Annotate parts of the design & publish annotations in Design Specs handoff view
As a UX designer, one of the most important information while handing off designs is ability to explain each component in your design. Functional annotations like ON click of this button slide this page or specify error conditions or text or color changes that occur when the user interacts with that component in your design.
UXPin has a great way of annotating designs. Its a separate tab that allows developers to view the design, annotation and style guide separately. Attached is an example of UXPin does it and having this feature on Adobe XD would be great! We use Photoshop and Illustrator for our design and Axure for prototyping. But with Adobe XD all of this can be done using one software. If Annotations and Design specs are included it would greatly help reduce the time we spend on spacing out every detail and changing it often.
Original request also asked for "Pattern library for designs assets, colors,typography" ... "It would also be really helpful to have a pattern library that has colors,typography,assets,customized designs that can be used to help design and prototype faster and maintain consistency in the entire experience." XD's Design Specs feature should cover that now.
Bartolomeo D'Alia commented
It could be very useful to provide a way to mark one on more layers to be hidden, when in sharing/interactive mode.
This can be a very smart way to provide additional notes/elements on artboards, that can be viewed only in design mode.
It would be also very useful to show hidden contents in the developer view of the shared link. This way, designers can quickly add useful stuff/infos for developers.
Bartolomeo D'Alia commented
There are yet many stuff to do for developers. This ability to write notes on any layer during the design process is one of the most important.
Actually i shared some designs to developers, but there are a lot of specification that are missed out without a feature like that.
I would like to be able to add a simple title to the annotation icon and on mouse over show 2 or 3 lines of the related message with a "more" linked to the full comment.
Give us a few more icons like a question mark, a comment bubble, warning, etc.
This would save a whole lot of time. Now I have to somehow create an image of the page and mark it up with where things link too on our current site.
Tim Taylor commented
I would like the option to annotate or provide a description or notes of each of the artboards.
Its different use case than using the comments section. Comments are a discussion around the art. Captions provide context, are not meant to be resolved or managed like the commenting systems.
The problem that is being solved is providing context to the art/interaction for QA engineering. Instead of having that team click/tap around to discover the interaction, allow the caption to be obvious of what to look for. Allow the caption to let the legal team know this the are that needs checked. Allow the data scientist to know this is the screen we want tracked or instrumented. Allow the localization team to easily identify what needs translated.
Artboard captions allow these various team members to see what they need to know. If not, the ux team is stuck making custom deliverables for each of these teams. Thats not lean. Allow captions FTW!
The annotations or feedbacks needed with this, need to be separated out from the comments areas. This is not feedback to be resolved or discussed. These are permanent notes for the developer to use in context when building
Developer hand over needs more support in Adobe XD
We need a notes or way to addd a layer of instructions on top of the design spec. Some things you can' explain in prototypes or is quicker just to write.
Caitlyn Burke commented
Would be great to annotate on the newer flow view in design specs, too.
The "pattern library" of colors & text styles mentioned in the original request here should be covered by XD's Design Specs pretty well at this point -- please file new requests for any specific pieces of functionality that are missing there.
I'm going to change the title here to focus just on annotations, which seems to be what most comments here have been about anyway.
Josué Sotelo commented
Allow us to add a description to every art board and this be visible in the Shared Prototypes.
Caroline Sober-James commented
I completely agree that the ability to annotate designs and provide further information to developers is critical. About the closest thing I can see that's baked in to XD is pinned comments, and we shouldn't be mixing comments with annotations. In the design view of a prototype, I want to be able to go into an "annotations mode" or something like that where I can drop a pin on to an object on any artboard, have it auto-increment a numeric ID, and allow me to enter an associated annotation. When I'm reviewing that prototype in design mode, I can go to the annotations panel and hover/click on an annotation to see it "light up" on the artboard. Even better would be optional tagging of annotations, so I could filter annotations by tag.
Kate L commented
Annotations are essential for complex sites and applications, where the developers and stakeholders need more explanation as to the intended functionality. I often have multiple options from a single screen and can't demonstrate that with a prototype alone. Annotations would add another level and negate the need for this to be done manually, or via a less than efficient workaround.
Add a comment to an element in design mode. If I want to explain to my client, that the background he sees now, is actually in motion, comments are a good tool. The downside: I have to publish my design first in order to add comments to it. My request: The ability to add comments to an element in design mode. Those comments should then be visible in the shared review and / or the design specs. (like: this button changes on hover...)
Add additional information to items which is visible in the Design Specs
It would be helpful for example svg icons otherwise no more detailed description is possible
Arkadiusz Olszewski commented
When working with and artboards I sometimes create artboard elements descriptions, which I place (as grouped text and lines) partially outside of an artboard.
It would be beneficial to have an option to show/hide artboard elements that cross artboard boundaries.
When exporting such artboard, XD should also be aware that, if such elements are visible, they should be also in the export.
When designing prototypes, I like to add instructions or comments for the developers so I can explain actions like what happens on hover, or when to make a particular section visible.
I also add special buttons for "Home" and "Back" to each artboard to make it easy to get to my custom-made menu of all screens in the prototype.
And lastly, I sometimes use a bootstrap background on my artboard to help with layout alignment.
What would really make things amazing is if I could put each group of associated items in a global layer that I choose whether or not to export. One check to decide to export the bootstrap layer, another to decide to export comments and back/home buttons. Then I could export both clean and 'messy' versions from the same files.
I don't find that the existing layers utility is an option because there is a layer per artboard. I have 100 artboards in some of my files. I'm not going to set these for each artboard. I need global layers to facilitate this.
For those interested: My current work around that works at least for my bootstrap template and home buttons is to make them symbols, then edit the symbol before exporting and make all the elements in the symbol either transparent or 100%. It's annoying, but at least it gets me part of the way to what I need. (This is no solution for comments though.)
Rica-Marie Garcia commented
It would be nice to add text or section titles for multiple screens. So I can show my developers which screens go in the section; in design spec mode. Currently, I am creating a new artboard just to add text. Attached is a screenshot.
Joseph Kim commented
As designing and working, I always used to add specific UI description beside artboard.
In that sense, I've liked to use Sketch notebook pro and powerpoint because writing policy in the UI document is really important for exact communication with developer and planner. (Prototyping cannot cover all kind of policies and interactions)
Even if Adobe XD may not be targeting document tool for designer, I've always wanted to take the note and description in design artboard. Especially Korean ux designer have had no choice when writing description (we've used powerpoint almost 20 years)
Thank you for your consideration.