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Article: Why You Should Use Figma Instead of Adobe XD

Why You Should Use Figma Instead of Adobe XD

Created by Hannes Ahremark

XD looks like a fun little emoticon you found on many social media. But joke aside, it is the name of an application under the Adobe company. Yes, it is Adobe XD which is one of the new UX design apps to use. The program compiles an assortment of tools that will support your UX project. You can also see how it keeps on pushing features fast to lead the sector. 

However, the greatest rival that Adobe needs to defeat is Figma. The application has been in public since September 2016, the same year as the Adobe XD released (march). However, Figma somehow surpasses XD by miles as it is a cloud platform based. So, how good is it that you need to use Figma instead of Adobe XD? Here are the answers to the questions. 

Disclaimer About The Adobe XD And Figma Comparison 
Please underline that this information is purely made according to personal experience. Of course, some points highlight the public's opinion. However, most of the details and interactions on both applications are based on practice. The answer can also feel more biased on Figma. But it does not mean Adobe XD is completely inferior. You should try it by yourself.  

Created by Iron Woman


Reasons Why You Choose Figma over Adobe XD

1. Vast Design System Features 

One thing that states the clear difference is Figma's vast design systems. Indeed, Adobe XD offers a lot of contextual menus behind the right-click. But the color and character styles are pretty limited. It makes your UX project look pretty much the basic, which is unsuitable for professional work. 

So, you can work with Figma if you are looking for better flexibility and vast design features. Compared to Adobe XD, the maintenance and creation experience are easier to access. Figma's menu is visible on the panel. So, you don't need to open the hidden menu by right-clicking. Due to this particular model, the app can offer more features to use. 

The biggest aspect you can pinpoint is the addition of shadows and blur effects in Figma. Along with the color and character styles, this option surpasses what Adobe XD can do. Not only that, but you can also save the styles and apply them to other UX elements. In other words, Figma's tools are pretty intuitive, flexible, and also easier to apply. 

Created by Leonid Shipov


2. Simpler UX Than Adobe XD

The UX point in Figma is pretty much one step ahead of Adobe XD. Somehow, this online app brings up creation operations easier and simpler. You can customize shapes, scale them up, crop, and trim them by using the intuitive dot in it. It is pretty simple compared to XD that demands more than one use of the same tools over and over again. 

To make the best comparison, you can see how easy it is to make a donut model in Figma. You can simply add a circle shape and drag it to make a bigger shape. After that, you can edit the shape simply by changing the dot inside it. It makes the experience fun, and you do not need to work over and over again (which you find in Adobe XD). 

At the same time, Figma changes the shape in a non-destructive step. It means the change is not permanent. You can tweak it again or make it back to the original shape. On the other hand, Adobe XD gave the complete opposite. You will need to make two circles to eventually trim the inside. And the result is permanent. So, you need to make another one to make a change. 

Created by Anna Potapenko


3. Keyboard Shortcuts For Easy-To-Use Features 

Yes, Adobe XD always gives shortcuts to every single tool in the app. But somehow, the same shortcut will not work in different suite apps. It makes people wonder and make a lot of mistakes. The good thing is that you can pick better shortcuts with Figma. Figma has gamified the keyboard shortcut that makes the app handier. 

You can find Figma's shortcut details by clicking the question mark icon on the workspace. It will bring you to a rich assortment of shortcuts and button combinations. The use of gamified style also showcases which shortcut you have used before. It will light up blue. So, you know what you constantly use and what not. Adobe XD did not give you this option.
Created by Nastia Totska


4. Text Fields Include Bullets And Numbering 

Suppose you are a designer that pays attention to the copy or text content; this point will sell Figma out. The point is that this app brings up the bullets and numbering feature inside the text fields. It is pretty simple and pretty much the basic design tool. However, Adobe XD misses this point and makes a certain disappointment for the user. 

