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‘Just a decade ago, competition among the tools for digital designers was muted, at best. Today, new applications and utilities debut seemingly every other week.’ – Khoi Vinh, Subtraction.

The software currently available for designers offers more specialised solutions for working than any of the previous versions that came before. Developers have created an effective way of working, supplying us with an improved and more effective way of communicating our ideas.

We all know about the software powerhouse that is Adobe. The first-generation software releases from Adobe were Illustrator in 1987 and Photoshop in 1988. Adobe released the first version of its full Creative Suite in September of 2003, with six programs available in the standard edition.

Fast forward a couple of years to 2011, when Adobe announced the new Creative Cloud (CC), and released it two years later in 2013. Although CC’s new features included a monthly subscription service and year-round updates, a number of users were unhappy with the new model. Adobe has come a long way since then, with 21 software programs currently available in Creative Cloud (CC).

Adobe software is incredibly powerful in multiple ways, and hosts millions of users worldwide. With the ever-shifting creative industry, Adobe users wanted more than what Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop provided; for example: prototyping tools and more specialised UI/UX programs.

Enter the new generation. Sketch for the UI/UX industry was released in September 2010. Sketch gave UI/UX designers alternative options to use, instead of working with Photoshop and Illustrator alone.

And, just a couple of years ago, software like Sketch (Bohemian Coding), Affinity Designer & Photo, InvisionApp (Prototyping), Principle (Prototyping) and Macaw (Web design tool – just to name a few) did not exist. All of the above software programs are alternative options to Abode’s package. Just as every designer has their own way of working, they have their own software preferences.

This just shows how much the software landscape has evolved, and it is going to continue changing. The more competition there is between software companies, the better it is for us: the users.

The competition is just getting started; better buckle up!

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