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

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?

For production, desktop and laptop apps are far superior to mobile apps IMO. But I haven’t used any Adobe mobile apps.

For design (meaning generating ideas) I have some mobile apps that aren’t Adobe and work just fine. It’s just like sketching on paper with a little more bells and whistles.

Sorry for not being clear, but i’m not referring to apps on a mobile vs apps on a labtop, i’m talking about what software is best used for UX/UI designing.

If by “design” you mean generating rough ideas, pencil and paper is the best app. A tablet can be a pencil and paper on steroids as long as you don’t get too distracted learning technology in the middle of the design process. These are known as “roughs.” For detailed “comps” that aren’t meant to work yet, you can use whatever program you will do what I call “production” to generate the detail.

If by “design” you mean producing the interface elements that will actually be used (what I call “production,”) Photoshop using (what use to be ImageReady) “slice” features is best for raster graphics interfaces. For a vector-graphic-looking interface (sharp lines without photorealistic effects) it might be quicker in Illustrator. But I don’t know if the newer versions of Illustrator do slices.

The slice features let you generate the multiple versions of the interface elements in the same layout and export them as separate (pieces) known as “assets.” They might be button states, sprites, or animations. But if the program uses vector interface elements, those will either be SVGs created in Illustrator, or elements generated by code. If they are elements generated by code, it doesn’t matter what you produce the comps in because the graphics will need to be reproduced with code anyway.

Thanks for your answer, but that isn’t what i’m asking.

InDesign is the main app for publication production & design purposes. Photoshop & Illustrator are highly efficient appendages to the potentiality of Indesign.

But in terms of competing with Sketch and Invision, is Indesign the better software to learn?

See it’s like this. There is this professor who is saying that industries now are throwing away photoshop, illustrator and indesign because Sketch is a better tool for UX/UI designing. “no one uses these… they all are now using Sketch”.

To me i think that is bs but i want to research on this which is why i am here.

just to add. I also argued with a professor last term on what right tool to use in making a mock up of an app.

My argument was Indesign is actually good at doing this because of it’s interactive panels and the folio overlay’s… he was like “no i wouldn’t use indesign for doing stuff like this” and forces us to use Invision, Basalmiq or Powerpoint/Keynote.

I don’t have enough experience in UX to offer anything helpful in the way of a direct comparison between InDesign and the other apps you’ve mentioned. I will say:

At its core, the InDesign feature set is still best at executing design for print and electronic delivery formats that mimic print to some degree.

They are all tools. Two good painters will produce similar results using different brushes. In the end graphical constructs and delivery formats rule the day, and an artisan’s choice of tools perhaps not even need be known, provided those critical elements are had right.

As for your arguments with instructors, I don’t know who I’d stand with in a debate between those who’d use InDesign in ways I never have or the opposition touting presentation software, but most likely, I’d choose not to waste my time and energy, especially not if the objective is to alter a professor’s choices in the formulation of curriculum. Good luck with that.

What HB said.
It doesn’t matter what tool you use to ideate.
It’s the execution that matters. And even then, if the execution is accomplished with some off the wall tool, as long as the final product is usable in the interface, it doesn’t matter.

For traditional print design it matters more.

But I’m seeing an alarming trend here of trying to dumb down design so it can be done on an iPhone. Don’t let any of your design concepts be limited by your tools. If you come up with your initial ideas on paper, find the software that will DO what you want it to do in order to realize your concept. Don’t let a software on a currently non-robust device limit you. I say “currently” as every year the processing power of pocketbook devices gets better. I sure as heck hope to retire out of this industry before people are asking me to print their phone screen. Not likely, but one can dream.

Whenever you are using “U” in UX or UI, it usually is in reference to some interactive media. If you are using the term “user” to describe the audience of static media, that’s confusing. If the “audience” isn’t interacting in ways other than turning pages or playing videos, I wouldn’t use “user” to describe anything.

Last I checked, InDesign is mainly for static media. But when it comes to electronic display, there’s an in between state where the file isn’t as static as print or as interactive as widgets on a page. This might be something like animations, slideshows, or e-books. The information I gave you about generating assets was more about developing user interfaces for software, kiosks, or web pages where you do more than just turn pages or play videos. It involves graphic designers working with programmers.

If he’s talking about using powerpoint or keynote, it sounds like he’s talking about multimedia design. That’s slightly different from software development. I haven’t done stuff like that in a long time, so I don’t know what’s best to use these days. But I still wouldn’t call that UX/UI design. I would call that presentation designed for audiences, not “users.”

For your own marketability, I would learn how to develop on as many software apps as I could get my hands on as long as I didn’t have to pay for those apps. But if I had to pick one for each type of development, it would be illustrator for vector, Photoshop for raster, InDesign for static layout, and maybe Adobe Animate for multimedia. I’m assuming you probably have more export options from Adobe Animate, but I haven’t used it. All I know is that it replaced Flash which I did use a lot.

If UX/UI is referring to anything other than interactive media (of which I include static software interfaces and page turners), I just plain give up.

Yes. That. thumbs up (There’s no thumbs up emoji. How can that be?)

InDesign isn’t in direct competition with Sketch or Invision; Adobe XD is. In other words Adobe realizes InDesign isn’t suitable for UX/UI because Sketch gained a foothold and now they are playing catch-up with XD.

I would choose InDesign over PowerPoint or keynote however.

I use Sketch for wires and craft plugin to aid in prototyping. I currently use Invision for a feedback loop and hand off to developers. Waiting impatiently on Invision Studio to get out of beta…

1 Like

Yes there is!

But isn’t more beneficial for students to learn how to create these mock ups for UX/UI design through Indesign rather than Invision app and Sketch?

Indesign is capable of designing prototypes of interactive interfaces due to the interactive panels and the folio overlay tools. In addition to being able to work with a variety of different digital tools which would be useful in the professional world because of working in teams.

I just don’t understand why Powerpoint, Invision, and Sketch are being taught over Indesign (with Indesign being claimed to be unrecommended for designing these interface mock ups) when not only is it capable of teaching students to do these prototypes and work with in the UX/UI field but also gain versatility since Indesign is used for multiple things.

Huh. What do you type in emoji search to find it?

Or is it only available to leaders? :wink:


When I use it, the code reads +1.

Ah, okay. Got it. :+1:

Thanks KitchWitch. :+1:

1 Like

I don’t know.

True I suppose, but every application is “capable” of things that are neither intended as core function, nor basis for best practice.

Well, I’m not sure what, specifically, you’re referencing with respect to InDesign and teams-work, but even if your point is valid, if “the professional world” is more typically using apps other than InDesign to construct UI mockups, then your point is also moot. In fact, whatever app(s) are “industry standard” in UX/UI work, that’s all that really matters in this context, opinions (yours and/or those of instructors), notwithstanding.

Well, if InDesign is the industry standard among UX/UI pro’s for these purposes (that’s the unanswered question here; what is the industry standard?), your position is understandable, but otherwise you have no firmer footing than those with whom you argue.

©2019 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook