Adobe to Acquire Figma: What the Future Holds
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Over the years, Figma became designers' and businesses' go-to tool. It's a space to share and collaborate among teams to create products from scratch. After Adobe's acquisition, the world questioned what the future would bring it. Whispers to know if Adobe would improve or decrease Figma started right away. Is it the end of the platform we know and love? Would this bring benefits to the design and business world? This article will try to answer all these doubts. Let's find out what you should expect from this big announcement.
What are Figma and Adobe?
Figma is a cloud-based design tool like Sketch. It covers the same functionalities to create designs but better works for teams. It helps design stunning interfaces with icons, layouts, or animations. Often, it receives a "familiar" tone because it can develop itself on any platform. Designers use Figma to make changes due to its ability to collaborate. It also allows teams to drag and drop images into documents. At the same time, it has features that can represent lower costs than other design tools.
On the opposite, Adobe builds software applications through design and imagination. It helps to create digital experience platforms for students, teachers, and designers. It's also described as a worldwide design source. This is due to the presence of some of its applications, such as Illustrator or Photoshop. It's well known that Adobe allows companies to access programs that can cover all your needs. These necessities go from designing a logo to building a user interface. All their tools represent an editing key to convert ideas or images into a product to show.
Adobe and Figma's foundation
After a challenging stage in 2015, a group of Google developers created the app we today know as Figma. During that time, they wanted to build a system that covered what both Photoshop and Sketch did. They felt there were many things that technology could do. Yet, platforms at that moment did not cover these needs.
“Going into Figma, I wish I knew more about empowering and managing people. I think the worst kind of “not knowing” is not knowing what you don’t know. It’s quite embarrassing, but I didn’t know that management was a skill back in 2012. It’s a skill that I had to develop over time, and it’s something that I’m still trying very hard to improve on since I definitely can’t call myself a seasoned manager yet”.
Dylan Field, CEO, and Co-Founder of Figma.
So, they started creating something to do things easier and faster when nobody could do it. The result of this experiment was the creation of Figma, launched in 2016. As time went by, Figma got more and more users. Nowadays, it combines quality and accessibility. This is why this group of developers created the "holy grail" for the design world.
John Warnock and Charles Geschke founded Adobe in 1982. Both of them were former Xerox employees. The project started as a desktop with Postscripts for advertising and visual effects solutions. Initially, it focused on precise positions and shapes.
They wanted to expose the potential Adobe has through many features. One of them was by translating images and text on a computer to print. This helped show the world how their technology had something different. They decided on an offer from Xerox since it wanted to explode its potential. Yet, they decided to start their own company, and Adobe became what we know nowadays.
Adobe's Previous Acquisitions
In the past, Adobe has acquired other platforms like Figma. As a result, it increased their potential. Many people do not know about this fact, and it can show what will happen in reality. One prominent example was when Adobe acquired Pagemaker's parent company in 1994. Nowadays, we can see how much it grew up and offers itself as Adobe Acrobat. And, as we know, it provides a world of possibilities for companies. Adobe decided to buy it and make some changes that turned into incredible ones.
On the other side, the most recognized one was when Adobe bought Photoshop in 1995. This is the best example of how it can create beautiful things by exploding its latent potential. Due to this acquisition, Adobe made the program shine like we know and use it today. Like Photoshop, Figma can do remarkable things to potentiate businesses.
Adobe's Acquisition of Figma
Many users raised concerns after Adobe's bought Figma. Yet, the reality is wider than only one perspective. This acquisition does not only relate to the design field. Further, it's quite the step for the business field. To better understand this situation, let's look at both sides and when they agree and disagree.
Designers quickly note that the Adobe Creative Suite is often not accessible. A reason for this, though, was its known lack of collaboration between platforms. In this sense, some may say Adobe forgot about teamwork. This focus left behind the possibility of real-time joint work, like simultaneous editing.
Nonetheless, Figma covered these aspects of collaborative features very well. From the start, the platform focused on creating a product for collective uses. Its approach helped to build connections without limiting creativity. Figma created a space for people to design, edit, and comment at a time when no other platform had said feature.
We can say that Adobe's acquisition aims to create a balance in collaboration terms. In this sense, Figma erases this barrier and allows users to work together. Further, this balance covers business and designers' needs. Moreover, this switch would enable companies to reduce time and costs. As a result, both parties would work efficiently to fulfill business outcomes.
“Personally, I would like Figma to keep its platform independent. I am scared of what Adobe can do and if it turns into bad changes. The only thing I can see as a beneficial fact for its feature is the interaction between Adobe and Figma. Being an example the use of smart objects with the aid of editing them. We can edit them with Photoshop or Illustrator without Figma’s vectorial function. I feel it still requires more to be perfect. But, we will have to wait and see how it goes, hoping for the best.”
Florencia Ferreiro, UX/UI designer @ Capicua.
