Common mistakes to avoid when using Figma

March 11, 2024
Product design
6 min

Figma is widely recognized for its remarkable user-friendly interface, making it accessible to beginners and seasoned designers alike. Its intuitive design facilitates quick learning and collaboration, particularly beneficial for junior designers who may find other tools overwhelming.

However, there's a common pitfall of relying solely on Figma's basic functions, mistakenly assuming that a design is comprehensive. Despite appearing polished initially, closer inspection often reveals numerous errors or oversights, especially among less experienced designers.

To address this, it's crucial to highlight three key aspects that designers might neglect while using Figma. By grasping and implementing these points effectively, designers can streamline their workflow and produce more refined designs.

1. Using Design System

One of Figma's standout benefits lies in its capacity to establish a cohesive design system within a single project file, accessible to all involved parties from any location at any time. This design system encompasses reusable components, text styles, color palettes, and more, consistently applied throughout various designs. Implementing a design system from the project's inception eradicates the need for redundant design creation and specification, thereby significantly economizing time.

Yet, junior designers frequently overlook the importance of crafting or structuring this design system meticulously, resulting in workflow inefficiencies. For instance, in the absence of a well-defined design system, even minor tasks like adjusting text colors may entail navigating through numerous elements individually.

It's paramount to cultivate the practice of establishing a comprehensive design system, regardless of the project's scale. This habit ensures ease of use and efficiency, particularly during collaborative efforts on expansive projects or in professional environments. Recognizing and prioritizing this practice is essential for enhancing design productivity.

2. Utilizing Prototypes

Another notable advantage of Figma is its powerful prototyping functionalities. Even before a product is developed, designers can evaluate and present it to users as if it were fully operational. With the updates introduced last year, Figma now supports the incorporation of nearly all features, empowering designers to showcase functionality to users prior to development.

Beyond basic clicks and screen transitions, designers can now input text or numerical data into fields and integrate features like dark mode, offering a plethora of capabilities for usability testing.

However, junior designers often neglect to integrate prototyping once the design phase concludes. Neglecting prototyping means forfeiting valuable feedback from users. It's imperative to actively incorporate prototyping to accurately demonstrate intended actions and functionalities, facilitating comprehensive usability testing.

By embracing prototyping as an essential component of the design process, designers can ensure that their designs effectively meet user needs and expectations.

3. Prioritizing Collaboration

As emphasized, Figma stands out as a collaborative design tool, offering features optimized for teamwork. Users can provide feedback directly on design files and benefit from robust management functionalities designed for collaboration.

Given that design inherently involves collaboration, leveraging these features is paramount when utilizing Figma in a professional environment. Ensuring precise naming of layers and pages in project files, organized in a manner comprehensible to all, is an integral part of the design process.

Figma isn't solely for designers; it serves as a tool for planners, developers, and all team members involved in the project. Therefore, it's essential to make the workflow accessible to everyone, rather than limiting it to one's own comprehension.

Similar to locating a pen in a neatly arranged desk drawer being simpler than searching for it in a messy room, keeping a tidy Figma design file aids designers in editing, organizing, and collaborating. This efficient workflow not only saves time but also improves mutual convenience during the collaborative process.

In the ever-evolving realm of design trends, it's a given that design tools may undergo changes unpredictably. However, presently, it's undeniable that Figma reigns supreme. While it's relatively quick to learn and master, there are nuances that can easily slip through the cracks, making it crucial to address them in this post.

Junior designers are perennially in a learning phase, yet recognizing and rectifying avoidable mistakes can set them apart and provide avenues for growth. I trust this post serves as a gentle nudge to pay heed to these particulars and strive for excellence in practical design endeavors.

My hope is for all budding designers to burgeon into outstanding professionals in their field, continually advancing and honing their craft.

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