No matter what your profession, you only want to use the best of the best tools to do your job. Why settle for less? That’s why many user interface and experience (UI/UX) designers turn to one of the three most popular UI/UX design applications out there: Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch.
Figma is primarily a web-based application, developed by Figma, Inc., with quick response times and robust vector tools that allow you to make adjustments and see almost live results.
Adobe XD is an Adobe program that handles many of the same tasks as Figma, when it comes to design, as part of the expansive Adobe toolset.
If the two applications sound very similar, that’s because they are. Many designers look for the same things in their design tools, so, naturally, companies provide similar solutions.
Check out this List of the Best Figma Tutorials to get started today.
To learn more about Figma and Adobe XD, their differences, and why you might want to choose one over the other, keep reading below.
Figma and Adobe XD Comparison Table
|They have three tiers. The first is free, which is the starter tier. There’s also the Professional tier for $12 a month, or Organization for $45 a month.
|You can get just Adobe XD for $9.99 a month, or all of the Creative Cloud apps for $54.99 a month. There’s a seven-day free trial option as well.
|Figma, Inc. (Though now owned by Adobe)
|Figma’s main uses are UI/UX design, brainstorming and wireframing ideas, creating and utilizing templates for quicker tests, and designing remotely.
|Adobe XD is used in UI/UX design, prototyping new projects, collaborating within a team, wireframing for testing, and user workflows.
|Intermediate to advanced
|Beginner to advanced
|Experienced designers who want a greater deal of control over their vector-based tools and people who want to test out UI/UX design at the free tier.
|People already familiar with the Adobe Creative Cloud and those who want a single, cohesive ecosystem of apps.
|Figma has a desktop app that requires Windows 8 or newer running in a 64-bit environment. Mac users must have macOS 11 or newer. Many people run Figma in browsers and it is compatible with Chrome 72+, Firefox 78+, and Microsoft Edge 79+.
|Adobe XD needs Windows 10 (64-bit). The specific version must be Version 1909 (19H2) or later. To run Adobe XD on an Apple computer, you need macOS 10.15 or later. Adobe Xd only supports the latest two releases of common browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.
|Desktop apps for Apple and Microsoft devices, works entirely in the cloud, emphasis on collaborative efforts
|Integrates with the rest of the Adobe Creative Cloud, intuitive interface for experienced Adobe users, powerful and creative design systems
|Available on the website, or as a desktop app for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. You need to be online to get the most out of your system.
|Available as a desktop app for Windows and MacOS. You will need to be online to get the most out of your system.
|Acceptable Import File Types
|FIG, Sketch, PNG, JPG, HEIC, GIF
|PSD, Ai, Sketch, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, SVG, BMP, TXT, MP4, Lottie JSON
Figma Key Features
- Desktop app for MacOS and Windows
- Figma library for variations and components
- Intuitive system
- CSS styles
- Community files and a plugin library
- Advanced collaboration features
- Prototyping is intuitive and straightforward
Figma is a tool for designing. It is used to design all sorts of things, from websites to simple logos. It’s made more for professional designers, with the option to go in-depth on the design process.
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However, it works well for those that aren’t designers as well. It takes a little time to learn the basics, but it’s easy enough to pick up.
Figma is also cloud-based, which means it’s an ideal app for those that want to collaborate with others, especially those that work with teams in different areas.
It works similarly to Photoshop, but is considered easier to use, and allows you to go more into depth with creating products and prototypes.
Figma Pros and Cons
|Allows for collaboration in real-time.
|Have to be online for all the features to work properly.
|The tool has features to allow for all-in-one design, prototyping, and passing down the work to the next person in line.
|Fairly steep learning curve initially.
|Can be used on the desktop or in a web browser.
|Sometimes it takes a while to load up the software or website.
|Easy to stay organized and find the layer you’re looking for.
Popular Companies That Use Figma
Thousands of companies use Figma for all or some of their website and mobile design, or their logo. Some of the companies that have used Figma include:
- Daily Motion
About Adobe XD
Adobe XD Key Features
- Works alongside other Adobe products
- Works with animated and interactive designs
- Combines multiple interactions onto a single item
- Makes it easy to keep track of the main components
- Best for sleep and minimal UIs
Adobe XD Uses
Adobe XD is most often used in UI for both mobile and web applications. Think website layout and mobile app interfaces. That isn’t all Adobe XD is used for though.
Adobe XD can also be an exceptionally useful tool when developing virtual voice assistants, crafting and promoting marketing campaigns, and breathing life into the design of video games.
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One of Adobe XD’s biggest draws is that it’s another integrated part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. If you need to tweak elements or designs in other applications like Photoshop or Lightroom, all you need to do is send them that way. There are no complicated conversions or compatibility checks involved.
Some people appreciate the web browser version of Adobe XD so they can work on projects remotely.
Adobe XD Pros and Cons
|Part of the Adobe Creative Cloud for one flat fee.
|There’s no longer a free version, only a seven-day free trial, and a subscription service.
|Seamlessly communicates and transfers files between other Adobe applications.
|Files have to be synced to the cloud from a local drive as opposed to just being edited and saved in the cloud.
|Adobe XD supports a wide range of different file formats
|With Adobe acquiring Figma, support for Adobe XD may be cut short in the future.
|Puts all your design tools in one place for ease of use.
Popular Companies That Use Adobe XD
There are plenty of companies, many of them large, that use Adobe XD as well. Some of their clients include:
- Territory Studio
- California State University – Stanislaus
Figma vs Adobe XD: Which Is Better?
There’s no doubt that Figma and Adobe XD are both strong competitors when picking out the best software for graphic design or UI development. However, deciding between them is much trickier. Neither outpaces the other totally. Instead, each one has a more niche area that they fill.
This means that, depending on what you’re looking for and what you want from your software, you’ll find that either one works well.
That being said, because Adobe moved to acquire Figma, Inc. and its products, many fully expect Figma to replace Adobe XD at some point. You might not be able to get your hands on Adobe XD in the future and there wouldn’t be any updates or support if this becomes a reality. It may be a good idea to focus your efforts on learning Figma.
When to Use Figma
Figma works best for those that need a lot of collaboration. With unlimited cloud storage, and no need to download anything, it’s easy enough to get your whole team to use the program. Additionally, if you want to send someone a preview of the work, Figma will send an email invitation.
This is perfect for those that want to share progress with other teams or even a client, without having to go through complicated steps to show them the prototype or having the other party make a Figma account.
Figma also offers a bit more advanced settings with an advanced vector network system that Adobe XD lacks. As for other areas where it beats out Adobe XD, you only have to look at the responsiveness, overall graphic and UI design, and the auto-layout features.
Yet another benefit of Figma is that at the starter level, it’s free. Even the paid versions are fairly cheap. This is drastically different from Adobe XD, which only offers the option to buy the software by itself or in a group at a monthly subscription cost.
When to Use Adobe XD
If you and your team are already using Adobe products, adding Adobe XD might be the more logical solution. Its features enable any design to flow smoothly between products.
If you tend to use more unique file formats, including video formats, then you may prefer Adobe XD over Figma. Adobe XD offers twice the number of accepted file formats compared to Figma, making it easier to upload pretty much anything you will need for your design.
Related Article: How to Prototype in Figma