FAQ - Did the team find a pattern (design, interaction, tool) that could be improved but decided to keep it because the reference tools already made it familiar to the user?

Short answer would be no, we do not keep things from improving because of the potential loss of familiarity.

It is true that we are using known patterns to ease the learning curve, this is part of Penpot’s strategy. Given that, we could say that “familiar” is included in our definition of success, but this might be for a different, also interesting, conversation. We do not hide that we have kept an eye not only on Figma but also on many other “usual suspects” (Sketch, Adobe XD, Inkscape, Webflow, Blender…) to study common patterns. However, our design decisions are based not only on previous research but also on testing solutions with users. Therefore, if we were to find that something works better for us in a different way, we’d go for it. Masks and toolbars are some examples of this approach.