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UX UI design tool – Adobe XD vs Figma

In preparation for remote working and to try out new features, we recently switched to a new UX UI design tool. What is your preference?

Adobe XD vs. Figma - UX UI design tool

 

UX design begins with user research activities like context inquiry, focus groups, stakeholder meetings, personas, scenarios, and user journeys, which inform user requirements. Once the stakeholders approve the paper prototype, we start creating some quick-and-dirty prototypes. To create interactive prototypes, we use our choice of tools, such as Axure, InVision, Balsamiq, UXPin, or Zeplin. Once an interactive prototype has been approved, we use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to create high-fidelity designs. These designs are then passed on to the development team.

We have struggled to find one tool that wireframers, prototypers, mockup creators, and developers can all use together. For creating high-fidelity designs before 2010, designers primarily used Photoshop and Illustrator. The equation changed completely after the arrival of Sketch on the market in 2010.


Wireframes, prototypes, and finished designs can all be created using Sketch, Figma, or Adobe XD.

A very stiff competition emerged in the UX UI design tool market in 2016 with the launch of Figma and Adobe XD beta. A single application could be used to create wireframes, prototypes, and finished designs like Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD. In this comparison, I’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Adobe XD and Figma.

Figma is an online vector design tool for collaborative design. Several media outlets have featured the tool since its launch. Collaboration means that multiple people can work on the same design file at the same time. Despite Adobe XD’s recent introduction of a similar feature, Figma offers more flexibility. An easy-to-use user interface is the reason for Figma’s immense popularity among UX professionals. With Figma, both desktop and Web versions are available, while Adobe XD only offers a desktop version. Keeping up with the latest trends without losing sight of developers and product managers is made easy with Figma.

 

Adobe XD wireframing

 

Adobe XD, by contrast, is a vector-based software from one of the biggest software developers. Adobe continues to release new features nearly five years after it was first released, as well as trying to meet designer expectations. As a result, Figma’s user interface is extremely stable, which may explain its wide adoption among Fortune 500 companies.

Since Adobe XD was released in 2016, there has been a tug-of-war between Figma and Adobe XD. At first, their rivalry wasn’t too intense, but things changed pretty quickly. Since then, the two apps have been facing intense competition. The choice between design, prototyping, and workflow software is no longer easy. UX UI design tool.

The following two parts of this review will compare two of the most powerful vector UX design tools, so you can decide which one is best for your design or prototyping needs.

Using Figma, you can design vector graphics online in a collaborative manner. Collaboration means several people can work on the same design file at the same time. Despite Adobe XD’s recent introduction of a similar feature, Figma offers a greater level of flexibility.

 

Figma prototyping

 

Affordability

This article compares two of the most powerful vector UX design tools, so you can decide which is best for your design and prototyping needs. A free, starter plan is available for both Figma and Adobe XD.

Figma

With Figma, you can use up to two editors and three projects for free. Additionally, this plan includes unlimited cloud storage and a 30-day version history. They charge $12 to $15 USD for their individual plan; they charge $45 USD for their enterprise plan. The plans are shown below.

figma software pricing

XD

There is also a free, starter plan offered by Adobe XD that ranges from free to $10.42 a month for individuals and free to £16.85 a month for businesses, shown below.

 

Adobe XD  individual pricing

Adobe XD individual pricing

 

Adobe XD software business pricing

Adobe XD business pricing

 

In comparison with Figma, XD costs $2.01 less per user, but quite a few features are only available as part of XD’s paid plans, while they are free in Figma.

Winner: Figma

In this race, Figma is leading because it offers more features in its free plan than Adobe XD.

Figma Mirror App allows users to preview their designs on mobile devices so that they can see how it actually looks and feels. In addition to static designs, users can preview interactive prototypes.

Featured Platforms

Figma is a browser-based application that supports editing in any browser with WebGL support. Desktop browsers can also be used to view designs. The Figma desktop application is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Figma Mirror App allows users to preview their designs on mobile devices so that they can see how it actually looks and feels. In addition to static designs, users can preview interactive prototypes.

