When it comes to the best UI/UX design tools, which tool first comes to your thought? Most probably your choice would be anyone of Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, and Invision Studio. These all can not only collaborate well but also make your work buttery smooth with infinite possibilities. In this post, we are going to compare them all; Figma vs Adobe XD vs Sketch vs Invision Studio.
Have you ever come across any design, and you were like, Wow! That’s the design you were searching for. Suddenly, a thought sparks in your mind—how was the post designed? Which software is being used? And you start searching on Google for the best designing software?
That spark every time I come across an astonishing design!
You should know that earlier “Sketch” has been the first choice for many UX and UI designers. But in the past few years, we see many contenders in the design field. Three of them made the big jump are Figma, Adobe XD, and Invision Studios.
These four are good at designing anything, but there are some cons for each. In this article, I’ve analyzed how these designing apps compete, their unique attributes and drawbacks.
Here is an Intro to all these four designing tools before we dive deep into comparison.
It is a web app that can run on any browser and pretty much on any operating system. Figma helps teams and designers to collaborate to provide better & faster results.
Figma was launched on 27 Sep 2016 with initial funding of $14M. The additional offline functionalities and companion apps for Android & iOS allow viewing the Figma prototype in real-time on mobile devices.
Features & Advantages:
- Accessibility and Collaboration
- Build Prototype
- Smooth handoff
- Versatility to customize and improve
- Real-time collaboration: If you are a group of designers in a company, then this will make it easier to edit the design together in real-time. You could watch your teammates working on a screen and can easily get in sync with them all.
- Quick and Easy file sharing: You can easily share files within 5 minutes instead of re-uploading the files saving your time to work on another project.
- All-in-one tool for designing, prototyping, and hand-offs: It’s an all-in-one bundle, the mixture of Sketch, Adobe XD, and InVision in one price.
- Cloud-based: You can open any file on any desktop without the need to download the copy or upload it manually.
- Availability of a Free Plan.
- No Internet, No Figma: It depends on an active internet connection all the time. If the system is not connected to the internet, the work is stopped.
- Need decent Graphic card: It needs a good graphic card to provide a good experience.
- Caches: Figma is cloud-based software sometimes- you need to refresh files to see your partner’s design.
- Figma Mirror: Editors who select an element on the file are different than the viewers.
What Purpose does it solve?
Figma is a cloud-based graphic editing and user interface designing app. You can use it to design any kind of graphic designing framework, design mobile app interface, prototype designing, crafting social media posts, and everything.
Best for Whom?
Figma is a modern tool for collaborative prototyping. It is best suited for both beginners and advanced designers. It has all the necessary attributes to create any prototype and works on every major device. With Figma, you can easily share prototypes with others, like your client or team members.
- Free Version
It provides many functionalities including, unlimited files, Unlimited viewers & commentators, unlimited editors on three-team files, 30-day version history, and unlimited cloud storage.
- Paid Version
The paid version has two options professional ($12 per editor/month) and Organization ($45 per editor/ month). Additional features include- custom file permissions, invite-only private projects, sharable team libraries, SSO+ advanced security, and many more.
Even though, Adobe was leading the designing platform segment, but in between Sketch made it simple for web & App designers for creators. Of late, Adobe realized the potential of UI/UX design segment. Further understood that how much crucial it is to enter into this segment.
The entire generation of designers grew up using Adobe Photoshop for design. Further, Adobe envisioned and started working on a new platform/app to cater user interface designer’s needs.
Consequently, Adobe released XD Beta in 2016 & fully-fledged XD on 18 October 2017 for speedy designing of webs apps, mobile apps, and voice apps.
Adobe XD is a dedicated prototyping tool. You can design prototypes and test them immediately.
Features & Advantages:
- 3D transforms
- Repeat Grids
- Import from Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch.
- All types of Artboards: Adobe XD has all types of canvas from desktops to smartphones. Choose any one pre-designed template and get started.
- Tutorials: Adobe provides a basic introductory tutorial for all the users to get a kick start, and they are of great help.
- Clean Interface: The interface is perfect and clean for any UI designer and has almost everything that anyone needs to get started.
- Repeat Grid utility: You drag one grid with a repeat grid command on it, and it will automatically place repeat grids one after the other.
- Prototyping works only on macOS: The prototyping live of smartphones only works on macOS and not on any other devices.
- No customized shapes: You cannot design a customized shape which is crucial for any design.
- No CSS export: You can design an elegant design, but there is no software yet to get CSS exported from the design you created.
What purpose does it solve?
Adobe XD gives solutions to businesses of all sizes sketch, wireframes, and design websites. Designers can collaborate across teams to design in real-time.
Best for Whom?
