Design tools - what do you use/recommend?

What design tools do you use or recommend?

Figma is amazing as a web-based graphics editor. Easy to use, real-time collaboration (OK, soft real-time), generous free tier, great for visual brainstorming as well as actually creating elements for production.


Looks a bit like a simpler version of Sketch for teams?

We can split into a dedicated thread if you think its worth it @malloryerik :nerd_face:

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Maybe a design and design tools conversation in general would be useful?

As for Figma, they have an interesting blog post about the creators of Notion. It’s from their own blog so, sure, propaganda, but still interesting.


Done :nerd_face:

I edited the first post slightly - hope that’s ok (feel free to adjust as necessary) :smiley:

It’s always interesting to hear success stories - so thanks for sharing!

With regards to how it compares to Sketch… they have a page up about it here:

I do love Sketch but will check out Figma when I get five 5 mins :smiley:


Hi there,

At my previous employer we used Sketch and at my current job I used Adobe XD, now Figma.

With Sketch we had the following challenges:

  • performance issue with bigger design files
  • collaboration (we could not use sketch cloud due to data privacy)
  • to share with stakeholders we needed to export designs (again data privacy)

Adobe XD is fast, but sharing design files without cloud is difficult.

Figma is fast as well! The company managed to get a private network, therefore the cloud issue got resolved and collaboration and sharing became easy.

Hope this was helpful.

Notice that I did not mention design features. All 3 tools became so similar that the decision factor shifted. Instead of checking off features, we needed to make it work for all designers, developers and stakeholders in the firm.


What are the cost differences Ladislav? Sketch recently changed theirs to a subscription model (which I am not a fan of) but since I have an original license I can continue to use that - though they have put the renewal prices up.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Affinity come up with something similar, or maybe expand Affinity Designer…

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Right, we also purchased Sketch licences for $99/year, which is still the cheapest. Then comes Figma professional for $144/year (has a free plan as well) and the most expensive Adobe XD (start from $696/year).

Of course if you work with images and require Photoshop or Illustrator, it will make sense to go toward Adobe ecosystem.

If it is a smaller company and needs only UI design tool, might worth look into Figma or Sketch.

Most of my freelancer friends all use Figma. It has a free plan which is more than enough for a solo designer, who is on budget.

Would be interesting to know where Affinity Designer would position itself on this market :slight_smile:

Worth also considering where these tools are going in the future. Design systems and real time collaboration is still something what they work on.

Big corporates need other tools as well, like virtual white boarding. This is where FigJam (Figma’s virtual white board) is coming to the picture. Invision, the prototyping app provides a really good competitor (freehand) compatible with Sketch. Adobe is behind a bit with this topic.