Unlikely like what people would think, business insight covers a different point of view. Companies had different reactions to Figma's acquisition. Further, they wondered how this would affect the IT world. The consensus is that Adobe is not paying to cut Adobe XD's first competition. Instead, its strategy combines the best features that both Figma and its suite can offer. One of the main reasons behind this thought was Adobe's request to keep Figma's CEO, Dylan Field.
These actions show that Adobe's intentions are broader than designers think. While it could have changed all Figma's features, it didn't. Thus, it's worth noticing these first steps are going on the right path since Figma is still working as it used to. Many companies believe Adobe is impulsing its suite considering companies' and designers' needs. Ventures like Netflix and Airbnb can now access the suite and choose tools without limits. Because of this expanded toolkit, the merging rises as a strategic triumph.
In this context, we can argue that Adobe acquired Figma to cover some aspects it noticed in the market. These aspects gave the possibility to enhance its positioning strategy. For instance, there was a latent desire to speed up top-line growth. Besides, Adobe knew it needed to increase the collaboration system between editing processes. So, this action would allow them to roll out extra features offered long ago. And on top of that, marketing campaigns led to a beneficial impact.
Once this situation made headlines worldwide, it generated quite an impact. Moreover, different industries want to know what this change would represent. Since Figma grew up, it was able to impact the world as no other platform did before. Yet, this impact has more than history has already shown us.
Like with everything, there are two hypothetical scenarios. Some think Figma will not work how it used to due to following Adobe's business model changes. But, others believe these changes can bring good actions rather than limitations. Both paths made people wonder if Adobe would improve Figma. Nonetheless, the final impact can only be measurable by Adobe's decisions. The future looks optimistic, though. Both companies can take the best parts of businesses and design to surprise the market.
On the contrary, the business world trusts in the features this merging can create. Ventures like Zoom or Coinbase used to work with all features Figma provided. Thus, this advance represents new strategic movements also for them. For instance, it opens Figma's potential to reach new edges, like 3D design. In this scenario, businesses are not only focusing on possible consequences. Instead, they're looking forward to the collaboration barriers this acquisition can cut. Ventures are optimistic as they focus on creating better digital experiences for users. So, this tools' union will make enterprises easier to meet market and users' needs. Following this line of thought, not only will businesses achieve better outcomes. Designers will get better work conditions to focus on their remarkable creativity.
Designers got affected by this news. This impact comes after rumors of a possible loss of free accessibility to Figma. As a result, the service's costs would limit the access for different groups of designers, especially those starting up in the field. Thus, this action would restrict product design. Yet, Scott Belsky ensured that the acquisition wouldn't change pricing models. Belsky, Adobe's Chief Product Officer Scott, also stated that Figma would remain freemium.
A consequence for the business world could be the loss of viability between systems. With this threat, ventures could look for alternatives to cover all their needs. As a result, this would affect time and costs, generating problems for any enterprise.
We can say clients will not get directly affected by this acquisition. This means that Figma has a cost that clients do not consider when purchasing a product. The license cost is a play-to-play situation that refers to a transferable fee. This works because designers or agencies assume Figma's price to get the tools to work. A higher price will affect how these work, producing them to elevate the costs that a client will pay for a product. This is the main consequence a client will experience, not a direct result in general.
Alternatives After Figma's Acquisition
The most significant part of this situation is its users' concerns. What will happen if this platform becomes paid like other Adobe platforms? This has become one of the reasons why designers and developers reacted badly to this news. As many think, we must clarify that Figma is a paid platform, not a free one. Its cost is covered by the company or designer, which is why clients do not get in touch with the impact a higher cost would represent.
Nonetheless, different tools, like Penpot, can cover needs for free if this happens. This platform is a lot like Figma and allows users to collaborate while they design things. It covers all the features Figma has, but the project is still in the development and testing stage. This platform offers features like image sending, receiving, and placing. Further, it can write messages when someone is editing a part of the product.
What Does The Future Hold?
Surprisingly acting, Adobe acquired Figma and shocked the world. This action generated expectations and predictions from this ultimate decision. At the same time, it is unsure if Figma would be Adobe's ace or an elimination card. This means that many things can occur after making significant changes. Further, this can both be a potential improvement or a crash for Adobe's compatibility. They can include new 3D and printing features to upgrade what Figma currently offers.
Additionally, we can predict that Figma will keep working after all the statements. The thing is seeing how Adobe will not overshadow their other platforms to make Figma shine. This decision can make significant changes for companies. These changes can represent new features and collaboration between systems. Yet, only time can tell what will happen in the future so that we can hope for the best.
Overall, Figma's fate is unknown to us as spectators, but a clear fact is its positive impact. Nonetheless, Adobe may restrict Figma's accessibility to follow its model or not. This thought does not mean this will happen since Adobe can handle all the rumors if it combines the design knowledge these two platforms have. This mix will erase doubts and show that two minds work much more than just one.
Figma is a great tool that helps businesses with their goals nowadays. It not only creates an environment for designers, but it also creates collaboration. Further, It can provide more than you think and put things together with a unique style.
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