When Adobe and Figma announced their acquisition yesterday, many designers were shocked, surprised, and confused about the news. Adobe announced that it would be acquiring software design tool Figma for $20 billion.
Since its launch in 2015, Figma has attracted over 500,000 designers to create more than 3 million documents, and the deal seems to have been well-received by both parties. We’re not just buying another company, said Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen at a press conference earlier today. Figma’s entire team is joining us to help make the design truly ubiquitous with Adobe Creative Cloud.
However, after looking at the deal from every angle, it’s clear that this is really the best possible scenario for the world of design in general and Figma users in particular. Here’s why Adobe’s acquisition of Figma makes sense from every angle.
Why is this acquisition important?
With this acquisition, Adobe will have a design platform that surpasses its previous portfolio by becoming the world’s leading software-based design platform. When the companies combine forces, users will be able to have their favorite design tools across all platforms. Not only is this a win for designers, but it’s also a huge win for the people behind it.
The first generation of co-founders from both companies – Scott Belsky (Figma) and John Warnock (Adobe) – are both very involved in design communities and I’m excited about what this acquisition can do for these communities as well as designers on a global scale.
Adobe to Acquire Figma What does it mean for designers?
Figma’s technology and intuitive design have caught the attention of a lot of the major players in the tech industry. The acquisition will help designers work across multiple platforms while creating assets that are editable, reusable, and scalable. With its understanding of creative professionals, it’s no surprise that many in the design community were hoping that Adobe would swoop in and add them to their growing family.
It also appears to be a perfect match – this is precisely what Adobe does better than anyone else.
Many designers have pointed out how excited they are about being able to harness both Figma’s interface as well as Adobe’s technological innovations.
What does it mean for Figma users?
Figma has played a key role in the design of large tech projects like Lyft, Square and MailChimp. With Figma, software engineers can share high-fidelity prototypes with designers who use the tool to create user interfaces (UIs) at any point in the design process.
This allows both engineers and designers to make changes as they see fit while ensuring they’re on the same page. Because Figma is an all-in-one package that includes real-time feedback, working together across teams is easy and effective.
What does it mean for competing products?
Figma is the last major product from an independent company in the software space. Adobe, Microsoft, and Sketch, all of which offer competing design software, all belong to large companies. After this purchase, designers will have only one option for an out-of-the-box web and mobile app builder.
As a result of this deal, many smaller competitors are in danger of being left with few avenues to growth. Adobe is easily dominant in the industry right now with very few competitors that can realistically compete with it on their own merits.
The future of design software in 2019 and beyond
Until now, designers had two primary choices for desktop design software. Adobe’s venerable but aging Creative Suite product line, and Sketch (from Bohemian Coding). For the last decade or so, these were the only two choices that mattered, until Google introduced a free online alternative called Sketchup. On January 23rd, 2019 Adobe bought out Sketch and merged it with Photoshop CC.
As a result of this acquisition, Adobe is also adding new features like the 3D design to Photoshop CC (along with a hefty price tag). If you’ve been following along then you know that there has been some animosity between Sketch and Photoshop lovers because of their seeming need to one-up each other’s features.
What is a Figma used for?
Figma is a collaborative design tool. With Figma, designers, engineers, and researchers can turn their mockups into living documents that anyone can easily see, edit, and share. While it doesn’t have all the tools of an application like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop CC yet, it’s changing the way we create and communicate by making it possible to work together in real-time from anywhere in the world.
Furthermore, Figma handles a million files at once and has smooth integration with Sketch so all your favorite Symbols are at your fingertips! Ultimately what is great about Figma is that there are no limits as far as design size goes.
Is Figma hard to learn?
Figma is unlike any other design tool you’ve ever seen. It takes a little bit of time to learn and get the hang of it, but it’s worth it. Figma’s learning curve isn’t as steep as Photoshop or Sketch, which are both complex programs with tons of features that take much longer to navigate through than most people have the patience for. Figma has a simpler interface and fewer options so your main focus is on solving problems, not navigating through layers and adjustment tools.
Is Figma better than Canva?
Of course, Adobe will have more resources than Figma, but designers will still be able to create beautiful graphics at a lower cost with many of the same tools. When Canva first launched, people, were skeptical as well, but it ended up being a very helpful and successful tool that any designer can use. Maybe we’ll see the same kind of response when Adobe acquires Figma.
It’s all too easy to assume that any change is always bad and rarely are they. Plus, with Adobe already in the market (creating things like InDesign) it doesn’t make sense that they would build another application from scratch when they could just buy one that’s already doing something similar just as well or better.
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