Looking ahead to the design trends for next year, we can see the direction that UI and UX designers are interested in heading toward. There are many different software options for designers, but a few stand out above the rest. Based on what we’re seeing from designers working in the industry, it’s clear which design tool is the favorite for 2023.
In this article, we will discuss why Figma is the best design tool for 2023, why we think that Adobe XD is the second best design tool for 2023, and how you can best use one of these programs for your projects in the new year.
Table of Contents
What is Figma?
Figma is a design software that is cloud-based and multi-use. There are many reasons why Figma is a well-known choice for software. Most importantly, you can create mobile and website interface designs, and the program is elite for projects which involve team collaboration.
Through Figma, you can add features to your web pages, including animation, and a wide array of optimization features are included in the program. Many people choose Figma because it is easy to use, learn, and collaborate with.
Which features are loved by users?
For most Figma users, real-time collaboration is the feature that gets everyone on board and excited to use Figma. Just take product designer Daniel Danielyan’s word for it, “Unlike other tools, such as Sketch or Adobe XD, you don’t need to publish the latest version of the design for the team to see. One link is everything you need.”
Auto Layout for Responsive Design
One of the best features that Figma has to offer is its Auto Layout feature which allows you to easily change elements of your design when creating a responsive website. This feature also has the added bonus of writing code for you as you design, meaning that your design turns into development. Designers love this tool because it makes one of the most challenging aspects of design more manageable and more efficient.
Flexible Use on Any Operating System
Because Figma can be used as a web browser-based application, you can use Figma on any operating system, as long as your operating system runs a web browser. This makes it super easy to collaborate with an entire team that might be using different hardware, especially in remote work situations, which have become increasingly popular due to the pandemic. In addition, you can use Figma as a desktop application if you choose to.
How Much Does Figma Cost?
As far as pricing goes, Figma is reasonably priced as software. To access Figma, you must pay a monthly subscription fee unless you access their ‘Free’ version. There are three pricing tiers that Figma has to offer:
Starter – Free
- Offers 3 Figma files
- Unlimited personal files
- Unlimited collaborators
- Mobile app access
Figma Professional – $12 USD per editor per month
- Unlimited Figma files
- Unlimited version history
- Sharing permissions
- And more…
Figma Organization – $45 USD per editor per month
- Everything in Professional
- Org-wide libraries
- Design system analytics
- And more…
According to this pricing structure, if you are a casual UI designer, you can get some great use out of the free Starter version of Figma. Otherwise, $12 USD per month is relatively affordable, and with Figma’s value, we think this pricing is definitely worth it.
What is AdobeXD?
AdobeXD is a design software that is owned and operated by Adobe. Through AdobeXD, you can design both mobile and web-based applications. It is a vector-based tool that is effective for design, including wireframing and prototyping.
Through AdobeXD, you can create prototype designs, 3D transformations, animations, and more. Many people love AdobeXD because it is simple and easy to use, and you can access AdobeXD as a downloaded software on your computer.
Which Features Are Loved by AdobeXD Users?
It’s Better than Photoshop (For webdesign)
Many designers who choose AdobeXD are interested in the software because they started designing in Photoshop. This experience allows these designers to use AdobeXD more efficiently, and many designers from Photoshop prefer it to Photoshop. One anonymous designer for a firm known as Liquid cited AdobeXD’s similarity to Photoshop and its smaller file sizes as the main reason they prefer AdobeXD.
In fact, most of the praise for AdobeXD comes from designers who used to wireframe, plan, and design websites through Photoshop.
Prototyping and Collaboration Features
Another feature that former Photoshop designers love is the “Prototype mode” features that AdobeXD offers. These prototypes can be shown to others through the AdobeXD app, and there are sharing features that allow others to comment and provide feedback on components of designs.
Excellent for Wireframing
For those that love wireframes, AdobeXD is a fan favorite. With AdobeXD, you can create wireframes that help you to project and present your ideas for design to others. Principal UX Strategist of Imarc, Mike Flannery, says that AdobeXD “helps keep things cohesive and pushes consistency even when things are moving quickly.”
How Much Does AdobeXD Cost?
As with anything Adobe, AdobeXD is a little on the pricey side, which makes the software less attractive to many designers. As of right now, AdobeXD is available through the complete Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps bundle or individually. There are no tiers for those who may not need to use the program as often. The pricing tiers for business look like this:
Creative Cloud All Apps – $84.99 USD per month
20+ Adobe Creative Cloud Apps, Including:
- Acrobat Pro
- Premiere Pro
- And More…
Single App Only Purchase – $35.99 USD per month
- AdobeXD Download
You might be thinking, what about downloads for individuals? Unfortunately, Adobe does not allow AdobeXD to be purchased at the Individual pricing structure that is offered for some of their other apps, like Photoshop and Acrobat Pro. However, you can access AdobeXD through the Individual Creative Cloud All Apps pricing which is $54.99 USD per month.
It’s safe to say that this pricing structure does not make AdobeXD super affordable. However, its single-app business pricing is cheaper than Figma’s highest tier per month. We’ll discuss that more in our next section, though. Let’s discuss why we think that Figma is much better than AdobeXD for designers in 2023.
Why Do We Think Figma is Better than AdobeXD?
The main reason why we continue to believe that Figma is better than AdobeXD is its flexibility in use. By being browser-based and allowing teams to collaborate in real-time, Figma is better for projects where designers, developers, and other team members are trying to work together to complete a design.
You can use Figma without having to worry if the computer you are working from is compatible with the software, and the real-time collaboration eliminates frustrating version control issues.
We also think that Figma’s pricing structure is way more attractive than AdobeXD’s. For fewer features and limited collaboration, Figma is generally cheaper than AdobeXD. This makes Figma a no-brainer for designers who are hoping to save some money on software in the new year. The bulk pricing structure that Adobe forces on users are unattractive to many users, making Figma a clear winner on price.
Finally, we’re just not sure that less is more when it comes to design. We acknowledge that some designers prefer a simple interface and believe that more options lead to cluttered designs. However, this idea doesn’t fit into our philosophy at UI Rocket. We believe that high-quality UI/UX design needs options and prefer that Figma provides more room to play with design.
Designers who prefer simple software will enjoy AdobeXD, especially those who love to wireframe and don’t work in team settings. Those who like to play more with designs and collaborate with others should look to Figma as a better option. All in all, Figma is our recommendation for the best design tool to use for UI/UX design in 2023.
In conclusion, both of these tools have value, and you might decide between Figma and AdobeXD due to pricing or the individual needs of your design studio. Many factors lead us to make specific software decisions, such as budget considerations, other software interactions, and personal preferences.
While Figma is our choice for the best design tool of 2023, it doesn’t have to be yours! There are plenty of design tools on the market, each of which has value in the market. As long as you’re designing, you are doing something great in our book!
If you have more questions about choosing design software for UI and UX design, we are happy to help you at UI Rocket! We are a design studio specializing in functional, user-friendly SaaS web design. Please click here if you want to get in touch with us for more information and collaboration.