It’s been an interesting time for UX/UI designers. Over the last few years, there’s been some great design tools emerge to help interface designers work more efficiently and with higher fidelity.

When Sketch was released, Bohemian introduced us to a very light-weight and fast way of getting our ideas to design and their progress on new innovative features hasn’t slowed down. This has cause a massive share of Interface designers to jump ship from Adobe Photoshop or Fireworks to Sketch.

Because Sketch was still very new and really, the only true competitive player in interface design, the market was still wide open for competitors. We now find Adobe and Figma entering the market with their own unique approach to design. Each of these design tools has a feature set that makes them stand out on their own but the big question everyone asks when considering UX design or making the switch from one to another is: Which tool is the most efficient for my workflow?

This is a comprehensive review of each design feature and how/if each program solves it. So, let’s get started!

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Organizing Pages and Layers

Sketch – With Sketch you can organize elements by Layers and Pages. When working with hundreds of artboards, it’s handy to store 5–10 relevant artboards in a page and tuck it away while I focus on another area of design. It also reduces the amount of layers you’re working with at one time making the organization feel a lot cleaner and more approachable.

Also, grouping artboards into pages seems to help the entire document be much faster/smoother than trying to scroll/pan and edit hundreds of artboards on one page.

Figma – Figma only has Layers which is grouped by “Frames” (artboards), nested groups, and elements. Figma seems to run faster/smoother than sketch during the design process so loading hundreds of artboards in one canvas isn’t as big of a worry.

Adobe XD  –  Although Sketch is the only app with Pages, Adobe has a unique approach to the layers panel. It has the same Artboard / groups / elements hierarchy as Sketch and Figma but it tries to be smart in what layers it shows you as you are working.

When you click on artboard one, the layers on other artboards are hidden and it shows you elements at the group level, by drilling down through an element, more layers present themselves.

You still have the ability to manually expand or compress layer groups as you’re working on them to eliminate the cumbersome task of of drilling through groups. I think they’ve introduced a great balance here and hope figma and sketch will adopt a similar feature.