I stumbled upon this post on designernews talking about how subscription based software can soon amount to too much money per month.

To this, I say, bullshit, here’s my response:


If you can’t afford something, you just don’t have it, it is as simple as that. I’ve been doing digital design for years and I’ve not needed to use every new tool out there, so I thought i’d give you some tips.

Here are some free alternatives to your software woes:

  1. Dropmark pro? How about https://amb-1.com/. It’s free and uses Dropbox to do the exact same thing.
  2. Invision? Google Slides will do just as good — you can share slides and comment on them just like invision. You can even do hotlinks to other slides!
  3. Proto.io? How about using Marvel? It’s free https://marvelapp.com/
  4. Hosting. This one might be something you pay for — if you host with github pages though it’s free for static / liquid sites. But lets say $20 is the price here for regular hosting
  5. Adobe. You don’t need all of the adobe suite, heck, at best, you use photoshop / illustrator. Lets say you swap out these for non-subscription based items and go for one price products: You could use https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/designer/ or https://www.sketchapp.com/ to cover both areas, both costing around $70 each
  6. UXPin. Lets say you opt for regular paper. You save your money and you do the same things. Want to give a client something less sketched if your drawing skills aren’t up to scratch? Transfer them over to https://wireframe.cc/ for some wireframing.

There is no problem with subscription based products, but don’t be fooled into thinking you need them to survive in this industry. More often than not, these companies get bought by Facebook and close down before you’ve had two years of work with them.

Alternatively, if you must have the latest toolset, when you only do one job every few months, that job would need to earn you $268 — $402 to break even with your tools. If you’re not earning that much, I very much doubt you want to waste your money on something you can achieve without it.

Source: https://www.designernews.co/comments/204655