“First impression is the last impression “
This quote applies highly in regard to websites. The purpose of the website is to convey the details of the organization by getting into brief details and showcasing the business. Millions of users access different websites daily.
But every user will be visiting your website for the very first time. So the quote does weigh in and becomes even more relevant. But how?
Let’s say you are getting, 90-100 unique visitors per day, which implies your website has that number of first impressions as well. So the website needs to be up to the mark creating that unique impression in users’ minds.
There are various aspects involved in website development. For user engagement the important feature is Design. The UI of a website needs to be appealing and convincing. There are lots of conventional methods but lately, we have many UI-specific Tools at our disposal.
The sustainable development approach is what various technologies and tools provide and it is a base for comparison as well. So, trending UI tools like Sketch, AdobeXD and Figma are definitely not going to miss out on the debate of – “which design tool is the best?”
So let’s get into the heated comparison of these three tools and find out the best tool suitable for sustainable web designing.
Sketch (September 2010)
Sketch is the first choice of developers for UI and UX designing. Sketch is one of the tools which actually replaced Adobe fireworks. Adobe firework was one of the most reliable tools for UI designing used by most of the designers back in 2005.
Adobe Firework was simple in utilization with proper adaptability and assistance. But with Sketch into the frame, it became the only UI/UX tool for the designers. The tool is costly and is Mac-specific.
- Sketch works with an advanced plan with a vector, pixel-perfect device and powerful interface with minimal scope for error. There are various formats that resize the components within design.
- The common cloud work area in sketch allows every user you work with, access to your plans.
- Sketch is known for its plugin functionalities. Plugins and components here provide better planning and composition of various tasks.
- The PDF import feature is just amazing, altering any content in the PDF is simple
- Sketch has the ability for offline access.
- With lots of available features there comes a backlog, Sketch slows down on different platforms due to its heavy tool structure. The ideal usage can be carried out on Mac desktops.
- Sometimes setting up different styles can give you a terrible experience.
- Plugins are mandatory in Sketch.
- Building up prototypes can be tough in comparison with other tools
Adobe XD (March 2016)
Adobe is a well-established company with various applications in its domain. At some point, everyone has used Adobe and is aware of the general interface. So switching to Adobe XD is relatively easy and one can start using it easily.
Adobe XD works smoothly across everything, Energize, Wireframe, Prototype, Collaborate, and more. It allows users lots of flexibility, anyone can transform their lucid ideas into reality.
XD is loaded with assistive features for easy planning and designing for websites.
Adobe XD: Pros
- The interface is simple as compared to Photoshop and illustrator.
- Easy upgrading of reusable design components
- It has intuitive tools for easy user testing
- The prototype for any idea can be easily made without coding
- Easy to learn and free
Adobe XD: Cons
- Repeating objects does not work as it should be. It almost feels like copying.
- Prototyping is good but has a flaw, consider you need a prototype for live cell phones on genuine gadgets it won’t allow. It will work with macOS but not on other OS.
- It allows for a beautiful design, but there is currently no product or feature in Adobe XD that allows for the CSS to be swapped out of the existing design.
Figma (September 2016)
Figma made a grand entrance into the digital arena. Not many new technologies can sustain if they don’t bring uniqueness along with variety. Figma brought both variables into the Web designing world with precision.
Figma is a collective interface configuration tool helpful in making sites, applications, and other UI/UX prototypes.
A wide range of designs is at your service in Figma. It has features built keeping in mind the future of web design and that’s how it has kicked the competition with a perspective vision.
- Distinctive new features Ex: A modern pen tool
- Provides a coordinated solution in a single UI
- Cloud-based product and automated
- All the popular OS and web programs have acceptance to this product
- Figma mirror is a wonderful feature that assists originators with self-assessment while planning a site to provide the best professional outcome.
- The Cloud-based feature in Figma becomes a con because of no offline access support and this is the deciding factor to why certain designers back off and switch to another tool.
- Colors play an important part in designing but Figma doesn’t have global tunes in its modules
- Figma has a specific standard of operation which requires a user to have 4GB RAM and a design card of top quality and not all the designers or developers can match these specifics.
So, far we have understood the advantages and disadvantages of design tools – Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD, now let’s compare these 3 tools.
