June 19, 2024

Why we Ditched Adobe for Figma: A tough-love lesson in saving time and money.

Here's a little secret: I've been using Adobe products since before they were Adobe programs. Does anyone remember Pagemaker?

I do, but that's beside the point.

But, because this Gen X'er has kept an open mind, our team has implemented new technology that to my surprise and delight, is saving us a ton of time and our clients a load of money.

How's that, you ask?

Unless you have been living under a rock in outer space, you are surely aware that Adobe products have been the overwhelming go-to for the creative set since the debut of the first iteration of Adobe CS in 2003.

And for good reason.

After millennia confined to producing illustrations and text via painstaking application of pigment or etching on a surface, these tools have transformed creativity for millions worldwide and accelerated the creative process exponentially.

Ideas and thoughts can be expressed faster and more clearly than ever before. Mistakes no longer require hours of tedious reworking or loss of materials. The benefits to designers, writers, editors, videographers, and dozens of other specialists cannot be overstated. Adobe, and other similar programs have been amazing game-changers.

Any current creative professional worth their salt has devoted hundreds, if not thousands of hours to attaining and refining their skills and abilities, usually in more than one of Adobe's dozen+ programs.

This applies to us at Agensa as well. Our team members are expert users of Illustrator, In Design, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and other Adobe programs.

So what has changed?

In 2020, Paulina, our lead designer, took over the design portion of an application development project that had been partially built in Figma — a program she knew of but had not used.

At the time, Figma was emerging as an increasingly popular, browser-based tool engineered to enable app and website designers to seamlessly collaborate with developers.

After mastering the Figma learning curve, she soon discovered the program's usefulness for quickly and efficiently creating digital content and began using it for other non-dev projects.

Hooked by the program's lightning-fast speed, the hundreds of plug-ins available, and the ease of real-time collaboration with clients and co-workers, Paulina was almost exclusively using Figma after six months.

In comparison, Paulina began to find Adobe clunky, slow, and a barrier to client-designer-coworker collaborations.

When Paulina introduced me to Figma, I was admittedly reluctant to jump the Adobe ship. After all, I've spent DECADES learning and using their products — with great success. But those who know Paulina will all agree that if anything, she is PERSISTENT. Eventually, she succeeded in dragging me, kicking and screaming a bit at first, over to the Figma side.

After some initial pain on what turned out to be a steep learning curve, I, too, have been won over by the program's many charms. A side-by-side comparison drives home the Figma advantage. Let's take a look:

Speed. Reliability. Browser-based UI. Real-time collaboration. C'mon! What's not to love?

Given the above, it's no surprise that we, as a team, rely on Figma almost exclusively, and our Adobe programs are beginning to collect dust in the corner.

Fun Fact: Our overall time spent utilizing Adobe products has dropped from nearly 100% to under 10% over two years!

Okay, okay...so Figma is great for Designers. Yeah, yeah! Good for you! But what does that mean for me, your client?

As it turns out, you get as much out of Figma as we do, but in a different way. And by a different way, we mean TIME & MONEY saved. A whole lotta both.

Tell me more about that!

Thanks to our fabulous time-tracking and program management software, Click-Up, we have complete insight into how much time we spend on every task. We were curious so we took a look and were astonished at the results:

Our data shows that Adobe tasks take a whopping 50% longer to complete than Figma tasks!

That's HALF the time and HALF the money spent per project. Or to look at it in another way: twice as much content per marketing dollar spent. This adds up to A LOT more production value and ROI.

This difference is nothing short of a seachange in content development.

You're welcome!

So, is Figma the Perfect Time & Money Saving Tool?

Kinda, sorta, yes. Well, it depends on what the end product is.

Best answer: it could be.

It's hard to find anything to complain about, but if pressed, we find Figma unsuitable for large-scale or complex print projects. In our experience, the available print plug-ins can't handle complex layouts and press management. We still rely on Adobe for large-scale print projects.

If a Figma genie that granted wishes appeared before us, we would use our wish on a print-capable Figma offshoot that could handle big print jobs.

So there you have it — whether you're a designer or a client, Figma is a WIN-WIN.

Curious about what we can quickly and efficiently produce for you? Let's talk about how we can maximize your marketing budget with smart tools, and great design.

Michelle Juel Larsen

Chief Executive Officer/
Head of Design

Michelle ensures quality via her graduate-level education in Technical Communications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, and years of experience managing communications and content development at top-notch organizations such as Stanford and Princeton Universities, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

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