Adobe XD helps designers make interactive prototypes and test them immediately. It is best suited for beginners to advanced-level professionals. If you want to learn this news skillset as profession and career option, it is surely worth investing.
- XD Single App: Adobe XD the single app starts at $9.99 per user per month. It comes with a 7-day free trial. The single app model provides utilities like unlimited shared documents & editors, unlimited shared links, 30-days document history, 100 GB of cloud storage, XD creative cloud apps.
- Adobe XD for teams: Adobe XD for teams, the plan starts at $22.99 per month. Notable functionalities include complete font library, XD CC apps, onboarding webinars, Admin console, 1:1 session with experts.
- All Apps: Adobe XD all apps plan starts at $52.99 per month. It comes with 60 days’ document history, 20+ creative cloud apps including- XD, Photoshop, and After effects.
Sketch is a vector-based design tool well suited for app, web, and interface designing. It is developed by the Dutch company Bohemian coding. It was released back on 7 Sep. 2010 for macOS.
Sketch is only available on macOS. Sketch offers unique & thoughtful functionality like prototyping and the entire collaborative design process. You can focus on creating amazing designs from pixel-perfect icons to the next breakthrough product.
Features & Advantages:
- Non-destructive editing
- Exporting Capabilities
- Grids & Guides
- Reusable Elements
- Live Collaborative Platform
- Community support
- Massive Library: Sketch has massive design libraries that are straight from Apple for iOS, macOS, and watchOS.
- Offline Work: You can work offline to store your design locally, either as a cache of the Sketch Cloud file or purely local.
- Massive Tools: You can create amazing designs using an awesome tool that has unique utilities.
- Large Community: Sketch has an ever-growing community with plenty of forums and Facebook groups around offering advice if you are stuck.
- Work only on macOS: The sketch app works only on macOS and not on any other system like Windows.
- Create Keyboard shortcuts: You need to create keyboard shortcuts to be super-efficient and work faster.
- Bugs & Feature Enhancement needs time: Sketch is owned by a small team, so fixing bugs and updating features requires more time.
What Purpose does it solve?
It is primarily used for user interfaces and user experience design of websites and mobile apps but does not include print design features.
Best for Whom?
Sketch is a vector-based design tool well suited for app, web, and interface designing. Its simple and intuitive features make it suitable for beginners as well as advanced-level designers.
- Standard Pack: The sketch comes up with a standard pack that is for individuals and teams starting from $9 per editor per month or $99 per editor per year. It comes with the features like unlimited documents and projects, shared libraries, real-time collaboration, prototyping, advanced layout, and many more.
- Business Pack: Sketch provides a business pack for organizations with advanced needs. The business pack is charged on yearly basis. It includes features like Single Sign-On, priority support, Invoice based billing, dedicated customer success manager, security reviews, and many more.
Invision Studio gives all the UI tools required to create a fully functional prototype with dynamic elements and animations. Moreover, it helps you to create advanced, vector-based graphic design. It is one of the best high-fidelity prototyping tools there.
It is part of the InVision suite, which also includes the cloud to store, share, and connect your product design. InVision Studio was released on 1 Jan. 2018 with a beautiful montage promo. It can be used on mac and windows too.
Features & Advantages:
- Resize and crop images without masks
- Fix elements as you scroll
- Link several artboards into one animation
- Swipe triggers for parallax animations
- Simple and Accessible: You can easily design with drag-and-drop functionalities leaving feedback on certain aspects of designs.
- Optimize on boarding flow: It’s product tour shows new users how to use the app simply and effectively.
- Scalable: The software is designed to meet the requirement of everyone from freelances to global corporations.
- Collaborating on feedback: Allows clients, developers, and stakeholders to easily review and comment on cloud-based prototypes on any device.
- Expensive for a bigger team: Paying a set amount per person will get very closer for bigger teams.
- Not fully Collaborative: It doesn’t permit real-time editing like other software.
- The design tool isn’t incorporated: Designers have to import work from InVision Studio which is available only for Mac and Windows, Sketch, or another preferred design tool, but no browser-based access.
What purpose does it solve?
It lets you create advanced, vector-based screen design with amazing functionalities and features.
Best for Whom?
It is a prototyping tool that allows non-technical people to quickly design and create interactive prototypes. As the name suggests, it aims to provide a real experience of the product that you are creating as it has multiple features such as adding animations, transitions, gestures, etc.
- Free Version: Suitable for beginners and small teams. The features like 10 active users, prototypes for 3 documents and unlimited free-hands, unlimited public spaces, public share links, guest permissions, and many more.
- Pro Version: Starts with $7.95 per editor/per month. It comes with 15 active users, unlimited documents prototypes, unlimited public & private spaces, and many more.
