If you’re a designer, then try those figma plugins to boost your productivity!!

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7 Figma plugin that boosts my productivity.


Best (free) Figma Plugins 2021

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Improve your UX/UI Design workflow.


10 Time-Saving Figma Plugins for 2021

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If you have ever a chance to look through the numerous ratings comparing the software for designers, you will probably find Figma at the…


Figma Master Component Quick Tip

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One of the new features in Figma is variant (New features are still being introduced, I’m not sure if variants are still new 😄). I’ve…

Design Systems Figma

The world’s first design systems workbook for Figma

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Do you or your team want to learn how to build a design system for Figma from scratch?

I receive many requests from team managers and individuals like these:

Hi Matt, are you available for any freelance work? We need help with doing a color theory audit for our Figma design system and software. There are definite problems as different designers did it, and several parts don’t work together. We are trying to find someone great with Figma, Design Systems, and Color Theory.

Hey Matt, Would you find a few hours to share your expertise in Figma with our designers? We have been using Figma in cooperation with our customers, and we have some difficult questions to answer. We also want to improve our workflow. Please let me know.

I’ve noticed that many companies need to learn how to design advanced components, style guides, and documentation in Figma. Improving the workflow and onboarding the new designers to the team is also a challenge.

I do freelance work and run a couple of side projects, and my time is limited, so I can’t help everyone. However, I always dreamed about creating an educational resource to share my knowledge about the design systems and workflow in Figma. I’ve decided to create a project that will help them.

Meet The! is a workbook for Figma that contains a large set of exercises on how to build your modern design system from scratch.

By doing exercises in Figma, you learn and design your guide style and component library simultaneously. It is a format that will help you get the most out of each lesson. By learning — you create, and by the way, you get to know keyboard shortcuts, plug-ins, and techniques of working in Figma that will speed up your workflow. Everything happens in Figma — no distractions.

Design Systems are becoming so popular because they make products more consistent, accessible, improve their usability, and reduce design decision-making.

In Figmaster, you will learn how to create a design system from scratch in Figma. The Figmaster is purely and simply about practice, so you can start using acquired knowledge right away.

In this course, you will learn how to set up all the needed design tokens, such as defining proper grids, layouts, spacing, managing icons, choosing and creating color and typographic scales. You will also learn how to make the components like buttons, inputs, modals, text areas, checkboxes, notifications, radio buttons… You will learn how to name components correctly using naming conventions and translate your components into variants. You will also learn how to improve your workflow by using handy keyboard shortcuts, plugins, and tricks. At the end of this course, you will create your own complete Design System and apply it anywhere with confidence.

In the team version, you will learn how to work on a design system in a team and how to onboard new designers with the Figmaster. I will also share resources so you can learn more about design systems theory and get inspiration from the existing systems.

We will use the full potential of Figma, making our Design System with variants, auto layout, and the latest Figma feature: interactive components. 🎉

So if you want to learn how to create a Design System from scratch in Figma, this is for you.

Who’s the author?

My name is Mateusz Wierzbicki, and I am a product designer specializing in creating comprehensive design systems for Figma. Up until now, I’ve built dozens of systems, including client work and side projects. I’m the creator of the Ant Design System for Figma, Product Design Kit for Figma, and the co-founder of SystemFlow.

Preview what we’ll build here:

My products facilitate the work for thousands of designers, developers, and entrepreneurs. As the creator of many design systems and component libraries — I want to share the knowledge I acquired in over four years of using Figma. In Figmaster, you will learn how to create a system similar to those mentioned above.

Why it’s not a video course?

Video courses are ok, and I use them all the time. However, when I watch a lesson, I often forget most of the things the author mentioned in the long video. Another problem is jumping between the video player and the software I’m learning. It distracts me a lot.

That’s why in the Figmaster, everything is done in Figma — without jumping between 3rd party apps/websites, without pausing the video, etc.

Learn more about the project here and join the newsletter to get free lessons in which you’ll learn how to create a neutral color palette and a dropdown component for your project.‍

The world’s first design systems workbook for Figma was originally published in Prototypr on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Practical Tips for Figma Interactive Components

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Learn how to create and animate Interactive Components.


