Earlier today Adobe acquired Figma for a staggering $20 billion. While I certainly think this is the right move for Adobe, I also think this isn’t good news for the Design Community. Adobe is a gigantic corporation with billions in annual revenue. They know how to sell, that’s for sure, but they don’t know how to innovate. As a stock-listed company, its goal is to increase shareholder value. In an ideal world that means that you provide more value and thus sell more software. In the case of Adobe unfortunately, over the last couple of years that meant, they kept raising prices and thus increased revenue. And all this without innovating or providing more value.
Figma was the first real contender to Adobe. Adobe XD had a hard time competing with Figma and prior to that competing with Sketch. It was good for the design community because that meant Adobe had to stay on top of things. It had to innovate, release new features and listen to the design community. That is no longer the case. Adobe now runs the two most popular design tools in the market for UI UX designers (Adobe XD and Figma).
Magicul been in the space of converting Design Files between Adobe Xd, Figma, Sketch, Photoshop and may other formats for more than 3 years now. We know design files in and out. The file structure underneath Adobe XD is messy, whereas the Figma API and Figma files are engineered with a lot of thought. Evan and Dylan did a fantastic job growing a company built on excellent engineering and a fantastic vision.
After the announcement of the acquisition, we found ourselves in an interesting position. What is the design of community learning? What would restore the previous order that fostered innovation and kept companies on their toes? After some brainstorming it hit us: We should open up our internal design file format, allowing people to migrate and convert design files as they please. No vendor lock, no fear of being tied to a specific ecosystem.
So why should we do that? Our plan is to build our own online editor to allow people to edit files and our file format will forever stay open.
They see the news today as an opportunity. We want to give the design community a design editor that will stay independent. By giving users an open and documented design file format we can guarantee that they will never be locked into an eco-system.
We’ve previously launched a beta program for our Adobe XD file viewer: https://magicul.io/inspector
Over the next couple of weeks, we will refine our concept and support opening Figma and Sketch files, becoming the first editor to be able to open ANY design file.
Feel free to sign up for the beta on our website already.
Stay tuned, there’s more to come! 🚀
Founder of Magicul.io