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. This design tool 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 UX tools to become a favorite. After all, who wouldn’t love having all the best design tools fused into a single product?
In this article, we will answer all your questions, including:
- What is Figma?
- What can you design with Figma?
- How much does Figma cost?
- Can you work as a remote UX designer with Figma?
- Why is the Figma community so good?
All I can say is that if you don’t know about this design tool, you’re missing out on the opportunity to become a standout UX designer, leverage a higher salary, and improve your skillset through immersion within a dynamic and creative community.
To help you understand why our Ultimate Figma Masterclass is the best course to fast-track your career, here are the top 10 reasons you need to start using Figma.
What is Figma?
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 launch, UX/UI designers could only work through installed software with multiple licenses without live collaborative features. Before this, UX designers were limited to moving pixels in non-vector-based software like Photoshop 7. Needless to say, the design landscape was vastly different from the dynamic tools we have today.
Figma’s live collaboration, cloud-based design, and intuitive tools allowed the UX/UI design world to improve workflow and get creative. A quick side-by-side comparison against Adobe XD and Sketch shows just how innovative this tool is.
The success of the newly launched design tool led to a flurry of interest from global investors. After raising a staggering $3.8M in 2013, the team raised a further $3.8 million in seed funding.
Released to the public in 2016, Figma is now estimated to be worth $10B in 2022 with 4M+ users globally.
To understand how and why this tool took the design world by storm, let’s examine why you need to know about Figma and what Figma can do that other design tools can’t.
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.
If you’ve been on the fence about UX/UI design as a career, now is the time to make the switch.
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.
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. Developers, visual designers, project managers, marketers, HR—the list of professions that already have existing basic UX skills are endless.
If you’re entirely new to Figma and UX/UI design, good news: you don’t have to tough it alone. Becoming a master of design 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.
Consider enrolling in a paid course for those who want to take their learnings to a more advanced level.
For a complete introduction to Figma, real-life designs, and access to an exclusive community, opt for The Designership’s Ultimate Figma & UI Design Masterclass.
In this course, you will learn advanced file and project management processes, how to design and build a design system from scratch, build an advanced responsive prototype, comprehensive UI design principles, and processes on the design handover implementation workflow.
Along with The Designership community, you’ll have everything you need to master Figma and create game-changing designs.
2. Live collaboration
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 Figma launched in 2016, its USP was at the forefront of innovation for its 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 watch every pixel using the Observation Mode.
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 realize you made a mistake in the first minute. Live collaboration stops errors before they snowball.
In addition to the Live Collaboration capabilities with no lag or crashes, Figma allows 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 usually locked to one device. For example, Sketch is a Mac-only tool, causing headaches for those working across various devices.
Figma runs on all operating systems, including macOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. They also offer a super valuable desktop application, available for 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
Figma allows you to do all your UX/UI design on one tool, across any device, anytime. Pushing the boundaries of design tools even further, Figma introduced another innovation: FIGJAM virtual whiteboard tool.
In August 2021, the Figma team announced that the newest update would allow users to create their own Figjam widgets and Figjam plugins.
To be honest, when FIGJAM was first announced, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea.
I’m happy to say that not only did FIGJAM pass the Designership test, but it’s also quickly becoming my new favorite feature. I saw Miro’s capability was and was genuinely curious to see if FIGJAM would hold its own. I’m currently running two projects on Figjam as of writing this article.
5. Crash-free zone
It’s every UX/UI designer’s nightmare: hours spent on a project, only for the tool to crash and leave you back at the starting mark.
Thanks to Figma’s inbuilt automatic backup system, you’ll be able to recover lost projects. 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, and it also comes with version control.
6. Larger projects will run smooth as silk
Before making the switch, I was always on edge, waiting for the tool to crash if I added too many components. It was a battle of hitting save every few minutes and then waiting while the device 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 has the unique advantage of the network effect.
Before Figma, UX/UI tools were limited to specific devices with steep skill gatekeeping and expertise barriers. Not anymore!
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:
8. Infinite 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 browse the Figma Community and grab and go.
Suppose you’re looking for something a little more personal for your workflow. In that case, you can even create your own Figma Design System to make your workflow even more intuitive using Shipfaster UI, Figma’s leading design system.
9. Infinite Figma plugins
An official library of free and paid plugins adapt and improve your workflow to suit your style. Plugins are there to help you automate your workflow, remove the need for tedious menial tasks, and give you more time to create.
There’s a plugin to fill layers with dummy text; there are wireframe plugins for you. Even the most obscure design features often have plugins. Case and point, a plugin to help create organic blob shapes that you can squish and mold.
FIGJAM also launched its 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 entirely 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.
If budget is a concern, you can access many free courses and resources to help guide you using the tool. The Designership also offers a Figma Crash Course with 15 free tutorials to help you get started.
Learn how to master Figma
I could give infinite other reasons 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?
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 Shipfaster UI 2.0 Design System.
Mastering UX tools is one of the first steps you need to take on your journey to becoming a UX designer. For more information on how you can become a UX designer without experience or a degree, head this way.