XD in more depth before explaining how ProtoPie helps designers overcome the prototyping limitations when using XD on its own.

What makes ProtoPie unique?

ProtoPie is the easiest high-fidelity prototyping tool on the market. It’s entirely no-code, yet it allows designers to create realistic designs with advanced interactions, formulas, and variables.

In fact, ProtoPie offers certain features that make their prototypes far richer than XD prototypes (hence why we created our Adobe XD integration). Some of these features include:

Now let’s dive into more details to see what each of these features has to offer.

Experiment with multi-touch gestures

In ProtoPie, touch triggers are activated when users physically touch a smart device’s display. The trigger can be activated by, for example, a tap, long press, or drag. ProtoPie animation also supports other multi-touch gestures, such as pinch, pull, and rotate.

protopie-map-prototype
Example of a draggable map prototype created in ProtoPie Studio using the drag and pinch triggers.


If you want to learn how to recreate the prototype above, check out this AskProtoPie video tutorial.

Use conditional logic for more complex interactions

Unlike touch triggers, conditional triggers activate interactions based on specific conditions. For example, users can choose to automatically move a layer to another predetermined location when the prototype starts running.

ProtoPie animation supports a range of additional conditional triggers including chain, range, start, and detect.

protopie-conditional-interactions
Password validation example using conditions in ProtoPie.

Create realistic camera interactions using ProtoPie's native sensor features

When creating prototypes in ProtoPie, users can leverage their device’s native capabilities, such as the camera, vibration, tilt, compass, and 3D touch. Check out the tutorial below and learn how to create a simple, yet believable camera interaction using ProtoPie's native sensor features.

Build prototype with sensors without using any code

Still not convinced that ProtoPie is a better prototyping tool compared to Adobe XD? If so, this should change your mind.

ProtoPie allows you to experiment with sensor triggers such as tilt, compass, sound, 3D touch, and proximity. For example, the tilt trigger will change the prototype’s response based on the angle of your device. If you turn your device on its side, the prototype reacts accordingly. Similarly, if you apply the compass trigger to your prototype, its response will be determined by the direction your device is pointing towards.

sensors-prototype
Prototype using sensors without coding with ProtoPie.

To sum up, ProtoPie allows you to create hyper-realistic interactions that go far beyond Adobe XD's auto-animate transitions.

Want to learn more about what else is possible with ProtoPie? Take a look at some example prototypes that our users have made.

ProtoPie + Adobe XD: the workflow that gives you an edge

While this blog is titled ProtoPie vs. Adobe XD, we’re not saying you have to choose between the two prototyping tools. Instead, you might benefit from using both at the same time with our Adobe XD integration — here’s why.

Many digital designers like to begin their design process in Adobe XD. However, with the ProtoPie Plugin for Adobe XD (which is available on macOS and Windows), users can then import their initial designs from XD into ProtoPie. Import multiple artboards as scenes all at once, and import objects while keeping the same layer hierarchy, positioning, and constraints as you had when designing in Adobe XD.

Once your designs are in ProtoPie, you can then get to work creating lifelike, interactive prototypes that you can hold, touch, and fully experience.

adobe-protopie-plugin
Import Adobe XD designs in ProtoPie Studio and add dynamic, conditional interactions to create high-fidelity prototypes.

Plug your prototyping capability gaps

Adobe XD has many features that help designers turn vague concepts into powerful designs. However, it falls short when it comes to creating high fidelity prototypes.

Level up your prototypes by using ProtoPie functions. With ProtoPie, you can create:

  • Realistic, customized interactions
  • Conditional interactions
  • Cause-and-effect interactions
  • Interactions involving text input, voice, media playback, sensors, and multiple devices
  • Interactions with specific touchscreen triggers

Learn more about how to establish a seamless workflow with ProtoPie & Adobe XD.