Design Scrollable Lists: Adobe XD Vs. Figma

In this article, we will check which design tool is more capable to be used for designing a scrollable list and prototype it.

Hello again!

I decided to work on a new series of articles which compare two powerful design tools which are very popular these days (Sorry Sketch! You’re out of the list for now!). As you’ve guessed, We will compare Adobe XD (Adobe Creative Cloud) with Figma to see which one is better for designers and people who are looking to create prototypes for their designs.

In the first article, we will check which one is better to be used to design a scrollable list and also, their limitations for prototyping this list. To start, please download the files below and import it into Figma and Adobe XD:

Download iOS screen For Adobe XD | Figma

Scrollable List: Adobe XD

Let’s start with Adobe XD which has been updated recently with new features. one of these features is called “Scroll Groups”.

To create a scrollable group, you must enable the layers that need to be scrollable. In this example, which is a News App, the Home Screen is scrollable. Also, the “Picked News” is scrollable. So, we need to define two different types of scrollable groups which the first one scrolls “Vertically” and the second one scrolls “Horizontally”.

Follow these steps to create scrollable groups:

1- Choose the Content group and click on the “Vertical Scroll” button as the below gif shows (Adobe XD will allow you to create “Vertically” or “Horizontally” scrollable content or you can use both of them which is helpful for Maps):

To define the scrollable area (In other words, you set an area for your scrollable groups which will mask the content that is out of the area and to view them, you must scroll), you must use the blue “Knobs” as the video above shows. Right now, the width of the scrollable area is incorrect but we will fix that by adjusting the size of the “Picked For You” section.

2- Once you’ve created a scrollable group, we must work on the “Picked For You” section and define the scrollable area for it and also, make it “Horizontally” scrollable:

3- Let’s see what we created:

Pros:

1- Easy to use.

2- Work flawlessly; Figma has some problems with the “Blur” effect and sometimes, the scrollable content works weirdly.

Cons:

1- There is no way to define scrollable pages (In other words, there is no way to do something which lets you view only one content every time you scroll). I know you can use prototype options to simulate that but it doesn’t look real!

2- There is no way to make more advanced prototypes which let users define different states based on the scroll position (What happens after users scroll vertically for 20px or …).

Score: 3/5

Scrollable List: Figma

Unlike Adobe which always keeps users waiting, creating scrollable lists for Figma users was not a dream even in the last two years!

If you’re using Figma as your primary design tool, you probably know how to create a list. So, you can skip this part and just head to the “Excercise Section” to challenge yourself.

Follow these steps to create scrollable groups:

1- Choose the Content group and convert it into a frame as the below gif shows:

To define the scrollable area, you must adjust the frame height as the video above shows (Height of the Frame = Height of the Screen) / (Width of the Frame = Width of the Screen).

  • Don’t forget to enable the “Clip Content” option (You can find it below the Width and Height options) for scrollable frames. It will mask the content which is out of the view.

2- Now, we must work on the “Picked News” section and define the scrollable area for it too and also, make it “Horizontally” scrollable:

3- Let’s see what we created:

Pros:

1- Works as you expect (However, The performance is not great!).

Cons:

1- There is no way to define scrollable pages. I know you can use prototype options to simulate that but it doesn’t look real!

2- There is no way to make more advanced prototypes which let users define different states based on the scroll position (What happens after users scroll vertically for 20px or …).

3- Sometimes, you feel lag when you are viewing the prototype version of your design. Especially, if uses scrollable content and you have a bottom bar / Nav Bar which blurs the scrollable content.

4- Compared to scroll groups of Adobe XD, it’s harder to understand for newbies. But for experienced designers, Figma method is a better option!

Score: 3/5

Conclusion: Adobe XD and Figma they both are similar if you want to make simple prototypes with scrollable content. However, I feel Adobe XD is a better option for newbies since it’s easier for new designers to understand how this feature works and also, the performance of scrollable content is better on Adobe XD.

If you’re looking for a software which scores 5 of 5, I suggest you to use Framer X (Framer Team), Protopie or Principle. I still say Sketch is not a great tool for UI designers anymore since it’s not stable (However, Figma and Adobe XD owe many things to this tool!) and also, It’s not free to use. Also, You can not create prototypes using Sketch and it relies heavily on third-party apps which many of them are not free too! Money, Money and More Money!!

Exercise: Download this file and make the images and also, the map scrollable on Figma and Adobe XD.

I expect you to create something like this! Don’t let me down :)

Tip: Think the map is an image (In reality, it’s an image!) and you must be able to scroll it vertically and Horizontally (I explained the technique for Adobe XD).

A passionate designer who designs digital experiences for mobile phones and websites. — — — — — — — — — — — — — PORTFOLIO: emportfolio.webflow.io

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