Users can generate previews that can be viewed in their browsers and get feedback on their designs using XD, th UX UI design tool, a desktop application that is available on both Windows and Mac OS X. Adobe XD can be downloaded on either iOS or Android platforms to view mobile designs

Winner: Figma

Compared to Adobe XD, Figma runs on Chrome OS, Linux, Windows, and Mac OS, while Adobe XD only runs on Windows or Mac OS.

Horizontal Versus Vertical Toolbars

Workspace layout differs between Figma and Adobe XD.

Figma

The horizontal toolbar at the top of Figma’s workspace simplifies the selection of assets and improves user experience.

Adobe XD

The vertical toolbar in Adobe XD makes choosing assets a little harder.

Winner: Figma

The horizontal toolbar and overall platform structure of Figma make it easy to use, and new users can quickly become familiar with the user interface, making it the clear winner.

Figma

The same document can be edited by multiple users simultaneously in Figma. On the toolbar, each user has their own avatar. Throughout the workspace, each user’s avatar appears with their name and a distinctive color. Other collaboration features of Figma include:

  • The team libraries in Figma are one of its most important features. The feature not only allows users to create design systems that include reusable components, color schemes, and text styles for their own work, but also enables them to share these design systems with their entire team, enabling everyone to work with the same elements.
  • Figma automatically saves and syncs all changes a user makes to their designs and documents. The moment a change is made on a shared project, the users are notified and can update what they’re seeing, so the team’s screens are always up-to-date. There is no need to upload, download, or manually merge files.

Winner: Figma

Figma’s core functionality is collaboration. Collaboration features are very easy to access since Figma is a Web-based application. In comparison with Adobe XD, Figma provides features such as observation mode, team libraries, a seamless sync process, and updates for shared assets.

Screen sharing and collaboration

Users can collaborate and share screens with their fellow designers, stakeholders, or clients using Figma and Adobe XD.

The same document can be edited by multiple users simultaneously in Figma

Document Sharing

Document sharing is a feature of both Figma and Adobe XD.

Figma

You can share a Figma document by sending a link to another Figma user so they can view or edit it in their browser. Similar to GitHub or CodePen, this facilitates sharing between designers. Additionally, Figma will be launching community pages to further enhance sharing.

Using Figma, users can send invitations to specific people and specify whether they can view, edit, or add comments. As well as inviting individuals one at a time, you can create teams and add people to them-then share designs with the team. As an added benefit, users can share all documents in a project with their team rather than sharing one document at a time. There are four permission levels for Figma sharing: viewer, editor, admin, and owner. Permissions can be set for teams, projects, and documents.

Adobe XD

Users of Adobe XD can use Adobe XD to create a link and optimise it for the following purposes:

  • design review
  • development
  • presentation
  • user testing
  • custom

Users can send email messages containing links to other users in Adobe XD. A person must have a Creative Cloud account to view a prototype once they receive an invitation.

Winner: Figma

XD made significant progress when it allowed users to send private invitations, however, it still lags behind Figma’s team management and permissions system and does not allow the same ease of sharing as Figma.

Interactions

Users have many options for interaction with Figma and Adobe XD. Nevertheless, Figma allows a single interaction per element of the user interface. Adobe XD, on the other hand, allows users to define two interaction types per element – for example, triggers, actions, transitions, click and hover.

Each user-interface element in Figma can have only one interaction. Adobe XD, on the other hand, provides the ability to define two interactions per element…

Winner: Adobe XD

This round is won by Adobe XD mainly because it is able to trigger several interactions per element. In addition, it features speech playback, keys, and game-pad triggers.

Adobe XD vs. Figma - UX design

Handoff between developers

User specifications can be embedded in a document using Figma’s developer hand-off feature. The document does not have to be republished and shared over and over again as specifications change. Annotations, code snippets, and design files are available for developers to view.

