Every UX/UI designer understands the importance of collaborative design tools, and once we find one that works for everyone in the team, a magic spell is cast and we will want to marry that tool.
However, many of these tools end up being discontinued and chaos is unleashed. Such was the case of Adobe Fireworks, but in the end, it took us to Sketch, another excellent tool for UX/UI designers.
But, even though Sketch is not discontinued nor presents significant problems during work time, more and more UX designers are using Figma, and I think it’s worth to explain in the following lines why that’s happening, and why Figma can be the best UX/UI design tool at the moment.
Collaboration Made More Visual and Simpler
As I have explained in my previous blogs, for any UX/UI designer it’s important to see what other members of the team are doing, mostly because one unexpected change in the project could start a snowball effect of problems for every designer.
That’s why so many UX/UI platforms work so hard on their visual and collaborative aspect. We need to see what’s happening to avoid unnecessary mistakes or doubling the work by accident.
It’s more or less like working on Google Docs, viewing and editing in real-time is important, but also keeping track of what others are doing. So we need a platform that, on top of that, works on every computer, and that allows any member of the team to intervene and correct the course of the project without messing it all up.
Think about it like a Jenga game, but instead of playing one by one, everyone takes a different bloc at the same time. Tools like Figma and Sketch keep that tower of blocs steady.
Figma and Sketch both do exactly that for us, and they do it in a subtle but perfect way so far. However, I am one of those designers who prefer Figma and I will explain to you why.
What Do I Love About Figma
In the end, it’s all about the little things don’t you think? If you have used Sketch or Adobe XD before, you are probably wondering what’s so good about Figma that these two don’t have.
Well, I’m not going to compare UX/ tools, but I am going to explain why I changed to Figma.
First of all, I like to keep things simple. And Figma has such a visual and interactive interface that anyone who sees it, can understand how it works even if they are not UX/UI designers.
This offers a solution to what we know as “design drifting”, which is nothing else but the entire mess that’s created when we, designers, are not collaborating properly due to being unable to see what others are doing in real-time.
Figma has saved entire projects. When a manager decides a change needs to be made immediately, as a UX designer I must do so without interfering with what everybody else is doing, and Figma has helped me avoid frictions, doing things from scratch, and interrupting other designers’ work.
What About Figma’s Integration with Other Platforms?
Since Figma is a web app, it can be used from any browser and operative system. This, of course, is always a relief because not every UX designer works with Mac, some use Windows, and Linux for the sake of their activities.
You can also create Figma channels at Slack, which I consider a very important feature because the changes made to a Figma file will update every other instance where this file is embedded.
How about permission-based file sharing? I’m fascinated with this tool because any file, frame, or page you need to share with other designers can be shared through a single link, and the one who clicks on it will be opening Figmas’ browser version
Let’s create progress together.
Prototyping with Figma
Again, not going to compare tools, but I will mention that Figma integrated a prototyping functionality before Sketch did.
In the beginning, it was a little messy and static (limited mostly to linking individual elements to other artboards, and a limited section of transitional effects), but they pulled ahead with the introduction of overlays.
The way I see it, Figma’s frames are super flexible and help me prototype projects more easily, and share them through a link without much complications.
Since Figma displays code snippets on any frame or object, any developer or designer can check and comment on a design file anywhere, at any time.
No third-party tools are needed, and it has full integration with Zepelin if ever needed.
Better and Unlimited Grids and Columns
With Figma, you can nest frames and have separate grids the way you find most comfortable. It’s not about overlaying grids on top of the artboards, it’s about adding as many as you want of each type (rows, columns, and grids).
This helps you use them as guides when working with resizable components, for example. And even though many other UX/UI design tools now allow you to define how elements will scale when containers are resized, Figma was the first one with this UI concept.
Welcome Style Cascades
Figma takes styles in a different way, instead of text and layer styles, they chose to make styles cascade.
This means you can save styles for colors, texts, and effects, or mix them. It’s a great advantage because it allows you to modify one word’s color in a text block. Yes, it’s a minor change, but in UX/UI these things are not that easy to change without messing the entire day’s work, so I love it!
If you are a UX/UI designer like me, I encourage you to try Figma now and then, just to give it a taste and see if it works as well for you as it has worked for me.
This is a tool designed to enhance teamwork while giving you enough autonomy to feel completely free to do your work without interrupting anyone else’s.
In my opinion, Figma has the best of Sketch and Adobe XD combined, everything related to usability, features, and performance is amazing.
Besides, since it’s available on any platform, browser, and operative system, it’s pretty much like a Lord of the Ring’s Situation: One tool to see it all and one tool to do it all together.