Create an easily switchable Light/Dark styles in Figma

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Part I — Styles

Create switchable styles from light to dark mode in Figma

Create switchable styles from light to dark mode in Figma

Choosing the right color palette for any designer is the number one step in making their art great. Same concept applies to when creating design systems. In this article we will teach you how to choose the right shade and contrast of colors, how to structure them properly according to their uses. In addition, we will talk about how colors should be properly applied to Light and Dark modes, followed by some tips and tricks, and finally, teach you a quick and easy way to switch from Light to Dark mode with just a few buttons.

Dark & Light chat ui example

For the purpose of this article, we will reference our own latest design system project — Figma Design System and talk about why we chose the colors that we chose.

Constant Styles

Constant Styles

It is important to notice that when choosing colors for Light and Dark modes, colors differ slightly from one another. However, there are certain colors and neutral styles that are constant and will never change in either modes. In Figma Design System we have chosen the colors White and Black as the constant colors, this color will remain the same no matter in which mode you are working on. In addition, Image Placeholders’ colors are also constant and will never change.


For example, in the picture above, we showed how the button will look in light and dark themes. The icons, text and counter have constant colors. The background of the button has changed, but the content in it has not changed.

Changeable Styles

Changeable Styles

Changeable color styles apply for both Light and Dark modes respectively, and they both can be further broken down into two main categories — Color Styles and Effect Styles. For the purpose of this article, we will talk mainly about Light mode and slightly touch upon applying these steps into Dark mode also.

1.1 Color Styles — Grayscale

Grayscale colors are considered to be changeable styles because when applying the same exact color hex in dark mode, you will not get the same effect as you did in Light mode. This is simply because in Dark mode the background color is already set to black (almost, just a tiny lighter) and using grayscale 100 on a black background will make your color almost invisible.

Grayscale in Dark Mode

When switching your grayscale colors from Light to Dark mode, we recommend you to use White (#FFFFFF) and apply the 90, 70, 40 and 10 percent transparency effect on your grayscale, this will give a nice smooth transition when applied to your Dark mode.

Grayscale in Light Mode

In the Light version of our Figma Design System, we have specifically chosen these set of grayscale colors:

  • 100 (#1C1C1C) — used mainly for titles and bold text.
  • 200 (#585757) — used primarily for body text.
  • 300 (#969696) — widely used for small text and to fill icons.
  • 400 (#E8E8E8) — used for small details such as borders, dividers and line colors.
UI example

Just a heads up, we have named all four of our grayscale colors 100, 200, 300 and 400 simply for our own taste, they do not correlate with any set of rules, you can name your grayscale colors anything you want.

1.2 System Colors

System Colors

System colors, also known as your base primary colors — are the main colors that will set the whole theme for your project. We recommend you choose colors which are warm and welcoming, but in some cases when choosing your color palette, you might need to consider your brands colors, this will be part of your Design System.

Blue Color example

As an example, Figma Design Systems’ primary colors are blue, green, orange and red which are applied to both modes. Each primary color consists of two different color contrasts, first one consists of a lighter version of the primary color and the second category consists of a darker version of the primary color.

Lighter & Darker colors

To create a lighter and darker version of the primary system colors, you will need to add 20, 40 and 60 percent hints of white and black on top of your primary colors.

Button states example

For example, in the picture above, we showed button states where used lighter and darker versions of blue.

1.3 Background

Background colors

In the main background section, there are two primary colors: Primary and Secondary. They change color depending on the light or dark version. In the dark version these are shades of black and in the light shades of white.

UI example

For example, in the picture above, we showed how we used Primary and Secondary background colors.

In addition to these colors, we have added colored versions of the backgrounds. They derive from system colors (blue, green, orange and red).

Backgrounds in light & dark mode

To create shades of these colors, we applied the transparency of the base color to the background. For example, for the light version, we applied 10% blue transparency to the white color, and to the dark version we applied 25% blue transparency to the black color.

UI components

Important note: You can use System Colors as your background, but the color of your content should be used from the Constant Styles palette (White or Black). For example buttons, badges and the counters.

2. Effect Styles

Effect styles are small changes and effects that are applied to certain components in the design system. They outline certain important tabs, buttons, or blocks of information and are used to make the user focus on certain elements on the page.

