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Figma 2021 Review

Figma helps teams create, test, and ship better designs from start to finish. Its software is fully cloud-based and packed with features to make it easy to share designs with your organization. Voted #3 in graphic design software.

Features:

  • Modern pen tool and instant arc designs.
  • Design responsively with Auto Layout.
  • Plugins for stock imagery, flow diagrams, color accessibility, charts, icons, and more.

Pricing:

  • Free starter plan for up to 3 projects.
  • Professional plan starts from US$12 per month.

More About Figma

Figma Reviews

Find out what each expert had to say about their favorite software.

Brian Smith

Design Director - FullStack Labs

✓ Figma
Figma is a product design software that allows our team to design & prototype applications efficiently. We can produce rapid mockups as well as high-fidelity prototypes that are ready for development. It has a multiplayer aspect that allows our whole team to work on a single file at the same time.

Whimsical
We mostly use Whimsical for the planning phase of a new application. We can quickly create feature maps, user flows, and wireframes. With this tool, we’re able to gather client feedback before spending more time on the finer points of the designs.

Shirish Raj Shikhrakar

Lead UX/UI Designer - Parewa Labs Pvt. Ltd.

✓ Figma
I am a UX/UI Designer for Programiz. I have used design tools like Sketch, Illustrator, and Photoshop in the past, and am currently using Figma. And, based on my experience, I would recommend Figma. Here are the reasons why:

This is a browser-based tool so Figma works with any OS (Windows, Linux, macOS, and ChromeOS). Most popular design tools like Sketch are macOS exclusive. However, since Figma is based on cutting-edge technology, not all browsers are supported. Popular browsers like Chrome can run the application flawlessly.
Figma is free for small scale projects(up to 2 designers). Their paid model includes support for large scale projects which require team and library collaboration.

Multiple designers can collaborate at the same time. We can have more than one designer working on the same design piece at the same time. Even clients don’t have to wait for the designs to be ready as they can see the design creation process in real-time.

If artwork and graphics are the only priority I would suggest Illustrator but for creating both application mockups and graphics, Figma is the more versatile tool.

We can preview our designs in our smartphones using Figma’s mobile app: Figma Mirror.

Since everyone can access Figma through the browser it is easier to handover designs to the developers.

Figma can import design source files from other design tools like Sketch. So, this makes switching from other tools to Figma easier.

Plugin support has been added recently. So, we can cross Figma’s limitations by using third-party extensions. However, since Sketch has been around for years, it has more extensive plugin support.

Support for Principle (design tool for creating animations) export. This means we can easily create animations from our Figma workspace.

Dan Cruz

co-founder - inbeat

✓ Adobe After Effects
After Effects is a powerful tool, which allows you to create custom animations faster than any other “easy to use” software out there. To top things off, it allows you to export animations in SVG format, which loads much faster than a gif or a png on a web page. It also allows me to create custom product interactions efficiently to show our developers how a user will interact with the product.

✓ Figma
Figma is the best product design software out there. It allows me to design products, which our developer can build with speed. The barrier from Figma to production-ready code is low. This tool reduced our product design and development cycle by at least 40%.

✓ Adobe Creative Cloud
Of course, I use Adobe Creative Cloud every day (Photoshop and Illustrator mostly), but Figma and After Effects are those two tools that empower my design workflow.

Lydia Hesterman

Creative Director - SQRD Media

We live in the golden age of design software – it wasn’t long ago that the only real option available was Adobe Photoshop, and then Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. While these are still amazing options, there’s a wider range of tools available based on skill set or project type.

✓ Canva
Simplest, cheapest tool for beginners.

Canva.com is a powerful tool for making simple designs like invitations, flyers, posters, or simple booklets. With pre-made layouts, basic icons, some stock photos, and a very simple yet thorough interface, anyone can build out a great design. It’s a web tool so you don’t have to buy or download anything. The perfect place to start for any beginner.

✓ Figma
For designing websites.

If you have any interest in being a UX or UI designer, start by downloading Sketch (Figma or Adobe XD are some relevant competitors). The tool is super easy to learn if you’ve had any experience in the Adobe products and doesn’t take long to learn if you haven’t. Mix in a great prototyping tool like InVision and you’ll have some solid experience for your first UX internship.

✓ Adobe InDesign
For long-format (anything longer than 5 pages).

Adobe InDesign is made for booklets, pamphlets, presentations, or anything with multiple pages. You’ll want to dive into “master pages” for footers and headers, as well as “Paragraph styles.” They are total game changers that will help you design better and faster when you’ve got a lot of pages to juggle. InDesign is severely limited when it comes to designing icons or photo editing, but you can easily make simple posters, flyers, invites, and web assets.

✓ Adobe Illustrator
For icons, logos, web assets, and one-page designs.

Adobe Illustrator is a powerhouse where many designers spend the majority of their time. It’s been around for years so some of the tools aren’t as intuitive as they could be, but some would argue that it’s basically a very (very, very) fancy MS Paint. If you need a logo or some icons, start here. Just watch a couple of YouTube tutorials, brainstorm in your sketchbook, and you’ll be good to go.

✓ Adobe Photoshop
For any photo manipulation or editing.

Adobe Photoshop is still the king here when it comes to major photo editing. Lightroom is great for batch editing. Most anyone who is in design went though a heavy Photoshopping phase in high school, but honestly, these days if you need a basic crop or lighting change or even compressing a file, you can probably find an app or a free website with a bit of googling.

James Dunne

Graphics Designer - Happy Shrimp Marketing

✓ Illustrator
For illustration and vector artwork, Illustrator is still the most powerful option when it comes to digital tools. It can do everything you need for vector artwork.

✓ InDesign
For print media, Illustrator and InDesign are a power combo. For laying out documents for print, I have never used a tool as powerful as InDesign. It handles grids (both layout and baseline), pages, colour and everything I could want when designing for print.

✓ Figma
I used to use Photoshop much more than I do now. It was perfect for a pre-mobile web. But Figma is better suited now. And that’s because it’s much more suited for web design. It makes it easy to design for a responsive web, but it also allows you to design interaction. This isn’t possible in Photoshop

Hannah Wright

Founder - SaaS Design

✓ Figma
Figma is my favorite graphic design software. Unlike many other design tools, anyone can use it (regardless of their operating system) because it is cloud-based. This also makes it the best tool out there when it comes to real-time collaboration. Before using Figma, I used to dread having to send files back and forth manually each time I made an update.

Figma also provides smart shortcuts which can really help speed up your workflow as a designer. My design time has been cut in half due to Figma’s shortcuts and user-friendly interface.

Figma FAQ

What is Figma?

Figma is a vector graphics editor and prototyping tool.

Is Figma any good?

Our experts voted for Figma as their #3 favorite graphic design tool.

Is Figma free to use?

Figma has a free plan to manage up to 3 projects.

What are the best features of Figma?

Modern pen tool. Instant arc designs. Responsive design with Auto Layout.