It’s true that there’s there is no shortage of UX/UI design tools to choose from. However, one tool stands out from the crowd: Figma.
If you love statistics, you’ll be astounded to know that:
- It went from a $2B valuation in April 2020, to a $10B in May 2021
- 140 employees at the beginning of 2020, jumped to 500 by mid-2021
- Rough estimates say that Figma has a userbase of 4M+ users globally
Numbers don’t lie, Figma is a force to be reckoned with.
Intuitive, powerful, and oh-so-simple to master, it’s no wonder that it has quickly overtaken all the other design tools to become a favourite. After all, who wouldn’t love having all the best design tools fused into a single product?
All I can say is that if you don’t know about Figma, you’re missing out on something huge.
What is Figma?
In a nutshell, Figma is a cloud-based design and user interface tool. Launched to the public in 2016, Figma is the brainchild of Dylan Field and Evan Wallace.
Before Figma came onto the scene, UX/UI designers could only work through installed software with multiple licenses, and without any live collaborative features. If we date back even further, we were moving pixels in non-vector based software like Photoshop 7. It’s mind-boggling to think about how we survived that era.
Figma’s live collaboration, cloud-based design, and intuitive tools gave the UX/UI design world an opportunity to improve workflow and get creative. A quick side-by-side comparison against Adobe XD and Sketch shows just how innovative this tool is.
From the day it entered the scene, investors knew that the founders were on to something big. After raising a whopping $3.8M in 2013, the team went on to raise a further $3.8 million in seed funding. In 2021, Figma is now worth a staggering $10B with 4M+ users globally.
Pretty impressive for a company that was only released to the public in 2016.
So, statistics aside, the real question is: why do you need to know about Figma? What can Figma do that other design tools can’t?
Let’s dive in.
10 Reasons Why You Need To Know About Figma
1. In-demand with Great Educational Resources
UX/UI skills have never been more in demand.
LinkedIn reports that back in 2020, the number of UX designer hires was 5x the hires made in 2019. They estimate that this number will rocket even further by the close of 2021. If you’ve been on the fence about UX/UI design as a career, now is the time to make the switch.
That’s why it’s so critical to learn more about Figma. It’s the industry standard skill for the fastest growing industry.
For those who have some experience working on a digital product, UX/UI design as a skill has a low barrier of entry. Everyone from developers to visual designers, to project managers, to marketers probably already have the basic skills needed to master Figma.
If you’re completely new to Figma and UX/UI design, good news: you don’t have to tough it alone. Becoming a master has never been easier, thanks to plenty of high-quality educational courses online resources:
Alongside these great free resources, I have also taught over 40,000 hours worth of free Figma tutorials on YouTube. For those who want to take their learnings to a more advanced, level you can take a peek at my Figma & UI Design Masterclass:
- The Ultimate Figma & UI Design Masterclass Course – As of posting this article, we have 600+ students with an average rating of ⭐️ 4.9 stars!
2. Live Collaboration
Remember the old days where your email would be clogged up with revisions, comments, questions, and explanations of what was happening with a design? With Figma, this is no longer!
Working in teams requires collaboration, discussions, and good ole fashioned show-hows. It allows for all of this in real-time, with little to no lag, and no crashes.
When it was launched in 2016, its USP was the game-changing live collaboration capabilities. Allowing multiple team members to collaborate and view designs in real-time (just like in Google Docs) changed the design industry for the better. It’s also what led to other tools like Figma and Adobe XD introducing live collaboration.
UX/UI designers can easily see the latest project updates on the Project Pages, track contributors and projects on the Team and Organization Pages, edit in real-time, and, using the Observation Mode, watch every pixel.
The introduction of live collaboration helps to stop design errors before they happen. Think about the times you’ve worked for hours on a project only to realise you made a mistake in the first minute. Live collaboration stops mistakes before they snowball.
In addition to the Live Collaboration capabilities with no lag or crashes, Figma also allows for unlimited members in one file. This means large-scale teams won’t need to tag members in and out and have no pay-per-license headaches.
3. You Can Access Your Work From Any Device
The beauty of using a cloud-based app is that you’re no longer limited to one device or platform. With other popular tools, you’re often locked into one device. For example, Sketch is a Mac-only tool, causing headaches for those working across a series of devices.
Figma runs on all operating systems including macOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. They also offer a super useful desktop application, available for both macOS and Windows. An updated version is currently in beta testing.
If you’re working from an iOS or Android device, you can download the Mirror app for live previewing – a lifesaver for last-minute live collaboration revisions. Bear in mind that unless you’re working from a device that can run a full desktop (like Microsoft Surface), you’ll only be able to access a View Only version of your files.
4. It’s the Ultimate All-in-one Tool
Why waste time bouncing between tools and tabs when you can have it all in one spot?