Sketch vs Adobe XD vs Figma
Platform and OS
The Priority index of this feature is high. When deciding between Sketch, Adobe XD and Figma you must choose the tool for use after verifying platform and OS because the specifications must match in order to use it.
Sketch: Supports Mac, not available in Windows or Linux
Adobe XD: Supports 3 major OS (Windows, Linux, Mac)
Figma: Cloud-based but supports desktop feature for Mac
Effects and Styles
Sketch: No usefulness for altering and editing images
Adobe XD: Similar issue like sketch doesn’t allow the user to apply different effects to one object
Figma: Figma is not different in this aspect but does consider more options
Sketch: Choices of making text and layer styles available.
Adobe XD: This allows you to save explicit properties, but can’t save them all at once.
Figma: Provides independent styling with a mix and match approach, here one can take Little sets and combine them as per their requirement.
Sketch: Prototyping is available in Sketch. Animation for user stream displaying of miniature associations requires extra features like Plugins.
Adobe XD: Adobe brings prototyping directly to the design tool. Native prototyping is available in XD.
Figma: It appears to be quite simple but feels like Adobe XD without transitions.
Typography and dummy data
Sketch is risky at times while working with certain symbols, but nothing seems to be off-putting.
Adobe XD again is considered helpful in this criteria of usage.
Figma restricts the import of the information while both Sketch and Adobe XD allow the import to some extent.
Figma has an edge over Sketch & Adobe XD here. It provides users with great adaptability in terms of vector control. The program uses a vector organization that allows you to associate various lines to a single point.
Sketch & Adobe XD restrict you to an arrangement of connected nodes.
The platform dependencies of these tools affect the collaboration.
Sketch recently (2021) released a real-time collaboration feature to catch up with Figma in this prospect, yet it has been made available to membership holders only.
Adobe XD – The editing feature allows you to invite other editors for your saved project on the cloud. The projects are compatible across both Mac and windows.
Figma was built keeping in mind the idea of collaboration. Users collaborating can edit and modify projects collectively in real-time. You can observe the changes and also look at the user who made them. You can assign activities to anybody for free, doing this will get you their remarks on the work without them having to download the specific software.
Sketch uses a web inspector to permit engineers to examine Sketch records and export resources, regardless of their system. Hand-off tools like Zeplin coordinate with Sketch as well.
Adobe XD can stamp configuration records and resources for export. Developers are able to download these resources for their systems using single a link.
Figma allows different users as viewers for having a peek at models, leave their remarks, and export all resources through a single link.
Every developer looks for this feature while choosing any technology or tool. When comparing offline access amongst Sketch, Adobe and Figma we get the sense that Sketch and Adobe XD rank slightly high because of their offline access feature.
Figma uses a cloud-based system that will secure your data in case your internet goes down but has no offline support once disconnected.
The common issue for many technologies and tools is the pricing index. Though it has some relaxation with student resources, company resources still paying for that can be a deal-breaker.
Sketch has 9$ per month plan and 99$ annual pack. The 99$ plan gives you access to every product version available.
Adobe XD provides free plans but invariance of paid alternative starting from $11.89 /month depending on an individual developer or team’s requirement.
Figma- Here pricing varies according to user type i.e. for individual users Figma provides 3 free projects. For the team, the pricing starts from $12/month.
Before concluding the article let’s have a look at where these tools stand in 2021.
Sketch in 2021
Sketch has come far ahead since its inception back in 2010.
The update around May 2021 provided users with some features which include:
- Real-time collaboration: With more control and privacy features
- Collaboration beyond the canvas in the browser
Adobe XD in 2021
The current Adobe XD version is XD45. The update rolled out in October.
- Lottie playback
- Video playback
- Export improvements
- Share to Behance
2021 has rolled out a lot of versions of AdobeXD. It ranges from XD36 to XD45.
Figma had rolled out the last update around December.
Here’s what’s new in Figma :
- Easy Sharing, Managing, and faster Feedback actions
- Getting messages with audio captions
- New Plugin
Adobe XD’s association with Adobe Brand gives developers a psychological assurance for using the tool and also the previous usage of different adobe tools makes it easy to adapt. Sketch has its own reliability so does Figma, but as mentioned earlier Figma’s grand entrance and uniqueness made developers switch from the previous tool be it Sketch or AdobeXD.
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