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Finally, Photoshop is dead for web and app design

by Lubos Kmetko on May 19, 2017
Published in Design, UI, UX 18 Comments

If you are a Mac user, you can skip this article. There's more than 99% chance that you use Sketch and Photoshop has been dead for you for a long time.

However, as Windows users we can celebrate. Our beloved and hated Photoshop is getting a viable alternative on Windows (let’s save Figma for another article). The Windows version of the new horse in the Adobe’s stable, Adobe Experience Design (shortly Adobe XD) is catching up on its Mac counterpart.

Catch Mac if you can

This week’s update of Adobe XD has brought a long awaited support for layers to Windows, plus a few other features like copy and paste from the File Explorer. The layers are important because they help you stay organized which is essential for any design project.

Newly added layers in Adobe XD Windows. Image source:

This shows a good progress on the most important features which were missing from the Windows version up until recently. For example, the last month update added masking and boolean operations on shapes.

There are still some notable features missing like symbols and gradients but with the current pace we can hope to get these in the June’s update.

Meanwhile, Mac users complain that development of the Mac version has been stagnant, which is true, but …

You still have Sketch, right? The tool I have envied Mac designers since the day I learned about it.

Anyway, I feel your pain and I wish Adobe would put more resources to Adobe XD development so the both Mac and Windows users are happy.

Switch to Adobe XD

If you are still using Photoshop or Illustrator for your web or app design projects, it’s time to start switching to Adobe XD. Take advantage of the upcoming month to learn Adobe XD essentials so you can use it to its full potential after the June’s update.

Here is a bunch of tutorials which can help you with that:


Our company has popularized PSD to HTML industry, maybe it’s time to popularize XD to HTML now? 😎 Seriously, the web and app design and development landscape have changed significantly since the old PSD to HTML days. It’s hard to say whether something like XD to HTML will catch on at all.

Still, if you need a reliable development partner who is able to handle various types of web and app projects designed in Adobe XD, feel free to submit your project on our XD to HTML page.

PS: If you use Sketch, we also do Sketch to HTML.

About the author

Lubos Kmetko

Lubos Kmetko started to work for Xfive (formerly XHTMLized) as a front-end developer in 2006. He currently helps with business operations and writes for the Xfive blog.

More articles from Lubos


Darren Alawi May 20, 2017

Dude you should really get a Mac and Sketch.

Darryl Snow May 21, 2017

If you are still using Photoshop or Illustrator for your web or app design projects, it’s time to start switching to HTML and CSS.

Gustavo Silva May 21, 2017

I think the tools are not so important. Adobe XD in my opinion, should have a lot of improvements to be usable in my workflow. I'm a mac user and I still use photoshop to make my UI designs.

Tharun May 21, 2017

this is not the way it is totally wrong your heading is very offensive Photoshop served a lot in your initial days and now this is the respect you are giving to it shame on you , I think you forget and that even you started in Photoshop

Alex May 21, 2017

Not sure why you say photoshop is hated. Yes I'm a Mac user but I don't use Photoshop for the purposes your headline proposes.

Tarantej May 22, 2017

Where can we download trail for XD?

Lubos Kmetko May 22, 2017

@Darren I have a Mac but for various reasons I stay on Windows. One of them is to better understand what it takes to be a web designer/developer on Windows.

@Darryl good point :)

@Gustavo certainly Adobe XD needs improvements but it already has many useful features for UI design which Photoshop doesn't and will never have.

@Tharun sorry if the title feels offensive. I admit it's a clickbait title, I don't use those normally but couldn't hide my excitement that finally there is a usable alternative to Photoshop on Windows. If you check my article from 3 years ago you can see that I believed Photoshop still had a chance for UI design - Instead Adobe buried it themselves by creating Adobe XD. It just took until now on Windows.

@Alex indeed, hated might be too strong word. However, as a Windows user you had no other alternative than to use it for those purposes too which might lead to frustration because certain UI tasks are so unintuitive and slow.

@Tarantej you should be able to download it from here, but you need to sign up for Adobe ID if you don't have one.

Matthew Sandahl May 22, 2017

Adobe XD just isn't there yet. I wish it were. I was the first to get excited about this program when it was first in beta however Photoshop still does a better job if you're considering the layer comps tools and InVision seamless sync app for prototyping.

Ricardo Zea May 23, 2017

Interesting view, I'm a Windows designer as well.

But I wouldn't think Photoshop is anywhere near "dead" or anything close to it. I actually have never used PS in my career for web design, only for image retouching.

I use Affinity Designer and I've been doing pretty good so far. Only $50 USD and no stupid subscription required. You can check it out here:

I have to admit, I love the title of this article, hahaha 👌

Chris R May 23, 2017

With Sketch, you actually buy a license, for $69 for a year of updates, and you can keep using the version you paid for even if there is a newer version on offer. In contrast, Adobe will chain you to a monthly subscription and if you don't keep ponying up you can't access your files. I understand you Windows folks are in a bind, but if you can avoid the Adobe subscription model, I would strongly advise you to do so. Try Figma, Moqups, Webflow, and other online tools to prototype web sites and apps that were built to be for web work, not something hammered into an existing codebase of a software company whose roots are in print. That's my opinion.

Lubos Kmetko May 23, 2017

@Matthew I hope that now when XD has almost caught up on Windows, they will start adding new features soon again.

@Ricardo thanks! :) Affinity Designer is definitely one of the alternatives to Photoshop although it's been available for Windows just recently. But that's another proof that the situation with the UI tools is getting better on Windows.

@Chris thanks for the opinion. I agree that avoiding Adobe's products can save you a quite a bit of money, on the other hand the products you listed also charge monthly even they are cheaper. Creative Cloud isn't that expensive if someone uses all the apps, the problem I see is that you cannot create a smaller customized package of apps for a fraction of the price. So probably the best design combo in terms of price on Windows is currently Affinity Photo + Designer.

Dustin May 28, 2017

I've forced myself to learn Affinity and couldn't be happier. Adobe's confusing and seemingly neverending line of products is exhausting.

PiterParking May 29, 2017

I don't know how a lot of designers used photoshop for web/app design for a years... I was try to use it, but always I feel that I work with a slowly and anti productive tool for ui design. When you have a lot of layers are a stopper for productivity, and manage vectorial shapes, buttons or text... photoshop is the worse choice for that.

Lubos Kmetko May 31, 2017

@Dustin thanks for the tip! I tried Affinity some time ago but definitely going to look on it again.

@PiterParking I second that but until recently the only alternative to PS on Windows was Illustrator, which has its own issues.

San Adams April 26, 2018

"Catch Mac if you can" XOXO. You had me there.
Quite well written.

San Adams April 29, 2018

Can you also recommend some more good tutorials for XD. I will submit those on hackr for the programming community.

paul August 28, 2018

Even they stopped developing quite a few years ago its still Adobe Fireworks all the way .... Adobe XD is very limited.

Nikolai Balalaev September 23, 2018

I'm completely new to UI/UX and started a few months ago and what I've found is that Figma is a monster now (I have no MAC), with all these layers, components, prototyping just all in 1 and completely free for individual use. Should I consider Figma as my main tool or should I start learning PS in 2018? I think we all know the answer. PS wasn't built for UI/UX it's a photo editing tool and always was.
P.S. Adobe XD seems good so far, probably another good tool for web-design in future.

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