Again, it is pretty personal since many designers might not need the feature whatsoever. But it can save a huge time for editing the text. Let's say that you need to add more copy to your UI design. You can easily activate Figma's automatic bullet numbering option. No need to create and align them manually, which is a tedious decision made by Adobe XD. 


Created by Irina Post


5. The Layers Details Deserve a Chef Kiss

As a designer, the use of layers is pretty much basic. In this case, Figma gives great system feedback by showing the layer's name when the user hovers the element. The layer panel is pretty good at attention to detail since UX and UI design projects can get very rich with elements. Rather than clicking one by one like Adobe XD, hovering the element gives you a clear layer name indication. 

On the other hand, Adobe XD is lacking in this sector. Surprisingly, it is not a new thing from the Adobe universe. Many other apps also do not give clear feedback, which forces users to click or remember every layer's content. If you have a lot of elements in your project, Adobe XD will make it hard to identify which one is which. 

Created by Darya Ermakova


6. Nifty Dimension Editor 

A simple feature that allows users to scale items as easily as they want makes Figma win another point. In contrast to Adobe XD, the application deserves a great salute since it brings scaling features as easy as shortcuts and dragging the mouse. Clicking ALT and dragging the mouse across the workspace help you scale as fast as possible. 

The nifty Figma's features can also exceed the workspace, which is a great addition for people trying to make unique graphic elements. Not only using the dragging movement, but you can also use the middle mouse button to scale and change the element's size. It has the same function as CorelDRAW, which allows the user to scale shapes by dragging the x, y, and z sizes. 

The Adobe XD does not do as bad as you might think. Adobe XD has the scaling feature, but it is completely manual. In other words, you need to insert the dimension in the number. Adobe XD does this in most of its family apps anyways. So, you will need to properly add and type a bigger number to decide the size. 

Created by Paul Leroy


7. Auto Layout For A Win 

Yes, UI and UX design work are not simple, and it demands a lot of planning. Thus, many people decide to make everything from scratch. But no one can say no to auto layout in sigma. It is one of the small little features that Adobe XD misses. And somehow, the ability to add these features makes Figma deserve a win. 

Why so? As a UI and UX designer, you might have to rearrange the button position just to fit the website design. Rather than moving it one by one, Figma's auto layout helps you sort it out in some clicks. As an example, you will need to change the orientation from a vertical to a horizontal position and vice versa. The reordering icons option will help you in the process. 

Is that all? No. Figma takes another step ahead by giving many more auto-layout options for users. The reordering option is one of a kind. But you can also make many more alterations, such as resizing the button along with its label, resizing an assortment of elements, and many more. It makes everything easier and quicker than Adobe XD.  

Created by Andrew Maximenkov


8. Figma's Button Variation And Easy Change 

As mentioned in the previous option, you got the nifty auto layout in Figma. But, the component or elements option in the app is also as powerful as the others. It is pretty apparent when it comes to the button variants. The extensions of the options are beyond simple features from Adobe XD. So, it is a win for Figma. 

To give you a clear instance. Figma gives you some button templates and variations in the form of styles, such as active, disable, hover, static, and many more. These kinds of features make the designer's work easier. They don't need to do one-by-one changes since the alteration will update all of the primary components. 

Adobe XD needs to step up their game regarding this kind of option. It might be a very simple tweak that does not need any emphasis. But, as a designer that tends to work with a lot of buttons, the feature adds one extra layer of experience. The easy to swap button, easy to alter option, editable options, and easy access features should be added to Adobe XD. 

Created by Anton Protopopov


9. A Powerful Vector Network  

Not many people point out the accessibility and function of creating 3-D shapes in this kind of app. In many cases, people overlook the idea since creating 3-D objects on a 2-dimensional plane is simply disastrous. However, the vector network function in Figma makes a powerful appearance. 

The Figma feature resembles pen tools on CorelDraw. Yes, the old app has good detail in it. The pen tool allows users to make different shapes by creating points and lines. After that, every dot is changeable. So, it gives an easy-to-change option by editing the dots. You can add, move, remove, and many more. It is another point that Adobe XD misses. 

