Adobe buys Figma

Wow its been a while eh? More than a year, god damn. Anyways here we go.

I’ve been a fan of Figma for years now. It was clear the minute I saw it that it was on to something that regular desktop apps like photoshop and even sketch didn’t even consider.

But figma still is enough for me. I still remember Macaw, what the hell happed to Macaw. Macaw was a design tool that output html, js and css. The holy grail of the internet thats been tried so many times and never quite gets there.

My friends never bought into the hype but I was convinced that this was inevitable. Sure its not great now but it’s only a matter of time. How could this not be the future of web design. But it wasn’t. There are still millions of front end web developers and infinitely more demand for JavaScript developers at just about every major company in the country.

Tools like square space and web flow are great for simple informationally sites but anything even slightly interactive and it quickly breaks down. I saw this first hand building using web flow. I actually think it turned out good but the god damn database of grantees is a mess mostly because I hate data migation, but thats a story for another day all together.

Figma on the other hand never claimed to output useable code. Sure it can do prototypes but no one uses it to generate more than some basic type css. What Figma did for web development doesnt have anything to do with trying to replace the developer it actually is a tool thats as much for the developer as it is for the designer.

A good front end developer is spends just as much time in Figma as a designer does. Inspecting and prodding a design, and critically discussing the functionality with the designer. Currently at Casper this is more of a one way communication but I look forward to changing that and getting the developers and myself in there a lot more often.

So what’s next for Figma? We can take a look at their newest product and get some idea. Sure its clear that it exists at least in part because figma saw Miro and was like, huh. But the amount of time and care that they have put into it makes it clear that they see collaborations as their critical feature.

My favorite part of the way Ben talked about this deal was that its not an acquisition of a competitor but of a compliment. Figma becomes the operating system for all of adobes design tools. The missing canvas that connects tools like photoshop, illustrator and services like adobe stock and adobe fonts together into a place where real community and collaboration can take place.

This kind of UX work is never going to be the place where Casper spends most of its resources but its the heart of what I enjoy doing and I look forward to building Casper back up to something great.