How does Indesign compare to current UX/UI design aps?

New Here ,
Feb 26, 2018 Feb 26, 2018

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Hi everyone, i am a Graphic Designer who is probably very religious to the 3 Adobe CC’s (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign) and IMO these 3 are must softwares for every graphic design student to know.

However, in this current age when the mobile apps are dominating I am just curious as to how this new generation is when it comes to Indesign use.

How does Indesign rank/hold against mobile design apps such as Sketch, Invision, and Adobe XD. Is indesign still more superior than these softwares or is it overshadowed in the professional world?

Do you also believe that Sketch should be learned (and is better) over Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2018 Feb 26, 2018

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You're comparing apples and oranges.

InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop (which are of course very different, and each has its own uses) exist in parallel to UX/UI design.

In the school where I teach, Berkeley Extension in San Francisco, graphic design students study both design applications and UX/UI. My InDesign class is so popular we're adding extra sections.

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New Here ,
Feb 26, 2018 Feb 26, 2018

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Thanks for your reply. I think i'm trying to get into a theory based discussion because i think a lot of us graphic designers have certain views and beliefs towards the styles and tools we have.

The reason why i ask this because i have a professor who is claiming that PS, AI, and ID are being shelved over by Sketch and Invision App and that most industries higher Sketch and Invision over Adobe CC. I think that is completely bs and i'm highly disappointed in my schools ignorance to Multimedia Design education.

Anyway, back to you post: I do want to know your take on Indesign in comparison to other UX/UI mobile design apps such as Invision, Sketch and even XD. As a teacher, do you prefer/recommend your students to learn to do UX/UI designing through Indesign - do you find it better than the apps i named?

Also. Isn't UX/UI design is more of a philosophy IMO than an actual digital design field. To be a competent Graphic Designer/Multimedia Designer the person has to have a good sense of UX/UI design other wise he/she can make something problematic. Designing a concept for a ketchup bottle can also be viewed as UX/UI design. I want my users to have an easier time to get ketchup out of the bottle with little work (ux), so i will design a bottle with a unique shape that allows the cap to be at the bottom(ui)?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2018 Feb 27, 2018

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I'm a teacher of InDesign. My knowledge of UX/UI is very sketchy. I just know that both are going strong in the department where I teach

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2018 Feb 27, 2018

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I have used indesign for UI/UX designer. i love the master pages aspect. i like the alternate layouts option since you can do web, mobile all in one document. i like that you can make it interactive just like a .pdf or you can do publish online and send that out.

I think photoshop illustrator and indesign do more than what they were design to do. People tend to gravitate to what they feel comfortable. I use photoshop, illustrator and XD all for web UI design and they are all fine. I think as time goes by i find that if i know i will have lots of pages to mockup i gravitate toward indesign because of the master pages and styles capabilities. but that is me.

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Explorer ,
Mar 02, 2018 Mar 02, 2018

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I think we need to unpack "UX/UI" a little before continuing the discussion. My own design career grew up as digital agencies grew up. In the agency world "UX/UI" isn't a thing because UX means user experience, and UI means visual design. (A pet peeve of mine is when startups conflate the two and think the combined UX/UI role is a good one. I do not. But I digress.)

The heart of user experience (UX) design is wireframing, but UX can also involve information architecture, user research, rapid prototyping, and sometimes even content strategy.

User interface (UI) design is the styling layer on top of the wireframes.

I have worked some some brilliant UX designers who are terrible visual designers. And I've worked with some inspiring visual designers who are awful UX designers. The combo person does exist, but they're much more rare because it really is equal left brain and right brain type of work.

So back to the question. I have worked with UX designers who have used tools like InDesign and Illustrator, but also Keynote, and of course Sketch. Visual designers typically work with Photoshop and Sketch.

InDesign is fine for wireframing. But as a production tool to get from a visually-designed page or screen to developers' hands, it is not the right tool. InDesign cannot export the necessary assets for a developer. There are no tools out there (like Zeplin) for developers to translate an InDesign document to specs they need. A tool like Zeplin can read Sketch or XD documents and extract the font info, colors, and spacing so a developer can reproduce that in code like CSS, Swift, or Java. Sketch overtook Adobe's stranglehold on digital design because of its built-in developer-friendly features. And for now, it certainly is the "UX/UI" designer's tool of choice.

Now, Photoshop and Illustrator can and should indeed coexist with Sketch. I *hate* the drawing tools in Sketch. So for icons and illustrations, I draw them in Illustrator before bringing them into Sketch. And obviously, for complex images, I do that all in Photoshop before bring them into Sketch. In other words, for screen-based design, Sketch acts like the "layout" program that InDesign is for print.

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New Here ,
Mar 03, 2018 Mar 03, 2018

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Thanks for your reply. This was very informative.

So just to go into a new perspective of this topic, i would like to see what your opinions are in regards to the 5 best tools for specific multimedia design fields.

For example: With this UX/UI that we've been talking about, i would say that a good technical skillset for a UX/UI designer would be (in any order)

1. PS, 2. AI, 3. Sketch, 4. Invision, 5. XD

what about other fields such as video editing, environmental graphics, product design, web, etc?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2018 Mar 03, 2018

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I would say that Illustrator and Photoshop are used with the UX/UI app--not necessarily a replacement for the app. I don't think InDesign really enters the equation.

Also, Adobe XD is cross-platform, Sketch is not, so it remains to be seen how that affects future market share.

It's hard to dismiss the power of the Creative Cloud, since one has access to programs of most disciplines. It becomes harder to justify a separate purchase and upgrades for other software. That's not to say that the Adobe software is always the best at everything, but if one has CC, it's readily available.

Regarding the professor--just because some people use ID for interface design, that does not mean that is the norm. Some users use ID for website design, but that does not make ID an actual webdesign program. I would question the inclusion of ID in the list of software.

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Explorer ,
Mar 03, 2018 Mar 03, 2018

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I think it's hard to say if one is not a working professional in that field. For example, I'm very versed in graphic design and digital design so I can say what I said with authority. I can't presume for some of the other fields.

But in terms of web design, (or UX/UI if you prefer), that list seems about right. I'd add working knowledge (not necessarily expertise in) of front-end technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and familiarity with development frameworks like Bootstrap.

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Enthusiast ,
Nov 15, 2021 Nov 15, 2021

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Here are some InDesign UX/UI Resources:

https://ajarproductions.com/blog/indesign-ux-resources/

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