I’m still not seeing the benefits of market consolidation for designers. The very second Adobe acquired Macromedia it was bad for designers. They put next to effort innovating the suite outside of endless cycles getting them unified into Adobe’s overarching look and feel. Technologically, they never merged the code bases so designers never really experienced a benefit of convenience in their massive software bundles.

I understand your metaphors but don’t feel quite appropriate. Are there examples of any other industry where consolidation has been positive for customers? Off the top of my head, telecom, airlines and banks seem to wholly prove the opposite. Customer service continues to suffer in those industries dues to continual consolidation.

Instead, when you look at other craft-oriented professions like the culinary arts, woodworking or art, there are almost endless variations of tools. Design should embrace this as well. Master designers should be masters of tools.

In the end, your dreams will inevitably come true. Whether it’s at the hands of Adobe again, or Google, hell even InVision. But whatever we gain in terms of simplified offerings we will lose tenfold in terms of niche and tailored solutions that pushes design in new directions.

By day, executive designer at Innovatemap where I help tech companies design marketable products. By night, co-founder of UX Power Tools.

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