Drop shadow

Drop Shadow effect can be easily seen on Light mode and it gives a 3D-look on your elements making your buttons float on your screen. You can use the same effect on Dark mode, however since the shadow color is already dark, users might have a hard time seeing the effect unless you change the background color.

Inner shadow

Inner Shadow effect is very similar to the Drop Shadow effect, however this time the shadow effect is given inside of the element. This again gives a thicker look on your block elements. Please note, in the Dark mode this effect might not be clearly seen since the shadow color is dark.


Lastly, Figma has a very useful and powerful feature called Auto Layout. In order for this feature to work, the Active and Inactive status bars on the Tab bars should be modified slightly.


You will need to use the “Inner Shadow” effect for the Auto Layout feature to work on your Active/Inactive Tab bars.



In summary, the overall structure of your styling system should look similar to the picture above.

Now, you don’t need to redraw the dark version separately. If you did everything right, then to create a dark version of your interface all you will need is a simple plugin and a few clicks of a button.

How to quickly switch from Light to Dark mode

Once we have set up our design system, it is time to easily switch our components and blocks to Dark mode. For this, you will need a plugin called Appearance which can be found in the Figma Community section.

Once installed, you will not need to change each block cards and their components one-by-one again. Once this plugin feature is applied you will be able to apply Dark mode with just a quick shortcut.

The image below shows how to install and use the Appearance plugin in your design system.

We hope with this information you will have a better understanding of choosing the right colors and their semantics for your future design systems. We have tried our best to share the knowledge of colors and their importance with you, and most importantly we hope you will learn how to switch quickly and easily between Light and Dark modes in your future projects. For more references and examples, you can check out our latest Figma Design System, we have used examples from this design system in this article, see for yourself.

Create an easily switchable Light/Dark styles in Figma was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Essential Figma UI Kits 2021

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Some latest and useful Figma kits of 2021

Design Systems Figma

Creating a Design System in Figma.

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Do you like staring at a blank canvas every time you start a new project in Figma?

I’m guessing you’re not a big fan right?

Wouldn’t it be better if you could kick-start your design projects faster, and save yourself so much time?

Well. This is where a Design System can come to your assistance.

So, what is a Design System you may ask?

In its most basic form, I like to think of it as a Component Library and Style Guide rolled into one.

Something which enables you to have those core UI elements pre-built, ready to go, allowing you to focus on the nuances of a design project, and complete it so much faster.

So with all that said, let me show you how I put together my Design System; Cabana for Figma, and in the process help you better understand what goes into creating a versatile and powerful System for yourself.

PLEASE NOTE: This article is here to help give you valuable tips, and advice on the best way of starting your own Design System. It’s not a guide on showing you how to create one from start to finish. Who’s got time for a 10000-word article right?

OK. Let’s do this…

Why you should build a strong Colour palette before anything else.

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When you start creating your Design System in Figma, you want to start with your Colour Palette first, and aim to keep your Base Colours to a minimum where possible (ie; Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary).

Of course, it makes sense for the purposes of flexibility to then expand on those Base Colours by offering varying degrees of Tints (Lighter variants), and shades (Darker variants.

Now you could go ahead and create the varying Tints and Shades from your initial Base Colour by tweaking the Saturation, and Lightness values from the HSL option inside the Colour Panel in Figma, but that’s a time-consuming process.

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A tool that I use to make the whole Tints & Shades creation process even quicker can be found at the following link –

Here you can quickly produce Tints & Shades by simply pasting in your Base Colour HEX value, which in turn will then produce perfectly computed Tints & Shades for you.

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You then select which Tints & Shades you’d like to use inside your System, and simply copy back across your chosen HEX values, which you can then insert into the relevant Fill options.

Before we move on, let me give you a simple tip on naming conventions when it comes to your Colour Palette…

I highly recommend using something as simple as the following…

  • Primary / Base
  • Secondary / Base

Using forward slash (/) will categorise your Colours for you and aids in quickly finding the relevant Colour from the Inspector panel.

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You’ll also need to look at implementing the standard Red (Error), Green (Success), and Yellow (Warning) Base Colours for usage within Notifications, Badges, and Input Field Borders for example.

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Black and varying shades of Grey are an absolute must too.

