3 Months with Figma: Why it Changes Design Forever

Default avatar.
March 02, 2017
3 Months with Figma: Why it Changes Design Forever.

Like most designers, I started with Photoshop, using it for over half a decade. From there, Sketch burst onto the scene and did not take long to announce itself as the go-to tool for designers. For the last three months, I have been using Figma each and every day, integrating it into my workflow and exercising its features across a broad spectrum of projects. The results have been overwhelmingly positive and as such I have selected a number of key features of Figma which I found to be extremely useful and often innovative. Sketch is a highly competent and all-around excellent piece of software. Adobe XD is another piece of software which I was just getting used to using. So when I first began testing Figma, I was somewhat reluctant and skeptical as to its place in what is now a very competitive market. In this article I’m going to discuss why Figma is now my primary tool for design, why I believe it changes how we design, and why I believe it will become the next industry-standard tool.


Figma is extremely accessible. It’s available on Mac, Windows, and through modern browsers (unlike Sketch which is confined to the Mac). This instantly makes it more inclusive, and allows for collaboration not just with other designers, but developers, copywriters, and more. It’s universal and as a result makes the design process something which is far more collaborative and complete. Your files are accessible anywhere. No download, no syncing. You could be at a public computer, a colleagues computer, or even on a Chromebook, yet your designs remain accessible to view and edit.  The accessibility ties in closely with its key feature, collaboration. By intertwining the two, collaboration becomes something quite extraordinary. You could have a use case where a designer is working in real-time with other designers, developers and copywriters. The possibilities are unique and exciting. I think as more designers and teams explore using Figma as a primary tool, more and more interesting ways of implementing the technology into a workflow will become apparent. 4


Figma is very lightweight. You don’t even need to have the application installed. Simply open a browser tab and you are set. At the same time, you don’t need to install any fonts, plugins, color palettes, or resources. It’s all readily accessible at the click of a button. For me, the way it implements Google fonts is particularly useful when working on multiple machines — we all know how tricky it can be to keep and maintain fonts in sync across multiple devices, and the impossibility of doing so on a public, or colleague’s computer.

Version History

The version history is a key feature in combination with the collaboration technology. The last situation you want is to come back to your design and see somebody has made changes that cannot be easily undone or restored. Sketch also has this technology, but at the expense of masses of disk space. Many of us have experienced this issue, and seen first hand just how enormous the backups can become when working in large files each and every day. Figma stores all these backups in the cloud. First and foremost, that means they are safe if you lose your computer, or you encounter a technical issue. Secondly, it’s not going to fill your computer with version backups like Sketch. 

Pen Tool

The pen tool is something to behold. It’s so easy to use and puts other software to shame. It’s important to try it to appreciate its benefits, but it certainly makes it hard to go back to using Sketch or Adobe. 5


Constraints allow you to produce responsive designs with ease. By constraining elements, a simple resize of the frame allows you to visualise the design at multiple widths and heights — something where previously you had to produce multiple mockups and wait until the development phase to see just quite how it would work in reality.


Components do away with symbols (in Sketch), and a separate page to house them all in. They provide something far more intuitive and lightweight. Effectively, a component acts as the symbol, and then all copies of the component are called instances. One particular use case that I use time and time again, is to produce multiple color variations of the same design. Then, any changes I make to the original component are instantly reflected in the instances, while keeping color changes intact. Of course, the possibilities are endless and and there are so many ways to implement this feature into your designs.


The support in Figma is impeccable. From the documentation, to the live chat within the application, it has it all. The chat is particularly useful for asking questions and reporting any issues. The staff are responsive, helpful, and genuine, and this has certainly helped me cement Figma as my go-to design tool.


Figma still has its deficiencies — it’s not yet a perfect tool by any means. The Sketch import is often buggy and sometimes inaccurate. The lack of shared styles is one key aspect I miss from Sketch. That being said, it’s an extremely exciting tool. It’s rethinking every aspect of the design process from the ground up, and innovating in ways we haven’t seen since the inception of Sketch. The team are quick to push updates and as such it’s now at the point where I can comfortably remove Sketch from my dock, and move forward with a highly-capable and innovative tool for designing.

Ben Bate

I’m Ben, a Product Designer from the United Kingdom. You can visit my website or follow me on Dribbble.

Read Next

15 Best New Fonts, May 2023

The choices you make when selecting a typeface have more impact on your design than almost any other decision, so it’s …

10+ Best Tools & Resources for Web Designers and Agencies (2023 updated)

Having the ability to envision a tastefully designed website (i.e., the role creativity plays) is important. But being …

20 Best New Websites, May 2023

This month, there are tons of great new agency websites to get excited about. 3D animated prisms are a popular theme, a…

How to Find the Right White Label Website Builder for Your Agency

Web design agencies face a lot of obstacles in closing the deal with new clients. One of the most common ones is the ar…

Exciting New Tools For Designers, May 2023

There are hundreds of new tools for designers and developers released each month. We sift through them all to bring you…

3 Essential Design Trends, May 2023

All three of the website design trends here mimic something bigger going on in the tech space, from a desire to have mo…

10 Best AI Tools for Web Designers (2023)

It’s time to stop worrying if AI is going to take your job and instead start using AI to expand the services you can of…

10 Best Marketing Agency Websites (Examples, Inspo, and Templates!)

Marketers are skilled in developing strategies, producing visual assets, writing text with high impact, and optimizing …

15 Best New Fonts, April 2023

Fonts are a designer’s best friend. They add personality to our designs and enable fine typography to elevate the quali…

20 Best New Websites, April 2023

In April’s edition, there’s a whole heap of large-scale, and even full-screen, video. Drone footage is back with a veng…

Exciting New Tools For Designers, April 2023

The AI revolution is having a huge impact on the types of products that are hitting the market, with almost every app b…

3 Essential Design Trends, March 2023

One thing that we often think about design trends is that they are probably good to make a list. That’s not always true…