I recently documented my switch from Sketch to Adobe XD as my primary tool for prototyping. As I embark on this new adventure, I know that I’ll need tools to help me along the way.


I’ve been designing prototypes, mockups wireframes and high fidelity designs with Sketch for years. When using Sketch you live and die by its plugins. The right plugins can increase productivity tenfold

So naturally, I had a grasp on the basic plugins I would need for survival. In this post, I will quickly go over a few plugins I’ve downloaded for the upcoming tasks.

What I knew I needed

1. Lorem Ipsum

In an ideal world, your client or team members have the copy for their app or website. But that is rarely the case in the beginning stages of development. Lorem ipsum or dummy text is a Latin passage that is often used as a placeholder. Download this plugin to apply dummy text when necessary.

2. Ikono

For years I would scan google looking for the right icon to take the place of words in a menu or category. Then with the help of a friend, I discovered Iconfinder, an icon database with free and paid icons alike. I would choose an icon then drag it into Sketch, possibly resize it and play with the settings until it fits perfectly.

With Ikono, you download a library of icons to wield at your command. Within XD you search for an icon and insert it into the artboard of your choosing. You can even adjust the stroke and size of the icon before using it.

3. Content generator

Similar to Lorem Ipsum, sometimes you just want to put text to design, regardless of the significance. As an example, we’ve all designed a contact page, a list of friends in your phone book. Sitting down and coming up with made-up names is a pain.

You can skip this process with Content Generator. It easily assists you by filling out indexes with names, numbers, dates, countries and even emails.

Now, I’m armed with the basics. If this was the jungle, I’d have my machete, flint, and canteen. But I made this switch to another program for a better experience, I want the creature comforts that will make this journey more pleasant.

I can continue to browse through the plugin list aimlessly. Or consult those with experience on the topic. I quickly hopped on discord and made use of my new network. “Hey guys what plugins can’t you live without”

“Learn from the mistakes of others … You can't live long enough to make them all yourself!” -Eleanor Roosevelt

What I’ve learned and won’t do without

4. UI Faces

This super useful tool is just as helpful as Content Generator, applied to images instead. UI faces sources websites like Unsplash, Imdb, Pexels, etc. and fills shapes with faces from all over the web. The best part is that you can filter by gender, emotion, hair color and age. This will save me half the time as searching for random faces or using the cast of Avengers for my mockups.

5. Stark

This tool is super important for 2019! Empathy and awareness are major keys to being a great designer. To do that you must stress inclusion and accessibility. Stark allows you to simulate your designs for the colorblind and also comes with a contrast checker.

6. Angle

To ship pro mockups, I used to export my artboards then send them to Placeit to fit onto stock images of models, phones, and laptops. Angle allows you to create high-quality mockups all within the Adobe XD. Use the pen tool to select an area of interest and fill it with an artboard in your current project. Genius!

7. VizzyCharts

A huge part of the design is a data visualization. A properly placed chart or graph can help communicate with the viewer like no paragraph can. VizzyCharts allows you to create simple graphs and charts that can be edited for your message.


My guys and gals of Adobe XD discord came through for me. Their advice, along with help from a video by App Design Tips has got me prepared for what’s to come.

I’m finally ready to take on personal projects and client work. I have confidence, knowing the arsenal in my utility belt. I’m sure to run into more useful tools along the way. I’ll update you all as they come.

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