As well as the obligatory White, I also recommend adding White with varying levels of Opacity. These variants are perfect for example, when you want to insert an Icon over the top of a Colour or Image, letting you easily allow as much, or as little of the Colour or Image to leak through.

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And don’t forget those Brand Colours.

You’ll find yourself calling upon these for many projects, and it pays to create them at the same time as your main Colour Palette.

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And lastly, a healthy selection of Gradients always comes in handy.

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If you do decide to add Gradients in your initial build make sure you give yourself some versatility by maybe adding both a Left to Right, and Top to Bottom variant from the get-go.

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Give yourself plenty of Typography options to cover both Desktop and Mobile usage.

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Unlike an app like Sketch, which ties Alignment, and Colour together within the Text Style. Figma breaks these apart, allowing you to have a lot less Text Styles to manage, and makes for a much cleaner, and lighter file.

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Even so, when building out your own System I recommend sticking to a 2 Font Family rule if possible.

For my own System, I chose Inter and Oxygen as the Base Font Families because they complement each other really well, and they’re not too decorative as initial Base options.

As well as creating oversized Display Styles, I also created styles for the usual suspects of H₁ to H₅ using Modular Scaling, with my Body text size set at 18pt, and using a Ratio of 1.2.

The Body I set at a healthy 18pt to improve legibility, especially when creating long-form content.

As well as the Headings, and Body styles, I created styles for Lead, Small, Caption, and X-Small, with the latter being perfect for when creating designs for mobile, and the former for when dealing with Desktop projects.

The naming convention here is entirely down to you, and what you feel most comfortable with. I know some folks like to opt for a naming structure like Heading 1 through to Heading 6, and Body, Body L, Body S etc… and a million other kinds of naming conventions. Whatever works for you?

What I do recommend though, and following a similar pattern to your Colour Palette, is to once again use those trusty forward slashes (/) to group your Text Styles and make them much easier to reference.

Something like the following works great…

  • Lead 24 / Family #1 / Regular
  • Lead 24 / Family #2 / Regular
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With these 2 Font Families and their various styles (ie; Hero, H₁, Body etc…) I suggest creating a Regular and Bold weight variant at the bare minimum. You can, of course, add to this to suit your personal preferences at any point (ie; Light, Semi-Bold etc…)

Now. In Figma currently, when you want to change to a different Font Family you have to do things manually… each Style at a time.

Not cool!

But don’t despair, there’s an awesome plugin that I highly recommend called Batch Styler from the very talented Jan Six.

With this plugin, you can change multiple styles at once. All good!

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And finally, don’t forget those Elevations and Shadows.

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One last addition to the core styles of any good Design System, alongside your Colour Palette, and Typography Styles are Elevations and Shadows.

I suggest creating shadows suitable for both Light, and Dark designs, and their accompanying Elevations (20%, 40%, 60%, 80% etc…)

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Icons. A good Design System needs Icons.

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Every good Design System needs a great set of Icons right from the start.

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The core elements of a powerful Design System are –

  • Colours
  • Typography
  • Elevations & Shadows
  • Icons

Other Core Components such as a Buttons, Inputs, Modals etc… are a close second, and I’ll be touching more on these very soon.

Find a lightweight, but varied Icon Set for your initial build.

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For my own Design System; Cabana, I wanted a fairly substantial, but not oversized Base Icon Set.

I aimed for something that had a varied number of icons to choose from, was not too quirky in its style, and had both Fill and Line options available to me, and that’s why I settled on the Open-Source set; Eva.

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Another Open-Source Icon Set that I highly recommend is the beautiful Feather Icon Set.

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Want to organise your Icons better? Get yourself an Icon Organiser.

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My personal choice when adding Icons to my own System is IconJar.

IconJar is Mac only, but if you’re a Windows user do not despair, you have the awesome Nucleo to call upon.

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Back in my System, and on the Main Components page that I’d created earlier, I simply dropped in, one by one, icons from the Eva Icon Set.

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The cool thing with IconJar is that it will insert your icons with a 24pt Bounding Box already applied, which aids alignment and visual consistency within your designs.

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Then, it was just a case of attaching the Primary Base Colour Style that I’d created previously…

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…choosing a naming convention to aid with categorisation of my Icons (similar to what I’d created previously with the Colours, and Typography)…

  • Icon / Alert Circle / Fill
  • Icon / Alert Circle / Line
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…and then simply converting it to a Component (Alt + Cmd + K).

