Introducing Components in Adobe XD
Symbols have played a crucial part our design workflows, allowing us to keep many instances up to date with a single edit, but to take thing to the next level, we’ve supercharged their functionality and graduated symbols to components.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN IN THIS VIDEO
Creating your first component
Editing master components
Using components with repeat grids
Get to know components
Download this UI kit and explore how components can
help build a fantasy sports application for various screens.
Link your assets
In addition to components, your entire assets library – including colors and character styles – can now be linked across documents.
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Hey, everyone – I’m Howard Pinsky – Senior XD Evangelist at Adobe. Symbols have played a crucial part our design workflows, allowing us to keep many instances up to date with a single edit, but to take thing to the next level, we’ve supercharged their functionality and graduated symbols to components. Let’s take a look.
On a basic level, components share a lot in common with symbols. Elements can be grouped into a single object to use throughout your projects, you can override text, nest them within each other, and all instances can be updated at once. Components builds on this base by introducing resizability and a lot more flexibility for overrides while still maintaining links back to its source.
In this first example, I have this profile badge that I’d like to use on various screens. With the elements selected, right-clicking will let me create a Component. I can also use the same shortcut as in previous versions – Command/CTRL + K. This will pop it straight into the assets panel. You’ll now start to notice a few differences compared to symbols.
The diamond at the top left lets us know that this is the master component. Any changes made to a master will push to any instance where the targeted change wasn’t overridden. You’ll see how this works in a moment. Second, it’s resizable – and it works beautifully with responsive resize.
Now that the master has been created, populating your documents with instances is as simple as copying and pasting, or dragging them out from the assets panel. With another badge in place, I can begin the overriding, and for this badge, I’m simply going going to resize it to fit the longer panel. Shifting over to the light version of the application, this badge will need a few tweaks, starting with the background, border, and text colors. Next, to illustrate that different users can log in, I’ll change the name then hop over to finder and drag in a new profile photo.
Great. Even after all these changes have been made, this instance remains linked to its master, allowing me to globally update the properties which were not overridden. If you're not sure where the master is located, or it’s not on any of your artboards, you can right-click on any instance and choose “Edit Master Component”. My creative director let me know that the badge and photo should contain rounded corners and that the “Premium” text should be uppercase. I’ve also been provided with another icon to use for settings, and because it’s a nested component, I can easily swap it out with a new one. Checking out the other instances I created, the updates have been applied. And even though I tweaked many aspects of the light version of this badge, since I didn’t override the corner radius or text styling, I was able to apply global edits by editing the master.
Let’s look at a slightly more extreme example. The playback area at the bottom of this application is a component containing album info, a scrubber, and buttons, many of which are components nested within it. Since XD supports position, size, and appearance overrides, I’m able to use this to create different-sized instances on the various screens I’m working on while still maintaining links back to the master.
Since the master was created for the desktop, I’ll need to make a few changes for the iPad version – including to its size. Now I can start rearranging the various elements to better fit the portrait screen size. I also have the ability to hide, delete, or add elements to instances if necessary. For this screen, I'll change the text representing the song and artist, then hop back to finder and drag in a new image. Finally, I’ll change the shuffle icon back to white, then pull out the scrubber a bit.
Now, while it may not look like it, each of these other playback areas, even on the light version, originated from the same master component. Let’s look back to my creative director’s notes. Unlike the badge, the rounded corners aren’t working for the album artwork, and even though the green will remain the highlight color throughout the application, the volume bar needs to be toned down a touch. I’ve also been told to spice up the background, whatever that means. Maybe instead of a decreased opacity, I’ll add a background blur and tweak the settings until it’s looking spicy. Just like the last example, all properties which were not overridden are being updated.
Lastly, and one of my favorite benefits of components, is their use within repeat grids. As you may know, aside from text and images, making changes to an entry within a repeat grid pushes the changes to them all. But what if we utilized components? Here’s an album view I’ve been working on, and to ensure I can override certain elements, I’m going to first convert them into components. Now, with everything selected, I’ll create the repeat grid, pull out a few additional cards (both horizontally and vertically), then quickly hop over to Finder to grab some images then the album names using a text file. Now, since components were used in this grid, and components can be overridden…Overriddable repeat grids.
Oh. Before I go. Did I mention that, since I may want to provide a client with constant progress updates, I converted the entire home screen into a component to keep the presentation artboard up to date? Yeah.
And that’s your look at components within Adobe XD, giving you much more flexibility over your designs. Check out LetsXD.com to continue your Adobe XD journey and head over to the Creative Cloud YouTube channel to catch the latest product updates and live streams.