As I’ve said, Figma allows you to do all your UX/UI design on one tool, across any device, anytime (that’s a huge win for me, already!) and the cherry on top of using it is their introduction of the virtual whiteboard tool, FIGJAM.
Need to scope out a project with a contractor on the other side of the world? FIGJAM. Want to use a kanban style of planning your next prototype? FIGJAM. Looking to send an animated meme to your coworker? FIGJAM.
Taking this virtual whiteboard tool to another level, it was announced in August 2021 that they were allowing users to create Figjam widgets and Figjam plugins.
To be honest, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of FIGJAM was first announced. I saw how capable Miro was, and was genuinely curious to see if FIGJAM would hold its own. I’m happy to say, not only did FIGJAM pass the Designership test, it’s quickly becoming my new favourite feature. I’m currently running two projects on Figjam as of writing this article.
5. Crash-Free Zone
It’s every UX/UI designers nightmare: hours spent on a project, only for the tool to crash and leave you back at the starting mark.
Using this tool, you won’t be throwing your computer across the room thanks to the handy automatic backup system. Your precious edits will save to disk when a document becomes disconnected from the server. This means that even if you close your tab, you’ll still have your work.
The autosave/auto-backup will become your saving grace when you’re working on a volatile device (looking at you, 2009 MacBook Air), and it also comes with version control.
6. Larger Projects Will Run Smooth As Silk
Before I made the switch, I was always on edge just waiting for the tool to crash if I added one too many components. It was a battle of hitting save every few minutes, and then twiddling my thumbs while the tool struggled to cope with my mid-sized project.
With Figma, you can say goodbye to large projects meltdown. It’s capable of running smoothly on large-scale projects with thousands of components and variants, and won’t cause your device to overheat.
7. The Network Effect
Due to the sheer number of people across every industry using it, it has the unique advantage of the network effect.
Before Figma, UX/UI tools were limited to certain devices with steep skill gatekeeping and expertise barriers. Not anymore, though!
As Figma has grown in popularity and users, it’s become an inclusive, creative ecosystem of dedicated UX/UI designers.
The Community Resource page is a marketplace for ideas, inspiration, and those seeking tech support from the Figma resource developers themselves. Figma has fostered such a strong creative community, that users are starting to branch beyond UX/UI design, sharing things such as:
Who knows what amazing designs you’ll create with such an incredible community behind you?
8. Hello, Figma Resources
With Figma, there’s no reinventing the wheel.
The Community is home to thousands of custom-made files and Figma plugins designed for Figma users, by Figma users. This means that you don’t have to start from scratch on any project – there’s no learning curve, no time-wasting trying to figure out how to automate something, you can just browse the Figma Community, and grab and go.
If you’re looking for something a little more personal for your workflow, you can even create your own Figma Design System to make your workflow even more intuitive using my easy-to-master Figma Design System Course.
9. Figma Plugins Galore
Luckily, there is an official library of free and paid plugins to adapt and improve your workflow to your heart’s content. Plugins are there to help you automate your workflow, remove the need for boring menial tasks, and give you more time to create.
Looking for a plugin to fill your text layers with dummy text? There’s a plugin for that. Tired of wasting time trying to perfect a wireframe? Figma has the plugin for you. Looking to create organic blob shapes that you can squish and mould? Yep, you got it. There’s even a plugin for that.
FIGJAM also launched their widgets and resources in August 2021 to further extend your possibilities while whiteboarding. As the community continues to create, who knows what useful widgets we’ll be seeing in the future.
If you’re not completely sold on Figma yet as a UX/UI design tool, then this will seal the deal: Figma offers the free Starter plan, which gives you:
- Unlimited files in drafts, viewers and commenters, and editors on 3 team files
- 1 team project
- 30-day version history
- Unlimited cloud storage
This means you can try it for free to see if it’s your (FIG)jam. If you’re ready to kick it up a notch, you can go with Figma Professional, for just $12/per month.
Crazy affordable, right?
Learn how to Master Figma
There are infinite other reasons I could give as to why Figma is one of the best (in my opinion, the best) UX/UI design tools in the industry. Created specifically for UX/UI designers, by designers and constantly tweaked and updated to improve performance, it gets its strength from its strong developer/community bonds.
Where else would you find such an intuitive design tool that allows you to edit, design, collaborate, and communicate in real-time, without crashing or costing you a small fortune? The fact that Figma skills are incredibly lucrative is just the cherry on top of this incredible tool.
To become a pro Figma designer, check out the Ultimate Figma & UI Design Masterclass Course, with over 500+ mind-blown students! You can also speed up your design workflow with the Figma Design System.
Last but not least, if you aren’t ready to invest with your hard earned money just yet, watch my free Figma crash course on YouTube.