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Now, this part will seem a little time-consuming, but I’ve yet to find a Figma Plugin that can help automate this process well, so manual it is for the time being I’m afraid.

Choose your Main Components wisely.

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So, what goes into a versatile, and powerful Design System?

Components. And lots of them.

It’s a big job in creating hundreds of components in the first instance but when it’s done it’s a smoother ride from there on with just smaller incremental additions as required.

It’s the part of creating a Design System that is going to take up the most of your time. Don’t expect to pump out your Main Components in one evening with a hot cup of cocoa. You’re going to have to set aside a little more time than that I’m afraid.

Always start with those smaller Components first.

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What did I start with first when building out my Main Components?

Buttons. And lots of them.

Smaller Components such as Buttons are one of the most commonly used elements of any project, so it makes sense to create those first, before you move on to creating larger Components such as Modals, Cards, Calendars etc… which will inevitably feature those smaller Components at some stage.

For my System I created Primary

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…and Secondary Buttons…

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…with following variants:

  • Button / Primary / Extra Large / Default
  • Button / Primary / Extra Large / Left Icon
  • Button / Primary / Extra Large / Right Icon

As well as the ‘Extra Large’ option I also created ‘Large’, ‘Medium’ and ‘Small’ variants to cover both Desktop and Mobile use.

Your smaller Components will become part of a much larger Component.

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As I’d done with the Buttons Components, and knowing that they would become part of a much larger Component (ie; Card, Modal etc…), I went ahead and created other smaller Components such as Avatars

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Dropdown Menu Items

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… and Progress Bars

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… to name but a few.
Doing it this way enabled me then to nest these smaller Components inside larger Components when it came to build those out.
Now, there are some folks that like to create the larger Component (ie; Card) first in its entirety, and then separate out all the elements that it consists of (ie; Button, Placeholder, Avatar etc…) into smaller Components.
Me personally, I like to design those smaller Components first, have them all at the ready, so I can then jump into creating a larger Component, and quickly choose from what I have available until I’m happy with the final build.
Anyway. I don’t want to take up too much of your valuable time here. So, here’s just a select few of the Components I added to my own System:
  • Avatars
  • Button Groups
  • Calendars
  • Cards
  • Charts
  • Comments
  • Maps
  • Media Controls (Video & Audio)
  • Modals
  • Notifications
  • Pagination
  • Placeholders
  • Tooltips
Just remember to get the most commonly used UI elements into place to cover enough use cases, and you’ll be good to go with your initial build.

Like I mentioned before. Building your own System does take time (it took me 3 months to build my own, give-or-take), but the satisfaction once you’ve built it is immeasurable.

To never have the worry about starting a design project staring at a blank canvas ever again, is an awesome feeling once you have your own System in place.

Thanks for reading the article,
Marc Andrew.


A Quick Guide on getting started with the powerful Design Tool; Figma.

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The post Creating a Design System in Figma. appeared first on Marc Andrew.


Learnings from Figma’s business domination

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How Figma defeated other design tools even after entering the market late

It is safe to say that the entire design and product community is excited about Figma. But how did Figma make itself a dominant tool for every designer and, more importantly, the tech giants that employ hundreds of designers for their product features? Let’s dig into this topic and understand how Figma applied the same variables to other tools to make their mark in their respective industries.

History 👴

  • Figma had its first public release on September 27, 2016. On October 22, 2019, Figma launched Figma Community, allowing designers to publish their work for others to view and remix their work.
  • On the other hand, Sketch was launched on 7 September 2010 for only macOS.
  • Unlike Sketch, Figma is also a vector graphics tool. But it is entirely web-based and works on both Windows and Mac or even a tablet device at a similar level. It means companies or individuals that cannot afford a Mac device can still work on cutting-edge interface design software.