Adobe XD, on the other hand, provides users with separate specifications sheets that they can publish as links to share with others. Adobe XD provides a poor user experience because this specification sheet must be republished every time a designer edits a design.

Winner: Figma

Here, Figma comes out on top due to its ability to update documents without republishing them after they have been shared for review.

Previewing

Both Figma and Adobe XD provide ways of previewing documents.

As a result of its voice narration feature and faster load times when viewing prototypes in its Desktop Preview mode, Adobe XD dominates this round of comparison.

Figma

Sending a link to clients or other stakeholders allows users to present a mockup live in the browser. Users have the option of setting the link as viewing only, so it cannot be accidentally modified, or allowing people to edit or directly interact with the document, so they can demonstrate to the document’s owner what changes they want to make to the design or to add copy they have prepared.

If you prefer to preview designs in this way, Figma also allows you to embed documents within Web pages. In comparing Figma with CodePen, this is similar to embedding a pen in a page, but in this case, displaying design rather than code.

Figma takes a little while to load the entire prototype process into the browser when the user clicks the Present icon to run a prototype.

Adobe XD

Adobe XD users can generate links to a design mockup that can be shared with a client or manager. Clients and managers can then view and comment on the mockup.

A major advantage of Adobe XD over Figma is the ability to add a voice narration to a demonstration. If you work in a different timezone or have a very busy schedule, this is an amazing feature.

Due to Adobe XD’s local nature, prototypes appear faster when the user runs them than Figma’s slow loading.

Winner: Adobe XD

Adobe XD wins this round of comparison based on its voice narration feature and faster loading times when viewing prototypes in its Desktop Preview mode.

Add Comments

While designing prototypes, users can leave comments in Figma. In addition, users can add comments to prototypes during review. It is only possible for reviewers to comment on prototypes after they have been linked by their owners in Adobe XD.

Winner: Figma

Figma comes out the clear winner here.

Frames Versus Artboards

In Figma, designs are contained in frames, while in Adobe XD they are contained in artboards.

Figma

Canvases serve as a canvas for displaying prototypes of designs. One canvas can contain two or more frames. The frames serve as a focal point for the prototype.

  • Layers on a canvas can be added by the user
  • When designing for a specific device or screen size, allow users to create a container for their design prototype

 

Artboards in Adobe XD can’t compare to Figma’s frames. As well as the functionality of artboards, frames provide many other advantages not available in Adobe XD’s artboards.

Adobe XD’s artboards are equivalent to Figma’s frames. Furthermore, users can nest frames in Figma to create buttons and navigation bars.

The software offers several predefined frame sizes for desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, watches, and social-media platforms as well as the option to create custom frame sizes by clicking the Frame button, then drawing a frame of the desired size on the canvas. Some users find this approach to creating custom-sized frames unattractive. For smartphones, however, Figma allows users to create frames that are compatible with both landscape and portrait views.

Adobe XD

In Adobe XD, artboards, which are containers that hold design prototypes, are Adobe’s answer to Figma’s frames. If you look at Figure 8, you can see what an artboard looks like. Artboards can be used to organize designs and link them together as needed.

The frame sizes in Adobe XD are similar to those in Figma, and you can build your own frame sizes in Adobe XD. XD benefits from the ability to draw artboards of any size, as opposed to Figma. Artboards can be created in Adobe XD only for smartphone landscape views.

Winner: Figma

The artboards in Adobe XD are miles behind Figma’s frames. As well as providing all of the functionality of artboards, frames offer many more capabilities than Adobe XD’s artboards. The artboards in Adobe XD cannot match the frames in Figma.

Summary

Figma and Adobe XD are two of the most powerful vector design tools in the marketplace. We compared their pricing models, supported platforms, and many of their features, including their workspaces, collaboration features, document sharing, interactions, and developer hand-off, preview, and commenting features. Besides comparing the frames of Figma and Adobe XD, we discussed the differences of the artwork.

For more details on how Stich can support you with Figma or XD and your UX UI requirements, get intouch.

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