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If you’ve been following the world of digital design over the past couple of years, you’ll know that there’ve been some major changes when it comes to software.
There's been a big shift towards lighter, leaner tools that offer a more restricted set of features, allowing designers to create interfaces much more quickly and intuitively. Gone are the days of building your own layout grid with rectangles in Photoshop.
One of the the coolest kids on the block today is Figma, a UX/UI design platform that runs in your web browser. Since it’s cloud based, you can pull up your files on just about any computer. No more hunting for tricky file names!
The advantages of Figma
In terms of interface, Figma is pretty similar to Sketch, another industry favorite. But Figma has built up features that now give it quite an edge when it comes to meeting the needs of today’s digital designer:
Figma is platform neutral. It runs right in your browser, so you can use it on Windows PCs, Linux, Chromebooks, Macs, and more
Figma supports real-time collaboration. Because it’s web-based, clients and colleagues in different locations can access the same file simultaneously. There are granular permissions controls as well, just like in Google Docs, so individuals can be given read-only access if desired.
Figma features team libraries. It allows the creation of libraries of design components, helping design teams and wider companies to adhere to a consistent, coherent design system
Figma has superpowers. Some of Figma’s extra features will be familiar to Adobe users, like the “view outlines” function. The creators of Figma have also developed “vector networks”, a new and far more intuitive way of creating vector-based shapes.
Figma is free. Unlike Sketch and most Adobe products, you can use Figma without having to pay for a license or subscription.