Figma taking over 🚗

Design tool stack sample

Figma’s research and marketing teams would have looked at all the tools that designers at the time were using. Designers were endlessly jumping from one design-tool to another to bridge the gap and ship the final deliverables. For example, a typical flow would be something like,

  1. Designers/Researchers do their brainstorming in Miro ✅.
  2. Conduct interviews on Google Meet/Zoom/Microsoft Teams ✅.
  3. Document their discoveries in Confluence ✅.
  4. Tracks bugs and tickets in JIRA ✅.
  5. Wireframes on Whimsical/Balsamiq .
  6. File management and version control on Abstract .
  7. Designs in Sketch .
  8. Designs micro-interactions in Framer❌/Marvel❌/Principle ✅.
  9. Presents the completed screens as flow to developers and product managers in Overflow ❌.
  10. Hands over design in Zeplin/InVision ❌.
  11. Communicate over Slack ✅.

As a designer working in a team, you cannot cut down all these collaboration tools. But let’s add up the cost of all the “design” only tools that Figma replaced —

Sketch (99$/year and license) + Abstract (180$/year per license) + Zeplin (130$/year per license) + Invision (100$/year per license) +Framer (240$/year per license) + Whimsical (144$/year per license) + Overflow (144$/year per license)= 1037$/year per license

Tools that Figma couldn’t disrupt —

Principle (129$/year per license) + Miro (192$/year per license)+ Also adding , Figma (540$/year per license) = 861$/year per license

It creates a significant business cost-saving case, especially for tools like Zeplin that got organizations to pay for view-only users.

Still Irreplaceable

It is worth noting that some things are irreplaceable currently, but designers can continue to survive without them. For example —

  1. Abstract offers a superior version control which Figma doesn’t have yet.
  2. Principle offers control over micro-interactions and helps create sophisticated prototypes with fancy animations that Figma cannot yet.
  3. Whimsical offers wireframe, user flow creation support vital for early-stage UX work that Figma comes close to replacing but still far away.
  4. Miro offers ideation supports and makes workshop facilitation easy. Figma nowhere close to it.

Real Reason for the shift

The real reason small startups and big organizations decided to shift to Figma was that,

  1. It is free for individuals and small organization that doesn’t require a lot. This way, even bigger organizations gave it a try and tested the waters before going all in.
  2. It provided real collaboration. It brought stakeholders together and facilitated cross-functional communication.
  3. It helps big organizations across the globe to make a move. Then these organizations became ambassadors of Figma. I am assuming that Figma set up a technical support team that helped the large organizations make the big move and provided help with training and documentation.
  4. Figma cut down the need for jumping from one design boat to another. In Figma, designers could see umm🤔… design, prototype, gather feedback, and hand-off to the engineering team.
  5. Platform independence. No more Abstract and Sketch eating your battery. Work from any OS, any tablet. Plus, everything’s on the cloud.
  6. The company employed a design-centric leadership, for example, Yuhki Yamashita (VP of Product). They have a competitive edge because of their design focus.
  7. Figma understood the user’s needs and built a holistic monster of a tool.

Ominipresent Documentation 📔

Figma knew that if it had to take over. Then designers need to start feeling comfortable with the tool. Designers need to adopt it, recommend it, and be willing to contribute to it. And the first step to build a strong familiarity loop is by providing users with in-depth documentation — in every form and manner.

Figma provided its tool support on Blog, YouTube, Medium, Help Center, FB, Instagram, and Twitter. It feels as if you can connect with them where you feel comfortable.

Though, I would have loved to see an in-app help like Miro’s Learn & Inspire. Available anytime, anywhere.

Screenshot of Miro app — Help

The Community Effect 🌍

When Sketch launched in 2010, it supported building custom plugins using Cocoascript — a coding language that bridges the gap between Objective-C/Cocoa code and Javascript. But it could never provide a platform where designers could contribute or sell resources. And hence, platforms like Sketch App Sources or UI8 came into being.

But this changed with Figma. The tool integrated plugin as well as an endless array of free Figma-based templates. I am assuming that the community would have imported many of the older templates from Sketch since Figma build Sketch import support from the start.

Design Applause 👏

It is good to have big ideas. But following up your ideas with intuitive execution results in widespread success.

In many ways, Figma bridged the gap. It allowed for designers to adopt the tool more quickly as compared to Sketch. One of the significant moves Figma made was to make the tool-free to use for individuals and paid only for companies that require tons of collaboration and huge project repositories. It brought smiles to many people’s faces, and it drove adoption. But above, it gave people a reason to provide the tool with an honest try.

