Advantages and Disadvantages of Figma
Heard of Figma? It is a cloud-based design tool that helps people work at the same time on the same file, in real time. Sounds great, doesn’t it? In this article, we will be touching upon the main points of Figma, its advantages and disadvantages.
Figma was designed exclusively for designers by a small team of developers in 2015. The idea stemmed from the requirement of a system wherein everyone could work on the same project in real time. They preferred to have something more than what Photoshop or Sketch could provide. They wanted something more flexible and faster. And Figma was the answer.
Figma was released to the public in 2016, and ever since, it has been used widely, and with great success, downloaded millions of times. Figma is a favourite among designers because it has interesting features that other software simply don’t have.
Advantages of Figma
If you are planning to use Figma for your projects, it is a great decision indeed. However, check out whether the following benefits of using Figma are applicable for your projects as well.
The Presentation feature
Figma is perfect when it comes to its Presentation feature. The designers can see their designs in an online viewer without scrolling it so they can see their images in total. You can also create links to the frames, so it would be almost like a webpage, with one page leading to another. You can do the other aspects of presentation of your work easily with the help of Sigma, adjust the frame size and see how they look, and work out different styles.
Space is not an issue
Figma doesn’t need any complicated downloads, or even space on the user’s hard disk. You can work it on the browser.
Fast and Frictionless
Once you finish working on the files, you can upload, drag, zoom, edit and download easily.
An incredible community of designers
Over the years, Figma has developed an incredible community consisting of developers from everywhere, and they share their design systems, illustrations, templates, plugins, files, icons and more.
Figma can be integrated with some great softwares and tools. For example, the integration with Slack makes it possible for all the team members to work remotely, and yet be connected to each other. This lets the teams work efficiently and productively.
It is said that one of the biggest functionalities of Sigma is its prototyping. You can do a number of functionalities with it, move in and move out animations, animate property, have overlays and so on. And the interesting thing is that if you have a Figma Mirror app on your phone, you can just present the prototype with your mobile device.
It’s good for small projects
If you have a project where you don’t need more than two editors working at the same time, you can just use the free version. If not, then you will have to pay per editor.
This is a wonderful feature in Figma that lets you take remote design work to the next level. You can use FigJam, the online white board to brainstorm ideas, plan design sprints and develop workflows.
Disadvantages of Figma
While Figma’s praises are sung far and loud, there are some disadvantages that you ought to know as well. Check them out:
A bit difficult to learn
Figma is a bit difficult to master if you are not familiar with vector-based design tools. And it doesn’t have as many features as other vector based tools. If you know vector based tools, you will find the learning curve to be really impressive.
No offline features
You will have to be connected online to work on Figma. Moving anywhere from the network is bad, and you will not be able to work on the software.
Understanding who made the last change
If you are making changes to the design screens, then you need to know who worked on the changes before you. You might have to confer with the Design Lead on the project, even though there is a section showing Version Control Function.
Figma Vs Photoshop
If you are wondering whether to choose Figma or Photoshop for your projects, check out this simple comparison between the two. As you might already be aware, Photoshop is a professional photo editing software that has been around for as long as ever. Photoshop is a reliable tool for making their pictures perfect.
On the other hand, Figma is a web-app based tool that would help designers develop wireframes, mockups, prototypes for web pages and digital products.
There are some marked differences and similarities between the two:
Photoshop is really huge, and takes up heavy CPU and GPU usage. It has to be installed on the computer.
Figma can be used directly from the browser or downloaded into the computer. It doesn’t have as many resources as Photoshop, but it is definitely more responsive even though the resources are fewer.
The main aim of Figma is collaboration and so many people can work on it in real time, complete extensive versions and add comments. However, when you update the master component, the changes would reflect in all of the related files.
However, if you are working alone, and have lots of photos to edit, then Photoshop would be a better option because it does have several powerful photo editing tools, and the larger following of editors are aware of the PSD format. The support community of Photoshop is also much larger.
If you look at the cost factors between the two. Figma is slightly less expensive if you go for the professional version, while Photoshop subscription starts at $20.99. The paid version of Figma is available at $15 per month.
Both Figma and Photoshop are built using C++ programming languages. Photoshop is also built using Pascal.
Another advantage that Figma has over Photoshop is that the former supports animations while the latter doesn’t.
Figma is a great tool to work your designs if you have some time to master it. There are plenty of online video and text tutorials to learn about the features, and it’s free. It helps in faster work, thanks to the auto-layout feature that eliminates the need to resize all the time. There are layout grids for excellent visual structure.
Get ready to use Figma for your projects because when you have a really excellent team working on your websites and apps, you can have awesome interfaces with stunning designs and graphics. True, there are some disadvantages, but the benefits easily outweigh them. Designers love the software because of these multiple benefits, especially since Figma works well on all devices, and can have a really fast loading speed, irrespective of which browser it is working on. Also Figma is constantly being updated, so the designers will have some great features to try every time.
The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.