It’s time to ditch Figma and software requirements from UX job postings | by Michael F. Buckley | Jan, 2024


Amidst the expanding design application market, businesses must recognize designers as more than software operators.

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Photo by Gary Chan on Unsplash

Adobe’s failed acquisition of Figma highlighted the potential perils of design software monopolies. As a strong proponent of capitalism, I firmly believe in the importance of free-market competition. It not only drives innovation but also prevents any single company from gaining complete control over a specific market sector.

I still remember when Adobe was the prevailing design software early in my career. Finding industry employment was challenging if you weren’t familiar with their applications or lacked access — which made sense considering the business and design landscape during that period.

However, times have changed, and so has the terrain. Popular applications such as Affinity, Sketch, CorelDRAW, InVision, and the over-hyped crowd favorite Figma have carved out significant space in the once-dominant Adobe market. Even minor-league software such as Canva is becoming capable of producing sophisticated designs.

The question arises as to whether having multiple design applications is genuinely beneficial. On the surface, it may seem so, as competition is undoubtedly advantageous.

However, contrary to this sound economic philosophy, a certain sense of security came with mastering Adobe when it was the primary software used by most not long ago.

The problem arises when companies start requiring specific software knowledge for hiring when there is more than one design application to immerse yourself in.

I’ve seen this firsthand, especially with many companies requiring Figma expertise in job postings. This is fascinating because Figma has only been publicly available since 2016 and has a market share of 38.60% in the collaborative design and prototyping sector.

This shortsighted skill requirement is not only ignorant but undermines the true essence of what a designer does. It also hinders the ability and confidence of competent and talented designers to pursue roles that demand specific application knowledge.


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