figma program

How the Figma program changed our design workflow

In Softnauts' design team, we love keeping an eye out for some new rising tools. Working within a constantly changing environment (various clients, requirements, ideas, product versions, and teams) can be challenging. That is why we’d like to share our story about a tool that has changed our workflow significantly.

Our designers’ beginnings with the Figma program

Some believe that old habits die hard. Fortunately, in the case of the Figma tool, we have proved this belief wrong. This comprehensive program has changed our workflow to the point we cannot imagine going back to our old ways. How did the designers’ workday look back then? Let us have a look.

Our workflow back then

Softnauts’ design team, as a regular workflow, had been bravely switching between three design tools for a long three years. Sketch - our primary design tool, Zeplin for developers handoff, and Invision - an online tool for prototyping, exporting, and handling client amendments. Over time, we have experienced significant discomfort due to sharing multiple versions of source files with numerous designers, as we needed to upload them manually using Dropbox or Google Drive.

The Figma Effect

Everything changed at a time when - by luck - we discovered the Figma program. One of our clients delivered us an ongoing project prototype in Figma. We had already heard about that tool’s reputation in the design community. Because of that, we have gladly checked it out. The result is us staying with it to this day! With this first project, as our designer claims, we have managed to save up to 30% of our time using Figma compared to our previous project workflows.

Figma life-changing highlights

Several aspects of our work improved significantly after implementing Figma into our regular workflow. That includes:

  • communication both within our team and between third parties, 
  • improved prototyping, 
  • enhanced client interaction,
  • comfortable developer handoff,
  • components’ usage and team library.

Those factors altogether facilitated our work to the point where we implemented the Figma tool for good. We cannot highlight that enough - the pros of using Figma have changed our workflow significantly. Which means have become particularly useful? Let us have a glance.

1. Real-time collaboration

Figma program has a massive impact on our communication: 

  • internal - or within our team,
  • external - or with clients and other third parties. 

Firstly, as it is web-based, we do not need to organize source files manually. Everything gets updated in the cloud so that we get rid of insignificant design tweaks and misunderstandings. Figma is as transparent as possible — everyone with the link can access the file 
simultaneously and observe changes real-time.

Read-only accounts are free of charge, and the app works perfectly in browsers, Mac, Windows, and even Linux (anyone still thinking about Mac-only Sketch?). We also do not need to share the screen during meetings — the client has a direct entry to the file.

2. Rapid-fast prototyping

Building prototypes is a lot (like a lot) faster now. We connect app screens, perform transitions if planned, and send them for client review. The Figma link stays the same, and the prototype gets instantly updated with the latest changes.

This improvement has a vast impact on the overall timeframe of our projects. With this efficient tool, we can complete rapidly the early-stage tasks. This level of productivity remains incomparable to our experiences with any other tool for designers.

3. Handling client feedback

Some minor client amendments make it sometimes hard to catch up on which part of the design is referred by the client. That happens particularly often in cases when we handle our communication by emails, Slack channels, or Trello tasks. Bullet-point lists, messy emails, notes, or even not-so-necessary calls can become hectic. 

Figma interface allows everyone to comment directly on the prototype, pointing out the specific part. Every project member can follow these comments — starting with stakeholders and project owners, and ending with project managers and developers.

4. Developers handoff

Creating fun and beautiful designs can sometimes be tricky when it comes time for development. Using a lot of shadows and complex gradients requires a detailed handover. That, as a part of the process, can be time-consuming. 

With the Figma tool, it is not so inevitable to export the screens to secondary developer tools such as Zeplin, as developers can copy and paste the CSS, iOS (Swift), and Android (XML) data. That particular functionality is a valuable asset to the overall development of a project. Efficiency and changes’ quick implementation makes our experience with the Figma program incomparable with any other tool!

5. Team library and components — designers’ flavors

Keep in mind that Figma is primarily a designer’s tool. Our team got accustomed to it to the point we cannot imagine switching back to Sketch. However, not everyone finds it easy to fall in love with the Figma program. Transparent design with no option to work offline may arouse unavoidable concerns about being observed in the middle of our creative process, which - in turn - can cause some doubts.

However, Figma offers much more in return. The app is not only web-based - there is also a desktop version. It contains team libraries, constraints, interactive prototyping, numerous plugins, and components — and that is not even all! Plenty of such highlights (tips and tricks almost daily!) make our work even more exciting and productive. 

Some will say other tools offer the same features or even more. It is hard to disagree with that, but the attention to detail that went into putting all this together certainly impresses us. Given exceptional speed and reliability, that puts the Figma program above the competition for our needs.

Happier clients, happier developers, and happier designers

The Softnauts team strongly believes that the Figma program is a life-changing solution. Whether you are a designer, stakeholder, customer, or another member of the Softnauts team, your experience with this tool will facilitate your daily tasks. 

Our current design workflow guarantees fast and easy collaboration, with maximum transparency and attention to detail. Maintaining consistency in designs during various phases of the process also is more straightforward. All of this makes our experience with Figma valuable, positively influencing almost every aspect of our work.

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