When it comes to interface design, we’ve seen Sketch take the world by storm. But there’s a new (well, fairly new) kid in town. Figma is the first cloud-based UX design tool to grace the industry. It was co-founded in 2013 by Dylan Field, who said in a TechCrunch interview that he set off with the idea to “do for interface design what Google Docs did for text editing.”
In some ways, Figma has grown alongside the UX design industry itself, which morphed from the desire to create “pretty things,” into something that designs solutions to match the users’ psychology and the way they interact with devices. It’s an entire process of creation, which could not have found a better space to evolve in than the collaborative cradle of Figma.
Figma is as easy as 1, 2, 3
There’s not much you need to get started with Figma.
Since Figma is web-based, all you need is a desktop computer or a laptop and an internet connection. Figma basically works on any operating system that runs a web browser. Macs, Windows, Linux, it’s all the same for Figma. This is especially great since traditionally, designers tend to use Macs and developers lean towards Windows PCs, so Figma brings them together like no other.
It is also a very beginner-friendly software editor, allowing you to create anything from scratch or use pre-made templates.
An inclusive and seamless design process
Real-time collaboration in UX design has never been this good. In fact, it’s never existed. But one thing is for sure - it will never be the same!
With Figma, a design file is now like a hangout where anyone can meet up and have a discussion about it. Designers can work together in parallel. Developers can check in on the design and spot anything that does not make sense in code. Project managers, clients, the CEO; anybody can see the design take shape before their eyes and make comments in the document itself. The comment thread is documented on email and even Slack so nothing can get lost. No big reveal means no big surprises.
Also, it puts a stop to the annoying "png"-pong situation where an image is circulated around after each update for all members of your approval ecosystem to see. Instead of fragmenting the process across multiple files, there is now one place that can tell the whole story and evolve as the design process unfolds. For many teams, this has been a game-changer.
From design to code
Figma displays code snippets on any selected frame or object for developers to use when reviewing a design file. In CSS, iOS, or Android, no less! There is no need to use a third-party tool to get this precious information.
Also it’s important here to understand how their infamous frame system works. Frames are different from artboards because you can nest frames inside a frame. You can use a frame to divide your screen into content areas, and then nest components (which are also made of a bunch of frames) inside of those sections. Getting too much like Inception? In essence, you need to know that this approach makes it easy to build consistent responsive designs.
Also, a frame in Figma is akin to a container in HTML. When developers inspect the designs, they are able to see UI elements belonging to their respective containers. This means that writing code will be much easier, faster, and more accurate to the design blueprint.
Are you using Figma?
Great, cause it’s a heck of a tool.
It’s been compared a lot with Sketch, but the functionality of the tool really depends on how you work within your team. Figma is amazing for its real-time collaboration capabilities, and platform-agnostic support.
But Sketch does feel more mature for many designers, and gives users a more native experience. Since they are both quite easy to master, you can always switch from one to the other.
Whatever you use, we support it
Over the past few years, our product has improved by leaps and bounds.
That is something that holds true not only at the individual product level, but also in the way we bridge the gap when it comes to multiple-application design. No one tool can accomplish what multiple tools have achieved in the past decade, and honestly that was never the intent.
We are a vector-based software that offers designers the ability to express their creativity in the simplest way yet. Naturally, a UX tool will fit very well as an integration since, at its core, UX design is also just a bunch of vectors. We want users to be able to switch between tools seamlessly. No fuss, no mess in the workflow.
That’s why you can easily open any .figma file straight into Vectornator, so you can continue creating. Vectornator is an intuitive UI design tool in itself, so if you find yourself keen to make edits or add elements to your Figma file you can do that in an instant.
For more on how to do that, just go to our import section in the Learning Hub ➞
Want to know more about all out other integrations? Then hit the buttons below. Up next: Adobe Illustrator.