Finding Your Holy Grail When Selecting Your UX Prototyping Tool – The Adobe XD or Figma Dilemma

UX designers are always on the lookout for the best prototyping and design tools. Many new tools emerge and disappear but only a few of them stand the test of time. Tools that make the UX design work easy and interesting are the ones that are earmarked to stay. Along these lines, we have two very strong contenders, namely Figma and XD from Adobe. It is not without reason that these two design and prototyping tools have gained popularity. These tools offered a plethora of advanced features that enabled the designers to take the entire UX design and UX prototyping to a whole new gamut. In this context we cannot totally forget the path the designers walked, the path of Photoshop and Sketch. Even today these two software tools may be popular but when it comes to the designers’ preference it has definitely switched to Figma and Adobe XD. 

The Adobe XD or Figma Dilemma – How Do You Choose?

The actual challenge now is choosing between Adobe XD and Figma. How do you choose between these two tools? You cannot of course make a random decision but should have valid reasons to choose between these two design tools. We have tried to compare the features of these two tools without bias so that you too can reason with us and pick your favorite tool. This discussion is intended to spur your own line of thoughts on how to pick between these two tools and not necessarily limit to what we are discussing here.

#1 Cost

Let us first get this out of the way. Often this factor clouds our decision making capabilities as we are preoccupied with the cost factor. So, first things first! Even though we discussion this factor first, it should be one of the last things that you should visit after carefully reviewing all the below factors. 

Do these tools Figma and Adobe XD have a free version? Yes, they both have free starter plans. You can further up upgrade these plans to add-on or premium plans. You will find a variety of plans in both tools.

Figma: $12 per person per month when billed annually and $15 when billed monthly

Adobe XD: $9.99 per month per app and $52.99 per month for all the apps for individuals and for businesses $33.99 per app per license per month and $59.99 for all apps per license per month. 

#2 Accessibility Mode – Cloud vs Desktop

Figma is cloud based and you are not required to install any software in your system and you can access the software from anywhere. Figma works with Windows, Mac Chrome OS and Linux.

Adobe XD is a desktop version. You need to install the required software in your device. It supports only Mac and Windows.

#3 Team Collaboration

Figma allows real time collaboration as this is web based or cloud based tool. This makes collaboration with the team as well as the clients easy. Your clients do not have to install any software in their device to collaborate with you. The required permissions could be allowed depending on the need and the links could be shared to those you like. Tracking the progress is also easy in Figma. 

Adobe XD does not allow real time collaboration. You need to save the files and share with those you like. Every time you make an update you need to share the new files with them. Team and client collaboration are not the strongest features of Adobe XD.

#4 Artboard guides

In Figma you can add the grid, rows and columns. If the gutter size is adjusted to 0 then the grids and columns will just show lines. 

In Adobe XD you can choose between a column grid and square grid.

#5 Specifications Sharing

Figma allows sharing of the specifications with the developers. You can change the permissions with edit capabilities or view only option. 

In Adobe XD the design specs feature will let you share the properties of the design through a link. You can protect the specs through a password. You will also be able to send private invitations to the developers to protect unauthorized access or unauthorized downloads of the assets. 

#6 Designing with symbols

Using the feature called Components you can design using symbols. This makes the design process faster and simpler.

The same feature is available in Adobe XD. When any edits are made to the symbol the changes are reflected throughout the project. 

#7 Functionalities

Adobe XD lets you design form elements, buttons and screens. 

Figma allows designing of different vector styles. Figma is highly preferred for functionalities when compared to Adobe XD.

#8 Screen Size Adjustment

You can adjust the screen size by percentage in Figma. You can select a specific component and change the percentage of the screen size the component size is automatically changed. 

In Adobe XD it is automatic as Adobe XD automatically sets the component size based on the screen size.

# 9 Asset Management

Figma lets you enjoy real-time syncing of all assets, which makes it easy to work with as you will have all the assets easily accessible when you have all of them right before you.

Adobe XD lets you use assets within a project or from the creative cloud library. This lets even the use of symbols across the projects by just copying and pasting the symbols. However, syncing in the library is not possible for text styles, colors etc.

#10 Prototyping

Both Figma and Adobe XD have this feature. Using the hotspot or connections you can create prototypes by making modifications to the terms of service. Figma allows features such as hover, horizontal scrolling, trigger and hypertexts besides others. 

In Adobe XD it is possible to auto-animate the process. You can record the screen along with the voice for prototyping. 

#11 Third party add-ons

You can enhance the functionalities by using third party plugins or third party add-ons. Adobe XD offers a wide range of options. 

In Figma you have APIs that work like the plugins.

To Conclude
As you can see that both Figma and Adobe XD offer the designers a plethora of design tools and features. They have a neck to neck competition by offering strikingly similar functionalities. This makes the selection between Adobe XD and Figma a matter of personal preference.

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