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From Adobe XD to Figma: Navigating the transition

transition adobe XD Figma
Andrew Chin
Andrew Chin
Executive Director Strategy and Design Australia
Length
4 min read
Date
13 November 2023

As of June 2023, Adobe XD has bid farewell to the Adobe Creative Cloud (CC). While existing CC users can still access Adobe XD, new users can’t purchase or download this once-popular tool. The most likely reason being Adobe’s impending acquisition of Figma, a frontrunner in the design industry. But what does this mean for your design team?

TL;DR: Be proactive in moving to Figma because it will be challenging.   

What’s happening with Adobe XD? 

Amid the buzz of Adobe’s acquisition of Figma, this shift is more than a mere coincidence. As Adobe embarks on a year-long acquisition journey to gain full ownership of Figma, the landscape of design tools is being reshaped. While Adobe XD has been a cornerstone for many product teams, the increasing momentum of Figma and its evolution with new features position it as a powerful contender for the future of design.

Surprisingly, Adobe has not released official statements regarding removing Adobe XD from the Creative Cloud. However, according to Rishabh Tiwari, Adobe XD will support existing users, though it will no longer be available for individual purchase. The absence of a clear public announcement has pushed us to delve into their motives.

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If your team is reliant on Adobe XD, here’s what’s in store 

With Figma’s recent updates—including scalable variables and advanced prototyping–we are convinced: Figma’s expansion is unstoppable. They are arguably the best solution for design teams, and failing to adopt the platform could disadvantage your organization via agility, scalability, and talent acquisition. 

At this exact moment, the removal from the Creative Cloud isn’t a huge concern. However, as things progress, there will be shifts in how product teams operate. While it’s uncertain whether Figma will seamlessly integrate into the Adobe Creative Cloud, you should be proactive. 

Notably, migrating from Adobe XD to Figma will be more complex than you think due to the differing setups of these two tools.

Transitioning to Figma

Unfortunately, transitioning from Adobe XD to Figma will not be pleasant. 

While Adobe owns both products, we don’t predict a simple transfer between the two. Even if Adobe can convert XD files and systems to Figma, we still think there will be a sizeable manual effort to migrate design files properly. 

For example: 

  • Design systems: There is no easy way to migrate from the Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries to Figma’s Libraries. If there were, connecting all the components in Figma to the Figma Library you just created would be a laborious process. If you have a design system, you should make this your priority. 
  • Linking XD typography with Figma’s Text Styles. There isn’t an easy way to download these assets from XD and re-link them in Figma. This could take hours, depending on your file size and how many frames you have in your designs. 
  • Adobe XD to Figma Plugin. A plugin is supposed to help the migration, but we’ve experimented with it and found that it brings all your layers together and piles them on top of one another. It’s almost impossible to clean up these items, especially if you have thousands of layers. 

To minimize disruption, we recommend starting early (today) with Figma. 

Migrating your projects will likely involve hiring team members skilled in Figma, setting up foundational elements like properties, variables, and global styles, plus allocating time for the learning curve. Challenges you’ll probably encounter include obtaining enterprise accounts, mastering new tools, and aligning with Figma’s design philosophy tailored for product teams.

Contemplating a transition from Adobe XD to Figma? Our product design experts can help your team transition to Figma, plus set you up with the best standards in the industry.  

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