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Figma: the future of online design tools


Figma: the future of online design tools

What is Figma:

Figma is an exceptional online design tool. It is the more like Sketch in the browser with real-time collaboration. In other words, you may have seen the tools like Affinity Designer, Gravit and Adobe XD. Similarly, Figma is the latest online design tool which is so fast, unique and more user-friendly. And that is why a lot of people calling it Figma: Future of Online Design Tool!

When Figma enters in the design industry as a beta version, it starts to attract the pro designer easily. Some awesome features like real-time collaboration, vector networks, prototyping and version history are just a few to name which made the tool more outstanding. If I say in one word, Figma is an online design tool to work with a team and real-time collaboration which is capable of doing almost anything that you’d expect from your heavy desktop tools like Sketch or Adobe CC.

Who are using Figma:

We are mostly depended on online for every works today. So designers have a great demand to work in the online as like a team. Figma is working day and night to come up with a solution for this. To put it differently, experts are entering everyday in the world of Figma. One of the best features of Figma is that dozens of designers can work on the same document, at the same time.

Special Features of Figma:

Figma provides some special features like other designing tool. Let’s see the features of Figma.

1. Browser-based Design Tool:

One of the great features of Figma that it is a browser-based user interface design tool. I’m so much convinced to see the future of any online-based design tool. As a native designer of sketch, I can tell it is so fast and extremely responsive software which is so powerful as-well. On the other hand, every documents and version are staying on their server which will make the management of your work easiest and worry-free.

Similarly, you can save your work in your computer as .sig file. Another key point, it is so easy to share your sigma file with others. Are you thinking about fonts? Yes! Figma has made the solution of this too. You can easily implement any google fonts (800+ Google free fonts) in your documents. Similarly, you can install any font of your choices by the add-ons. For this reason, they have included FontAwesome in their library. I can assure you, you won’t need to worry about fonts as they are adding new features regularly.

2. Real-time Collaboration:

Making, sharing and executing with a team, any work can be more dynamic within very short time. Figma has proved it for the designers. If you able to design with fellow experts designer or client it will save a lot of time for executing and communication. Also, we don’t always need to share our entire work with a person or we may need other people just to take a look at our work. That thing can be easily done via Figma’s View Only mode. The best part here is, As we are doing the whole thing on the internet, We don’t need to upload or transfer anything! Everything inside Figma has it’s own sharing link.

The advantages of browser-based tool are that they can be used without installing anything on the machine. On the other hand, who is using some other platform, he can also join with you. Figma is compatible with Windows, Linux, MAC and even mobile devices (Only view). Have you thought deeply how a team can change dynamically? Anyone of the team can take the facilities to check the documents like fonts, colors, sizes, distances, progress etc. All the team members can support a designer by Real-time Collaboration of Figma.

3. Version History:

Figma presents Versioning history more effectively than sketch. It gives you a more robust way to complete your task more easily and quickly. Version history works faster than sketch. It is allowing you to compare version history more significantly. Another Key Point, in sketch navigating version history is too slow and over the top. Most of the designers keep it disabled as default. As it takes too much disk space. For this reason, Figma is doing the whole work of history more quickly and effectively.

4. Comments system:

Figma provides a built-in comment feature for everyone. Team members can comment on your documents and anyone can post a reply to it. You will get notifications for updates. Similarly, you can solve it also and complete the task. In sketch, you can also comment, but you have to install a plugin. You can also use Zaplin and it is also a browser-based tool. But if you compare with both sketch, zeplin or craft, but Figma is doing a lot more attractive and interactive for comments and prototyping.

5. Vector Networks

Figma works very fine as vector networks. Though people who have used the Pen tool in the sketch, will realize the matter very fine. Without Vector Points you can easily move the lines. Similarly, all the connected point will follow you automatically. For this reason, if you draw the starting and finishing point, you can easily connect multiple vector lines in Figma. In this case, It will create a web of vector point easily. On the other hand, Figma has a limitation for Scissors or Rotate Copies, but if I don’t compare, it’s really working easily and effectively.

6. Import from Sketch

One of the best features for figma is that it can import sketch file accurately. Even all the groups, art board and layers will work with the same name. Another key point, all the properties including multiple borders, shadows and effects like Blending modes and Background Blur come with exact value. For this reason, If anyone uses this as a plugin of Sketch, I will not be so surprised. So if it needs to continue your work from anywhere, you can easily access your all sketch file from Figma. You can easily import anything from sketch like Sketch work, resource or vector.

Equally important, sometimes you may not copy and paste vectors file to sketch. But it will work fine if you drag and drop the file in any open document. Surprisingly, you can import details vector from angle. Though the appearance of gradients and shadows is not good-looking, but you will find all the shapes there. Sometimes it can miss some files, but it is a good deal that you can easily access virtually any sketch UI kit in Figma.

7. There’s a Desktop version of Figma

Figma has built a desktop version of their app. But please don’t expect it to deliver the same experience like a resource heavy software. It is the toolkit which you’re already familiar with; their web version. The first thing to remember, shortcuts of browsers and desktop app will not work as the same way. In addition, CMD + 1–9 switches into browser tabs. But in the Desktop app, it has been switched into documents.