What followed after this was an endless sea of content where designs, product folks, entrepreneurs all gave the tool positive feedback and drew interesting comparisons. It built an immeasurable stream of support for Figma through free influencers.

If someone likes you, they will do anything for you.

Check out some of the interesting ones below:

Frequent Releases 🚀

If you look at the timestamps of all the past Figma releases, you will realize that the tool gets something fixed or gets an added functionalities every 7–10 days. I can imagine that the once-in-seven-day release cycle keeps designers, developers, and product managers on their toes all day long 😆. It also results in happy customers. The frequency also builds trust and more hands raised 🙌 for Beta signups. And we all know that more testing leads to more bugs squashed and the release of a stable version.

Figma Releases

🤫 Some designers even say that Figma’s team has ears everywhere. As soon as a designer thinks there is a gap in the product, Figma fixes the break in their subsequent releases.

Design Tooling Landscape ✏️

The design tools landscape is filled with fair, reasonable, and great options. There is something wrong with every tool, and one tool's mistake is another tool's market opportunity here. For example, everyone knew that version control is a problem in Sketch, and designer-led organizations are obsessed with maintaining versions. I have personally met designers who would back up their previous design copies in Google Drive. In this instance, Abstract was born and was able to form a tight-knit integration with Sketch to provide design-friendly branching, conflict management, and version control.

Prototyping tools –

👆Check out some of the prototyping tools that Vytautas Alech compared. You can add a lot more to the design tool landscape if you reach each part of the design journey like wireframe (like Balsamiq), ideation & brainstorming (like Miro), developer hand-off (like Zeplin), presentation (like Keynote), and more.

Learnings from Figma

If you run a Saas product and would like to take your user-adoption through the roof, then take into account these moves and see success coming your way.

  1. Listen to your customers. Find out instances where the experience is broken, and you can be the first to bridge them better than anyone else.
  2. Learn about your competitors and make it easy for your customers to make a move.
  3. Don’t go for petty cash 💰. Chase the big 🦈 Sharks. If you can, let customers use or try your product for free with all of the advanced features reserved for the paying customers. People tend to convert more often when the cost of entry is low.
  4. Provide documentation, tutorials, customer support to your consumers. If your users do not happen, then your product won’t exist for long.
  5. Be outward-facing. If your customers cannot find you on every significant social platform, you will miss building organic social loops and instances where your product can go viral. Outward-facing means you regularly take time to connect with your customers through social media by conducting live webinars and interactive in-person sessions. Increase your surface of contact.
  6. Supercharge your tool with plugins/integrations, templates, and more freebies. Invite early developers and incentivize them to build functionalities that would take you years to prioritize and ship. You can’t make everything, and you can’t replace every tool out there. But you can open your APIs and build meaningful connections with other apps.
  7. Build an organic influencer network. It will make your product 10x more viral and go places.
  8. Provide robust support. Please don’t allow your customers to complain about your product without you ever following up with them and fixing the issues.

Together all these tactics can deliver a solid punch to your target market.

Being Relevant

To be relevant as a business, we can learn from Figma and do the following things.

  1. Have a product focus and strategy. Don’t focus just on minting money. Focus on providing value to the users. You can stay in the game only when your users’ needs are fulfilled.
  2. Innovate. Spend the time and the effort to supercharge your innovation engines. Don’t focus on merely marketing your products — keep pushing your teams to build something useful for them.
  3. Iterate. Don’t let negative feedback sit in the corner till it becomes a devouring monster 👹. All feedback is good feedback. Create a system around converting feedback into features and iteration cycles. Your product will thank you for it.
  4. Increase the speed of execution. The faster your teams can develop, the quicker you will ship, the better your turnaround time will become.
  5. Focus on the outcome, not features. The only way you can uncover unmet needs and workaround is by connecting with your users on the grass-roots level and brainstorming with them like real stakeholders.

I hope you enjoyed this quick read, and it gave you some knowledge to apply some of the observations as the guiding principles.

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Thank you for reading this far! 😁 Let me know if you have any questions or comments on my design — or — If you’d like to have a chat about anything design-related, I’d love to hear from you!

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Learnings from Figma’s business domination was originally published in Prototypr on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.