- Enterprise Version: Provides solutions for organizations with their advanced needs. It provides more utilities in addition to the pro version like no user limits, custom freehand templates, advanced team management & security, and many more.
Comparison: Figma Vs Adobe XD Vs Sketch Vs Invision Studio
Now let us compare them all on parameters that matter for designers and team owners.
Regardless of whether you’re a freelancer, a small company or a big enterprises budget plays a crucial role to decide the best platform.
Some of these licenses provide education and promotional pricing, so don’t miss out on them.
- Figma: You can have 3 projects for free or upgrade to unlimited projects for $12/ month.
- Sketch: It comes with the standard pack of $99 per editor/year. You can also upgrade the plan as your business grows.
- Adobe XD: It provides free starter (with limitations) and paid plans, depending upon your team and requirement. The basic plan starts with $9.99 per feature per month.
- InVision Studio: It also provides a free and paid version depending upon team members and requirements. The basic plan is free for 10 active users and can be upgraded to the pro version at $7.95 per user per month.
All four have a difference in their platform support. Here’s a rundown for the platform of each tool or which fulfills your requirement.
- Figma: It is a cloud-based app that can run on any browser.
- Adobe XD: It supports Mac and Windows systems.
- Sketch: It is available only for Mac users.
- InVision Studio: It is available for Mac and Windows platforms.
#3 Live Collaboration
Nobody likes to send files again and again with minor changes. Live collaboration helps us to save time with live comments.
- Figma: Yes! It’s a browser-based app making users make comments with Live collaboration.
- Adobe XD: It offers real-time editing.
- Sketch: No! You need to install a plugin for Live collaboration.
- InVision Studio: Not possible, but you can share links with team members.
#4. Offline Availability
Offline availability makes it easier to save files locally or using cloud storage. It is easier to design without any interruption or requirement of any active internet.
- Figma: It is a browser-based app that runs on any browser, but you need an active internet connection. It is not available for offline download for now.
- Sketch: It is available for offline download, but only for Mac OS.
- Adobe XD: It is available for offline download for both Mac and Windows OS. You can download files in your storage or upload them on cloud storage.
- InVision Studio: It is available for offline download as well for both Mac and Windows OS.
Symbols make your work easier; these help to completely change your design process. Forgot about duplicating list items over and over again, let symbols work for you.
- Figma: Symbols have states, constraints, and overrides.
- Adobe XD: It has components that can be used throughout the documents and help to create variations in components for different interactions.
- Sketch: The symbol functionality is impressive, can be updated, and resize responsively making your work lesser when changing screen size.
- InVision Studio: They have components closely related to symbol conventions.
Preparing guidelines and graphic resources is a crucial part for the developers. It always helps to save time because it is now mostly an automated process.
- Figma: It lets you export files in CSS, Swift, and XML code. You also have access to the designs because of live collaboration.
- Adobe XD: It allows the designer to share links that contain CSS codes, measurements, and assets.
- Sketch: They’ve their own native developer handoff utility called “Cloud Inspector.”
- InVision Studio: They have “Inspect Now.”
#7. Ease of use
Ease to use makes it simple to make complex designs easier and design them in few minutes. It helps to save time to find tools and options required to complete the design without making it difficult.
- Figma: It is easy to use on any platform. It has a relatively easy interface, and many tutorials are available to make it understand easily.
- Adobe XD: It is pretty easier to understand once you know how to create designs.
- Sketch: The hardest part is learning different plugins and getting the right ones for your workflow.
- InVision Studio: It is easy to navigate and an excellent software to start your design journey.
Figma vs Adobe XD vs Sketch vs Invision Studio
|Figma||Adobe XD||Sketch||InVision Studio|
|Pricing||Free & Paid Version||– Free starter plan|
– Basic plan starts from $9.99/month
– XD for teams/Business starts with $22.99 per user/month
|Free & Paid Version||Free & Paid Version|
|Platform||Browser-based||Mac and Windows||Mac||Mac and Windows|
|Offline Availability||No||Yes||Yes, only Mac OS||Yes|
|Hand-offs||CSS, Swift, and XML files||Share Links||Own Native developer “Cloud Inspector”||Native Developer “Inspect Now”|
|Ease-to-use||Easy to learn||Ease to learn||Difficult to learn plugins||Easy to navigate|
Which Design software is best for you?
Finding the right app depends upon your work and team size.
All these four design platforms are extremely well-suited for modern design needs. At the end of the day, everyone is looking to make their work easier and find a better solution than the other.
The sketch is at a big loss because it only has Mac Version available. Figma and Adobe XD innovate the basic necessities. InVision with little more focus may ensure its survival.