Design

Going All In With Figma

Christain Billings
Going All In With Figma

For the longest time, my colleagues and friends were all asking have I tried Figma yet? I was known to be a die-hard Sketch fan and some browser-dwelling design tool wasn't going to change that. I finally gave in and decided to give a try (for one project only) and boy did I fall head over heels.

All-In-One Tool

So let's get one thing out of the way - Figma is a web-based design tool. For me, that already raised a couple red flags that I thought would immediately affect my decision on using this long-term. It turns out, that allowed it to shine even brighter than a native mac app.

For any type of project I worked on in the past years, it would usually consist of these tools:

  • Sketch
  • Abstract
  • Zeplin
  • InVision

I had to provide access to all these apps based on your role in the project. Fellow designers would join me in branching off Sketch files within Abstract, developers could look at any assets within Zeplin, and clients would get a link to InVision to asking questions or provide any feedback.

With Figma, I provided everyone access to the project and there was no need to ever switch back and forth between apps, make sure everything was properly synced, or worrying if someone was using Windows. It essentially eliminated the pain of version control, developer handoff, and live discussion - all while providing source of truth links and live collaboration. Having all collaboration within one app feels less hectic in every way.

Project Management

One of the most underrated features of Figma (in my opinion) is the project/file management. No more creating folders somewhere in shared drives, while trying make sure colleagues have the latest file. Figma provides a super easy way to create new teams and projects so you know exactly where everything lives.

You couldn't dare mention Figma without talking about the live multi-player collaboration. Seeing exactly where your teammates are by simply clicking on their avatar or being able to pair design feels magic. It would be really cool if they would implement some sort of "Design Review" feature where you could hop on a call within Figma and talk about the design, rather than having to use Zoom/Slack and screen share.

I've built out design systems using both tools and they both have their merits. Figma has put a ton of work into building flexible components and this has been incredibly valuable. These components are able to mimic web frameworks, which really helps test a design/prototype with ease.

It didn't take me long to realize the value Figma brought by using it for only one project. The community is huge and the support of designers all over the world is super exciting to see.