I don’t really jump on new design tools pretty often. I still use Fireworks, Photoshop and Illustrator for UI design. But I’ve been looking for a new tool to streamline my process. I’ve heard great things about Sketch but I’m a Windows 10 user (I have a 2012 Mac Mini running bootcamp 6.0, don’t judge me). So after some late night Googling I found Figma.
Figma is a web based UI design tool created for collaborating with people on design projects. Being able to collaborate on design is a great idea. However, most web designers, ui designers and graphic professionals don’t allow other people to play with their PSD's while still in the design phase. The real power of Figma is how natural it is to use but yet powerful enough to create high definition compositions. Since its vector based, scaling your designs is simple as drag and drop. But to take it a step further, you can quickly create responsive mobile designs and scale them very easily for other larger or smaller form factors. With very few changes to the design. Try that in Photoshop.
Check out this quick video on Figma and Vectors.
Now to be fair Figma works and looks a lot like Sketch. In fact, you can import Sketch files directly into Figma with stunting accuracy. Figma is browser based so you can just open up Chrome or Firefox, login to the site and design right in the browser. All your files are automatically saved in the cloud, but you can download a design file to your computer if you like. The application runs amazingly smooth for a browser based application.
This software is truly a step up to fireworks and illustrator in terms of UI, UX design. The Figma team should be proud of what they have accomplished. Figma is still in the beta stage so the application is free to use for now. But I would gladly pay a month fee for this type of software. It still lacks some of the features that makes Sketch so great, like plugins that can extend the software. But so far is a slam dunk. If you are up and coming UI designer or a seasoned professional looking for an alternative to Sketch or don't use a mac. You can’t go wrong with Figma.