Figma is a cloud-based design and prototyping tool for digital projects. It’s built so users can collaborate on projects and work from almost anywhere.
While this tool works similarly to other prototyping options, the key differentiator is the ability to work with teams on projects. To date, Figma is probably the most suitable option available.
Here’s a look at Figma and how this tool can be useful for your projects and workflows.
What is Figma?
Simply put, Figma is a digital design and prototyping tool. It’s a UI and UX design application that you can use to create websites, apps, or smaller UI components that can be integrated into other projects.
Here’s how Figma describes itself:
Figma helps teams create, test and deliver better designs from start to finish. Packed with the design features you already love plus unique inventions like the Arc tool and Vector Networks, Figma helps you keep ideas moving forward. No need to stop to install, save or export. It should be any good cloud software.
Figma is a vector tool that lives in the cloud and allows users to work anywhere from a browser. It’s a zippy tool that’s built for systems design, prototyping, collaboration, and organizational design.
Comparable tools include Sketch, Adobe XD, Invision and Framer.
Like many other tools, Figma is supported by a strong community of designers and developers who share plugins to increase functionality and speed up workflows. Everyone can contribute and share.
Figma is used by some big brands, including Slack, Twitter, Zoom, Dropbox and Walgreens. Those names alone show that this tool is tough enough to run almost any project.
Who should use it?
Figma is a solid tool and the free plan available is worth a try for anyone working in the digital space. (I would argue that most designers should have at least a working knowledge of all the major tools to make them more accessible to clients and potential employers.)
Generally speaking, Figma is most appreciated by people who work on multiple collaborative teams. Other design and prototyping tools don’t have this key feature or simply don’t have the same capability as Figma. This feature alone can save designers time and make projects run more smoothly.
Figma is a vector designed tool that is highly scalable. Works on individual projects as well as large team efforts. The browser-based design is smart enough to save your work as you go, and even stay up-to-date if you momentarily lose your internet connection.
Key features include:-
– A modern pencil tool that allows you to draw in any direction and instantly design arcs
– Open the font properties
Automated tasks using repeatable plugins to speed up projects
– A smart selection tool with auto-adjustment for arranging, scheduling and organizing
– Flexible styles that save right on your project
– Create design systems and components
– Drag and drop available libraries
– Ability to have an unlimited number of viewers on a project so the whole team knows
– Browse design files and grab code snippets
– Simple export feature, which has a live link (not standard PDF)
– Mobile-optimized design of interactions and prototypes
– Smart animation for connecting objects and transitions
– Embedded comments
– Co-edit with teams in real-time in shared design spaces
– A version history that lets you know everything that changed and who did it
– Build design systems with searchable assets, shareable styles, and everything in one place
– Create reusable components with the ability to override them when needed
– One platform for everything from design to prototype
Figma has free and paid plans, depending on the amount of work you’ll be doing, as well as premium collaboration features.
Full pricing details:
Starter (free): Up to two editors and three projects with 30-day version history and unlimited cloud storage
Professional ($15 per editor per month): includes unlimited projects, unlimited versions, custom file and user permissions, invite-only private projects, and shared team libraries
Organization ($45 per editor per month): Includes all professional plus organization-wide design systems, centralized teams, private plugins, plugin administration, shared fonts, single sign-on, and advanced security
Figma offers discounted rates for annual versus monthly payments and student rates.
If you want a cloud-based tool and need something that emphasizes collaboration, Figma is probably the right choice for you. It works on Mac and PC, thanks to the cloud interface and has functionality similar to Sketch and Adobe XD (closest competitors).
Figma has been around long enough to gain a solid reputation among designers and developers and can be a solid tool in your kit.