Last week, the world of creative technology was shocked by the news that Adobe had acquired Figma, makers of a hugely popular suite of design tools. Designers responded immediately and for the most part negatively.

Figma was designed from the bottom up with approachability and team spirit in mind. Premium features such as real-time collaboration on a free-to-use basis and browser-based accessibility allow entire teams of people to work together across platforms from any device. It is one of the strongest competitors to Adobe XD, which has been unable to keep up with Figma's innovations.

It's easy to see why Figma fans don't like the new parent company taking over.

Designers are worried that Adobe will ruin or end the product. They will harvest Figma for some cool ideas, integrate those into their existing products, then bury Figma to gain back the subscriptions they lost when it was free, according to an analyst.

He is not the only one who does not like Adobe and its services. "I'm blown away by how bloated and slow Creative Cloud is when I need to use it." He states that "Figma is incredibly easy to use, and has character to boot - in a lot of ways the opposite of many Adobe tools." Greg Lewis is a self-proclaimed ex-Adobe XD fan. He writes in a post that he was worried that the release strategy of Adobe XD had changed.

Creative Cloud is bloated and slow to use.

The community spirit that Figma now thrives on seems to have been lost by Adobe. In the past, the XD product team would interact directly with customers and users could vote on which improvements should be implemented. Lewis said that this kind of interaction has gone away. The consumers are less likely to be thrilled when the few new innovations that are released are kept behind subscription paywalls as the updates for Adobe XD have seemingly slowed.

Adobe XD prototyping
Adobe XD was created to spare UX designers from using a combination of different Adobe applications. Now, it seems some in the design community just want to avoid Adobe altogether.
Image: Adobe

It wasn't the first to offer a rival service to Adobe's own tools, but it has blown most of its competitors out of the water thanks to its in-browser real-time collaboration tools. It became the preferred tool of designers due to regular updates and new features. Lewis writes that he would be able to argue that XD was on par until 2020. By the year 2021, it was too far behind. I have built design systems in Sketch and Figma and I don't think they will catch up with them soon.

Microsoft chose Figma when it had to choose between the two services. Vclav Vanura, a former design lead for developer tools at Microsoft, told CNBC that Adobe was not able to catch up toigma.

Figma tutorial page
Figma won over UX and UI developers thanks to its web-based accessibility and feature-packed free-to-use membership tier.
Image: Figma

Jon Friedman, corporate vice president of design and research at Microsoft, said it was similar to air and water. igma's become, I would say, sort of the No.1 common tool we use to collaborate across all of the design community in the community and beyond. The benefits are recognized by smaller users. According to a survey from UX Tools, Figma dominated 77 percent of the user interface design market, showing just how much of a threat it was to Adobe.

Adobe's products are ok. They have stopped innovation. Adobe has a lack of innovation. Designers made it. It took it far more than what Adobe did.

Adobe's products are ok. They haven't been innovative.

Figma's pricing model is more appealing. Figma has a huge advantage over Adobe Creative Cloud by including a free-to-use membership that keeps many of its best features, helping to introduce the service to those who are new to it. The starter edition of Adobe is limited to one active shared document, two editors, and one active shared link, rendering it useless for team use.

There are concerns within the design community that Adobe's acquisition could result in Figma shutting down its free membership and losing the freedom to develop independently from Adobe. It's worse if you adopt the Adobe approach of berating users with a lot of in-app messages.

Adobe and Figma are doing everything they can to make those concerns go away. Dylan Field wrote thatAdobe is committed to keeping Figma operating autonomously and that he will continue to serve as CEO. For some in the Figma community, these reassurances aren't enough; association with Adobe alone is enough to drive them to look for alternatives.

The demise of the acquired product hasn't been caused by previous Adobe acquisitions. When Adobe acquired TypeKit, restrictions on sync and web only fonts were removed. Under Adobe's watch, the service flourished.

Services flourished under Adobe's watch.

Adobe changed the name of the premium version of the service to Adobe Commerce, while still supporting the open source version of the service. In order to nurture the platform and its community, Adobe integrated new features into the free model last year.

Figma FigJam tutorial GIF
Figma is unlikely to lose the features that helped to make it great, such as FigJam, under Adobe’s ownership.
Image: Figma

Acquisition of our beloved tools can cause some distress and panic, but it is not as bad as you might think. Many of these tools remain the same or become even better even though the login experience may change.

There is a possibility of an upside to the acquisition. Adobe's expertise could help to introduce features such as native support for 3D, photo editing, and advanced illustration. The relationship between the two people is not one-sided.

It is hoped that little will change for the worse as both Figma and Adobe get new features and new expertise. It might be unpleasant to imagine using Figma via the Creative Cloud, but it is just another way to access a beloved product. I hope Adobe doesn't lose track of what makes the product so great because I'm happy for the Figma team that they've been so successful