In this article, we will discuss why it is almost non-debatable that Figma will be the leader in design in the next decades as much as Apple has been the leader in mobile phones and innovations these last years.
There is no denying that everyone loves a good underdog story. Underdogs are appealing not because they simply beat the odds but because they have achieved overcoming an injustice that explains those odds, such as the game being unfairly rigged due to privilege and power. Yet, in the case of Figma vs Adobe, designers were led to a rather anti-climatic, and maybe even discouraged place.
If you follow any kind of design news, you would have heard about the 20 billion dollar acquisition of Figma by Adobe. The whole design community collectively went through a shock. It is always sad when big tech butchers a beloved product that seemingly belonged to the community. It happened with Whatsapp, Instagram, or TikTok, and now designers fear that Figma will be the latest victim of this “antitrust land grab”. Despite people's thoughts, that could not be further away from the truth and we will tell you why is that.
Figma was launched in 2016. Right from the beginning, the company had a similar yet vastly different offering to Adobe’s XD. While the latter has been an industry big guy, it always lacked agility and has been often criticized for being clunky. Figma came in like a breath of fresh air, and at the perfect time. With its minimal UI, smoother workflows, and hyper-optimized software, Figma was set to be the operating system for designs. Borrowing and improving almost every aspect of the rather bland Adobe XD, this design business also focused on the community. This is where a lot of designers feel Figma washed out Adobe.
Creatives finally had hope that the product they so dearly love loves them back. Figma went above and beyond to create an open discussion within its product ecosystem. With great free workshops, amazing collaborators, and a relatively solid free plan, Figma truly became people’s champion, contrasting to their now new owners.
In the meantime, Adobe was struggling in the same departments in which Figma was excelling. After failing to adapt to the new web platform, Adobe XD’s feature release was hit or miss. Combine that with their big cooperate vibe and their borderline thoughtlessness of user complaints, and you can see why Adobe never got its hold on the product design vertical. The experience of using Figma is best described by the words “fast, seamless, and smooth.” The design process is much faster than other software. This program saves time by cutting out the need to upload files and try to find layers. Figma is a vector-based design tool that can be used for any purpose.
That is the thing. Figma is not just for designers but it is also great for prototyping web layouts, product animations, or an e-commerce site design. Users can create animation sequences right in Figma with animation triggers or link to Keynote or After Effects to create even more elaborate animations. Figma has many features that help you build next-level prototypes.
While this acquisition could be beneficial for designers, it is the hope that destroys you. Like many other giants, Adobe is not known for keeping its new toys sterile. Back in 2005, Adobe acquired Macromedia with a beloved tool called Fireworks. Fireworks was described as “a bitmap and vector graphics editor made for web designers for rapidly creating website prototypes and application interfaces.” Sound friendly? After continuing the product for a while, Adobe decided that many of the tools and features overlapped with Photoshop and Illustrator and promptly discontinued it, but the difference is that Figma is way more powerful than Macromedia and, more importantly, it already has a ton of users who deeply rely on it, so it will be really hard to take them down.
Nevertheless, there is no denying that this pattern of behavior is alerting and the cause of discontentment between Adobe and designers, something Figma had already solved. That said, Adobe seems to be atoning for its problematic behavior or at least learning to play well with the community. In the past couple of years, Adobe has focused on the community through platforms like Behance and other channels like Discord.
Is Figma the Key to the Future Design World?
Figma is the future because it integrates the tools for all stages of the creative process in one program to increase effectiveness. It can be used for designing websites, web apps, mobile apps, and even hardware products Designers are always looking for the next best tool, the next best design software to make their job easier. Figma is the best of those tools that will make designing simpler in the future.
With Figma, designers can share their design with developers who can then work on it collaboratively and give feedback without having to switch tools or wait for files to export. With the platform, there are no file formats and everything is editable- even animations and interactions. It also syncs with Dropbox so once you have shared your designs, they will be accessible at any time from any device.
The Adobe-Figma deal offers many possibilities for Adobe, Figma, and the design community, however putting faith in big companies has always resulted in bitter results. At the end of the day, Figma is a tool, and though these tend to always come and go, Figma seems to be not going anywhere despite adversity. The fact that this is big news for the design community shows how passionate a community Figma was able to create.
Figma will be the leading face in the design race with no doubt, so if you are not leveraging it yet, it is strongly recommendable that you start doing so as soon as possible.