8. Constraints

Constraints is another great feature of Figma. As sketch give four constraint behaviors: Stretch, Pin to corner, Resize object, and Float in place. But Figma is doing much better. Constraints work with Figma just like auto Layout in iOS. From an existing layer, you can easily fit by dragging when it’s four sides. It will stay as position relative to the containing frame.

Constraints in Figma also works like Sketch’s Pin to corner and Resize object by pinning against the borders, or setting the element to center.Without Float in place in sketch, Figma is doing better with more visual and intuitive.

Floating is very interactive in Figma. It will help you to keep elements in the same proportional distance and size.

9. Performance

Figma can maintain dozens of art boards very easily. On the other hand, it’s so user-friendly to work with live collaboration. As sketch have many bad reports in performance, users can get the solution from the Figma. As Figma is working as a browser-based design tool, anyone can use it with the minimum configuration in Desktop, Laptop or mobile. Though a standard configured machine is recommended for better performance. On the other hand, Designer waiting for Sketch to release a Windows version can stop waiting and start designing.

10. The User Interface

Actually, the user interface of Figma has a lot in common with sketch. Even the names of the tools, keyboard shortcuts, the Art boards, and Groups, or the Export tool. If I describe I can tell that it is a good thing for users. As sketch is a powerful and heavily used tool, any new user can get up and running with Figma in no time as most of us already know Sketch. It will easy for anyone to find out the tools or creating a design. Of course, it is making more unique features and tools with the time as it is maturing more and more.

If I make a bullet list what Figma is doing better, it will be easy to realize the whole scenario.

Things Figma does better:

  • As Figma is a browser-based online design tool, anyone can use it anywhere from the world on any platform.
  • Figma is very good in real-time collaboration.
  • Sharing file by Figma is very easy and fast.
  • Manipulating vector by vector networks is so awesome.
  • Responsive design with constraints in Figma is better.
  • Any components (library of components) can be shared easily among the team members.
  • More powerful art boards in Figma.
  • Above all performance is very excellent.

Figma vs. Sketch vs. Adobe XD: The Comparison

If I compare Figma with other most used design tool, it will give you a clear picture. I’ve made top 9 short comparisons about Figma vs. Sketch vs. Adobe XD. It will clear your doubts about who is going to lead as the future design tool.

I. Price: For any reason, Prices is an important matter of thinking to use for future. Sketch takes $99 for their next 10 versions of the app. Generally, it goes for 1 year. On the other hand, Adobe XD is free while in beta. But when they charge it may go $20/month as their regular CC pricing. Important to realize, Figma hasn’t declared their price yet in beta. But hoping it will be rather low than sketch or adobe XD. Besides, The great news for some of us is, Figma will remain free forever for Student!

II. Live collaboration: Sketch: Nope (Though you can comment by some plugins), Adobe XD: Yes, by using your adobe ID. Figma: Yes! And doing these is really fantastic. It works just like Google Docs.

III. Platform: Sketch: Mac Only, Adobe: MAC and Windows (Limitation in CC), Figma: Browser App (all types of devices); it is working in google chrome with full functionality without any subterfuge.

IV. File Sharing and spacing: Sketch: There is no options to share anything with your team mate natively. But some apps like Zeplin are working for this. Adobe: Nope, Coming soon. Figma: Live Conversation and collaboration have made the things possible in Figma.

V. Offline Using: Sketch: Sure, Adobe: Yeah. Figma: Nope, but updating features. There is a desktop app which can help you to work offline if the document is open. (Though not very great).

VI. Supportive File: Sketch: PNG, JPG, TIFF, Web, PPD, FEP, SSVG, adobe: PNG, JPG,PSD, TIFF, PDF, Web, RAW, PBM, TIFF, Figma:PNG, JPG, SVG.

VII. Prototyping: Sketch: Not Natively (But some third party apps like CRAFT are doing the task for prototyping), Adobe: Yes! Native Prototyping among the app. Figma: Yes.

VIII. Symbols (Components): Sketch: The symbols works very impressively in Sketch. You can easily update the symbols among the entire documents and can resize responsively. Adobe: Yes, But not rich. But expecting it will Update quickly. Figma: Symbols are so fast and amazing with states, constraints, and overrides.

IX. Versioning: All are Providing Versions history, But Figma is giving the results more responsively.

Should you convert Figma as a designer?

My recommend will be Yes! I will suggest you to start working with a real-time collaboration tool. It will increase your expertness. On the other hand, it is so similar to sketch. So you don’t have to spend time and effort learning a new tool. Similarly, you can import any sketch file into Figma. Another key point, Figma is giving you opportunities to use it from multi-platform including Windows, Mac, Linux. If you consider about features, I can say, Real-time Collaboration, Vector Networks, Comments or Symbols, Overrides, Plugins are not so less to lead any design. Finally, Figma is totally free till now. So why not give it a try and see if it works out for you? Maybe this is the designing tool you were always dreaming of using, Who knows!

Figma have a pretty nice and straight forward documentation. Click Here to learn Figma from their official resource.

If you get this article helpful share it in your favorite social media. And if you think I have missed anything, or need any update or improvement, you can share with me via the comment section. See you later. Thanks again!

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