Figma design tool

October 12th, 2017 - Justin Friebel

For my day job I am a UX designer and developer at DealerSocket. DealerSocket is one of the top automotive software companies. On the UX team we not only test, but we also do a lot of wire-framing, design, and prototyping. I heard about Figma via another designer on twitter talking about it. I have used Sketch and Photoshop in the past.

Figma's feature list

* One tool for design + prototyping
* Public links for dev handoff
* Advanced vector pen tool
* Constraints for responsive design
* Components
* Team libraries
* Version control
* No saving
* Smart guides
* Layout grids
* Live device preview
* Presentation mode
* Windows, Mac, & Linux
* Commenting

My favorite Figma features

When you copy a hex color code from Chrome or somewhere else, Figma will automatically get rid of or add a pound symbol. This feature may be small but is super cool. Not having to ever save a design file is invigorating to say the least. Add in version control and you have a lot of room for mistakes :). Having the ability to share designs with just a URL means you don't need to save and package up different versions of a design as it changes. This is a huge productivity boost. The smart guides aren't just a marketing term, they actually work very well and help you keep consistent spacing between the elements of your design. Our team uses Trello for management our projects and there is already a Trello power-up to embed a Figma file or prototype into a Trello card. The preview even updates as you update your design in Figma!

Areas of improvement for Figma

When using Figma to prototype you need to have different files for the different screen sizes. The constraints system is hard for me to use even thought I've read about the details of it many times.

Figma TLDR

Figma is an amazing design tool that I recommend to everyone. If you can get your team onboard to try it out would be amazing, but the core features alone make it worth using even if your team is using other tools. Did I mention it's basic plan is FREE!?

© 2022 Justin Friebel. Powered by Next.js, prismic, & Vercel.