I think that is designed wrong in that the icon is confusing.
- When the object is shown the icon should be an eye.
- When the object is hidden the icon the eye should be hidden with faint border.
Make it simpler.
Don't re-invent the wheel ... do it like Photoshop or Illustrator.
For applying Ps or Ai Adobe Xd need to change "hover" action mode.
Please use adobexd.uservoice.com, this is the best place to send us feature requests. Your contributions can help us shape the future of Adobe XD.
I don't understand ... are you telling me there is an option in Xd for that?
No what Ares is trying to say is you may submit the new feature request here: https://adobexd.uservoice.com/forums/353007-adobe-xd-feature-requests so that our team can look into your request. Additonally XD has certain specific behaviour which makes it different from Photoshop and Illustrator like hover action.
Hope it helps.
It's a very good observation !
But there are two schools of thought in this area:
The former is well-known in graphic design software, the latter is common in video and animation tools...
I just would go with the simplest solution which to me is when visible the "eye" ... not visible no "eye".
Just for fun, I collected the Visibility icons for many Adobe applications...
XD (activator, shows crossed eye)
Dimension (activator, shows crossed eye)
Animate (activator, shows crossed eye)
Character Animator (indicator, shows open eye)
After Effects (indicator, shows open eye)
Premiere (indicator, shows open eye)
InDesign (indicator, shows open eye)
Illustrator (indicator, shows open eye)
Photoshop (indicator, shows open eye)
So with 6 out of 9, the indicator (status) with open eye, WINS !
(Yeah, I know, have nothing better to do, Day 16 of lockdown...)
Interesting to know why it has been changed?
It's not so much that they deliberately changed something over time. It's more a matter of applications having started out in a different company or mode. E.g. Adobe Animate (formerly Flash) started at Macromedia, or even earlier: as an indie app called FutureSplash. It didn't have any affiliation with Adobe. And Adobe XD was inspired by (or should I carefully say: intended to mimick) Sketch, which was explicitly developed to not behave like Illustrator at all ! Adobe Dimension wants to break away from the conventional Layers, and thinks the activator mode (in stead of status) is more appropriate for their interface.
Below, the Layer panel in Sketch, with Hide activator (upon hover).
Adobe product teams have a fair amount of autonomy in their development. They can borrow ideas or routines from eachother, but are not forced to appear or behave the same, just for the sake of being consistent. Usability and innovations comes first, especially with these new apps.
Oh mannn ... that's great!!!!
Just because other Adobe apps do it some way doesn't make it right. Some of those apps are over 20 years old and software design has changed.
I actually prefer the eye treatment in XD and Sketch. Why? Most things are visible, so why take up space in the interface to show all those eyes? Without them there's more room on the panel for longer names. Only showing the hidden eye icon when a layer is hidden makes more sense to me.
One thing I do miss in XD is being able to drag through a bunch of layers to hide them... but Adobe could add that feature without changing the current design.
That's exactly the point: "Just because other Adobe apps do it some way doesn't make it right." !!
For that same reason, the Layers panel has been designed very differently in many Adobe applications. It shouldn't be a requirement for applications to stick to the same paradigm and interface, when the use is not entirely the same. Layers started in Photoshop, because to move, edit, and stack something, you needed every part of the image to become a so-called layer, and maybe use masks as well. In Illustrator and InDesign however, every element is already stacked, so layers are not as essential. In software with audio and video timelines, they rather talk about tracks. And in 3D software the whole concept of a layer doesn't work well, because elements are not necessarily totally above or below other elements.
So consistency isn't the key – usability is.
The two remaining aspects to discuss, could be:
When or why to use an activator or an indicator, or how to combine both ?
(Every UI designer must have been tinkering on the ultimate on/off switch, once in their career...)
And whether or not to hide such an activator or indicator beforehand, and only let it show up when you hover over it. (Every UI designer knows users on touch devices can't use hovers, so they need another trigger.) The action becomes obscure most of the time, and requires a curious mind to discover it accidentally, or an instruction for beginning and less explorative users.
A good sign of interface design gone wrong, is when important practices are being featured in a popular "Secret tricks and Hidden Gems" tutorial...
While the eye is hidden initially, I don't think it's very "secret" because it won't be long before users will interact with layers: dragging them, renaming them, etc. When they do, they'll hover over them and will see the icons.
There are always tradeoffs in choices. If all 3 icons on all layers were always visible, there would be more visual UI clutter, it would make the UI bigger (less space for the layer name, so the panel would have to get wider). I think showing them on hover was a good tradeoff. As I've taught XD in classrooms to new users, there are other things in XD that have confused people or were more "hidden"... this was not something that people had a problem with. Now Windows not having any top level menus... now THAT'S a huge problem that people had. Hiding all menu commands in a right-click is just plain ridiculous and leads to all sorts of "secret" features they never know exist.
If XD was used on touch screens a lot, hiding the 3 layer icons could be more problematic. But XD is a Mac/Windows app where the primary audience uses a pointer, not touch. I know some Windows machine offer touch, so that does slightly complicate the issue, but I doubt that's the primary method for XD users.