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What factors influence the decision of enterprise customers to invest in real-time collaborative design tools such as Adobe XD or Figma?

Matthew Moore

Head of Design at Lime

Matthew: I'll answer that question a little bit more broadly. I was at Uber from the end of 2013 to the middle of 2018, and during that time we went from primarily using Photoshop to do product design and UX design to transitioning to Sketch. The whole company was essentially on Sketch, and then Figma came out -- I think it was probably 2017 when we really started talking about it. One of the designers that I was working closely with, his roommate was one of the founders of Figma and he was really excited about it, but it was way too early for the product. Things were working well in Sketch at that point, and there was no reason to switch. So we set a monthly calendar reminder to see if Figma had evolved to the point where we could actually use it. The next thing we knew, other parts of Uber had started using Figma and we were kind of the last team to get onto Figma.

Figma was right to take this approach of -- get the designers onto it, don't worry about your IT people, worry about the end user. Are they excited about this product? Do they see the benefit of it? And we totally started to see the benefit of it at Uber. I left Uber and went to Sonder. They were on Sketch, sending hundreds of megabytes of Sketch files around. And I was like, "No, we're not going to do this, we've got to switch to Figma." I did a similar thing when I came to Lime.

I would say that approach was wise for Figma to take. From an IT administrator's perspective, if you have an unopinionated group of end users, then they're going to go with what is available or low cost to them. These companies are still giving designers access to Adobe Creative Suite. I actually just checked it out -- I have access to Adobe XD as a part of my Creative Suite subscription at Lime, but I don't have it installed and frankly, I know no one who uses XD right now.

It's probably indicative that I know so little about it. I believe it does not have multiplayer capability. I believe it's not web based. I believe that you have to send files around to people and -- I'm sure they have some Adobe cloud solution that works sometimes, but my experience with the Adobe cloud system is that it's not particularly reliable and it's not a very generous product for the users.

If we were going to try out XD, there would probably be a lot of friction, which has a cost. We've got to use the tool we feel most comfortable with, and that almost gets out of the way so we can do the work we have to do, and Figma is that right now. There's so much momentum behind it. The community is very fickle about the tooling that we choose, and Figma has a whole community behind it. I'm a big fan of what they're doing.

Find this answer in Matthew Moore, Head of Design at Lime, on Figma vs. Adobe
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