If only Adobe XD has the same ideas as Figma, the user experience will skyrocket. That is something they miss, which might not belong since Adobe loves to make changes and give updates in a short time. But again, for now, Adobe XD is pretty lacking in many ways. If you still use the app, try Figma to find your own experience. 

Created by Jane Markova


10. Support Animated Gifs 

Graphic elements in UI and UX can add a flattering effect to the final result. In this case, a simple component such as animated GIFs is the best example. Many website designers and planners implement Gifs to make interaction and extensive details in their work. The best example is Adobe After Effect interaction, such as moving pictures over hovering commands. 

A chance to insert it will certainly make Adobe XD feel more complete. And somehow, the famous Adobe company missed the chance by not having this feature. Adobe XD lack this kind of feature. Meanwhile, Figma supports it and will go live in the presentation mode. A little touch that makes the designer happy. 

Created by Tomasz Mazurczak


11. The Tools Arrangement And Hidden Options Make Better Screen Space Uses 

As a UI designer, the app workspace appearance itself can turn into one of the points to discuss. In this case, the use of app layout for Figma is what you call minimalistic. It has everything while appearing like a very basic app from many sides. The Figma menu bar is simplified. The panel and editor are there without making people question the functions. 

Adobe XD also has a good UI layout, which resembles other Adobe apps. It is a good way to make people understand the familiar design. However, the use of space is pretty confusing. There are times that you have to right-click to get more features. Adobe XD also has many other editing functions on the right panel. It makes the Adobe XD appear like an advanced tool. 

One point that makes Figma better is the use of extendable icons. Even though the simplified icons need time to understand and remember, it saves space and is clear enough to understand. The best example of good screen space used is the Boolean function. Other operations such as intersect, abstract, union, and exclude are in the extendable layout. 

It makes Figma feel more contextual and less overwhelming. Thus, increasing the user experience and feel more beginner-friendly. In many cases, Adobe XD can make this kind of function easily. But Adobe XD misses the point and lacks this function. All operations are laid out in static positions, which takes some of the adjustment panel spaces. 

Created by Gapsy Studio


12. Syncing Help Collaboration Easier 

After talking from the inside features, it is necessary to check the uses of Figma and Adobe XD. In this case, both apps have different syncing systems that make the working system not in the same line. Figma highlights the use of only sync since it works under cloud systems. So, it allows people to leave comments in the same online files. 

There is also a new update called FIGJAM. The Figma function changes the use of third-party apps such as Whimsical or Miro for the brainstorming process. This addition will create whitespace or a place to pour shared ideas, planning, journey, brainstorming, and much information with other people. It beats Adobe XD by many. 

The same ideas are hardly available in Adobe XD. The program is offline and has no collaborative function. Working together on the same project or file will cause syncing issues. One designer might lose their work since the other will overwrite the save. It is the same with sharing since Adobe XD only gives external URLs, which make all sides need the same access. 

Created by Tim Raish


13. Online Sharing Makes It Easier For Working Together

One thing that makes Figma better in syncing is the cloud system. It means that all your files and work will have different URLs. It works like GDoc or something familiar, in which you can invite people to work along in the same Figma file. People can view, edit, collaborate, comment, etc. it is also easier to duplicate the work. On the other hand, Adobe XD creating 100% offline files and copies. 

Created by ILLO Studio


14. The Figma Community Accessibility 

Since Figma allows better syncing, it also means that it also has better community access. Users can access the community through the web app and client. The community makes it easier to share, learn, and access more features from the plethora of community-made resources. You can get icons, UI kits, illustrations, and guides easily. It is nearly possible with Adobe XD.  

Created by Nathan Bolger


Final Words

In conclusion, the two UX design tools have different aspects that make them way different. However, this comparison captures more positive points of Figma that turn Adobe XD lacking. However, please be aware that it is one of the comparisons that is purely based on experience. It can feel more biased, which is why you should try both before deciding the truth.

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