The powerhouse design and prototyping tool Figma has recently seen a rise in popularity among UX/UI designers and developers. Figma is a useful alternative to Sketch and Adobe XD not only due to its collaborative design environment for teams but also its robust community of plugins that help maximize the product design process.
Here’s our breakdown of Figma and five great plugins to test out.
Before we dive into the plugins, let’s discuss why Figma is useful. As a web app design tool created to increase collaboration among teams, Figma empowers teams to work together in real-time. Acting as a single-source file for everyone working on your project, Figma cuts down on the time needed for product development, increasing efficiency for both designers, developers and clients.
With Figma, you can create a shareable library of fonts, colors, and reusable components that enables teams to work uniformly across designs more efficiently. Developers also have direct access to the design files they need to create products without specifications from the UX/UI designer — a considerable time saver in the design process.
Figma’s platform is a win-win for clients, too, because they have easy access to prototypes and designs without needing special software like Photoshop to view the files. Viewing designs instantaneously online means fewer barriers to sharing designs between stakeholders or departments.
What makes Figma stand out most against today’s suite of design tools is its ever-expanding collection of plugins that create a seamless design experience for users. Starting in August 2019, Figma allowed public access to its plugin ecosystem, enabling more personalization for creating prototypes and product designs.
This plethora of plugins helps designers and developers to customize their Figma environment to incorporate the features they want to produce high-quality, unique designs. Most importantly, Figma’s platform fully integrates its user-friendly plugins into the design workspace, making them easily accessible and time-effective.
Since the Figma plugin options are ever-expanding, we've curated a shortlist of plugins we find useful.
Known as the Lorum Ipsum placeholder generator for multiple content types, the Microsoft Content Reel plugin provides placeholder text and media for your designs — such as dates, addresses, image avatars, icons, and other visual media — to make your prototype designs look more realistic and polished.
This plugin saves time in the prototyping design process because you don’t have to create swaths of fake information and data yourself, allowing you to spend that time elsewhere.
As a well-curated repository of stock image photography, the Figma Unsplash plugin is a fan-favorite among UX/UI designers.
With its diverse selection of images, Unsplash makes incorporating high-quality photography into your designs easier than ever. This well-designed plugin makes it simple to pull images into your prototype when you need them.
The Figma Google Sheets Sync plugin enables UX/UI designers and developers to integrate data from a collaborative spreadsheet from Google Sheets. This creates a database of information that can be pulled into users' product designs.
Populating your prototypes with real data for your product has never been easier and can be especially useful when building product matrices for eCommerce sites.
With over 50,000 icons in more than 60 icon sets, Figma’s Iconify plugin creates easy access for designers to incorporate a large range of icon types.
Being able to search, customize, and place icons inside the Figma workspace saves both time and effort when making digital products.
Using the Font Scale Figma plugin, UX/UI designers can conveniently test different scale factors for their typography hierarchy in real-time.
With Font Scale, you can efficiently determine the headers and body copy sizing based on the needs of your design system that you want in your design set, allowing for a quicker alternative to calculating font sizes manually.
Figma makes creating user-first design products collaborative, straightforward and time-effective. If you’re looking to design a new website, app or digital assets for your business, Integrity has the user experience expertise to get the job done well. Contact our St. Louis web design agency to get started.
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