1. Freedom from Mac hardware dependency
2. Cross platform compatibility. Heck even cross device - it would open up on iPad as well I assume (haven't tried it though).
Also: I use Mac at work and PC at home. So now you know one designer who uses Figma on PC.
That's what we've been using quite successfully for GUI apps development: designers work in sketch, everyone else consumes the result through Zeplin.
I view this as positive and negative.
It resonates with me because users should have the freedom. I ran Boston Sketch meetups https://www.meetup.com/Sketch-Design-Boston/ for two years and several users couldn’t participate because they were using windows.
I see it as a problem because designing on windows puts you in a different state of mind and atmosphere...and one way or another we are products of our environment.
I found out that the environment of windows reflects negatively on design.
I worked at TBWA advertising, I had a startup, and I recruit many freelancers all the time...
When I look at designers portfolios I can immediately know whether they are/were using Windows or Mac.
For design Mac is the winner.
For crunching numbers nothing beats Windows excel.
This discussion is not about Windows vs Mac, and those who still discuss that, have not really moved with times.
[Edit] FWIW, I'm a Sketch user, adopted it very early. Now I have started using Figma on my Mac which already has Sketch; and I find it very liberating (can continue work when I move from home-office-home, without needing to carry a 3 pound machine), and also see no difference in my productivity - no performance issues, all features present that I need.
Seems to be some 3rd party solutions for this though, but since local font-exposing tools/servers are frequently used in vulnerabilities (Adobe's font loading tool that now comes built-in in Windows [and possibly macOS?] is one example, was recently exploited), it's a bit scary to run them.
1. No versioning needed. For designers versioning has been a huge pain, some git like tools have popped up but with Figma none is needed. Changes made by multiple parties are always in sync since they are made live in the same doc. Plus always on versioning.
2. All in one tool. Currently designers use sketch(create designs), Invision (prototype and get feedback, and Zeplin (hand off to dev). Thats 3 different places to manage, no source of truth. With Figma its all in one package.
3. Cheap. Free for teams of 2 designers, viewers are always free. You done need to pay for the above tools I mentioned.
4. Strong foundation for plugins and community. They way the figma team have built the product allows for rich plugins and community.
We don’t mind using multiple tools if they’re all really good at what they do. Our core toolkit includes Sketch, Abstract, and Marvel. Sketch Cloud has supported prototyping and commenting for a while now, but Marvel is a bit more robust.
Obviously each team has their own needs, but this has worked for us.
Also the biggest hurdle I had with Abstract was no layer level diffing/conflicts. I know they were working on it though.
Figma allows us to move a lot faster but you do lose some of that workflow rigor that something like abstract forces you into. Like you said different teams with different needs.However, looking ahead in the next 5 years, sketch is going to have a hard time staying relevant imho.
It's kind of like Alfred for sketch. If there is a symbol or icon I need I can start typing it's name and I insert it without having to go through our design system's file tree. It has been a godsend for speed and I don't think it would be possible for me to work without it.
I was forced to switch to it and I miss all of my plugins, but I have to say the sharing and commenting features are so much more useful/seamless than the Sketch/Zeplin combo I used to use. So even though it’s a worse design tool, my productivity is better because of the seamless collaboration.
We use Sketch with Invision—that works well enough for us. Although I wish Invision would allow me to @ myself on comments so I get an email reminder me to fix things I've found in review.
1 minute of searching also reveals a plugin called "Figma Walker" which, as the name implies, is an attempt to copy the exact functionality of Sketch Runner.
Not quite sketch runner, but part of the way there.
It's most likely that your designer just has a messy file. I've never had an issue with the Figma inspector.
Where I work, we started to mark the spaces with spacer elements, which look like boxes that have the number of pixels on them. It felt like a waste of time after using Zeplin, but it’s just much easier to see the measurements at a glance and doesn’t require the engineers to measure everything themselves. As a designer, it saves me time because I don’t have to answer as many questions or spend as much time on the design QA feedback loop.
"Alright guys, I think we should double check Figma on a poor connection"
"Oh yea, that's smart. Chrome can easily let you simulate that using devtools."
"We could do that, or..." puts on shades and grabs beachball
As a novice, I'm currently studying the designs and work of Dieter Rams and lesser known contemporary studios such as, http://pharusdesign.com/en/case/rio-cello/ , watching them wield their craft has taught me more than any college course ever could. We are very lucky that such work has been preserved for the benefit of future generations.
Design is a deeply collaborative process, with each designer standing on the shoulder of giants. Great design needs to be studied and preserved so that it is accessible in the long-run. So far that has been easy to do. The designs have been on paper, and can be viewed in physical products. But now, with the advent of design tools made entirely for the web, I am worried that many great works will slip through the cracks of history.
In the future, we'll no longer be able to benefit from hindsight. The groundbreaking designs whose impact doesn't become obvious or important until decades into the future might evaporate with time, with little to show for it. After all, will Figma keep all designs, permanently in their archives, even when companies go bust and stop paying their bills? No matter how influential or interesting their design was? Will we be able to do autopsies of work from this era when Figma's servers are down?
Data ownership doesn't seem to be an option in Figma's paradigm. You do not have a copy of the tool, you only execute a part of it. You do not possess the data, they store it for you. Should there be an event where Figma is acquired or goes out of business, then (in all likelihood) every user of this platform will lack the ability and the choice to preserve their work for future generations (and for their business).
What are the odds of Figma staying as it is, in the control of founders, chugging along as a profitable business a year from now? 5 year from now? A decade? Two decades?
This timeline may seem to be long, but the average startup takes 7 years to IPO. Consequently, if you choose Figma as your tool of choice now, then it will be a marriage that lasts a decade or more.
I prefer Sketch and other tools because they store files natively. I know who is in control of my data. And, if need be, I can archive these files and the latest version of the program so that they can be spun up in the future, decades from now, for future generations to view.
Or, in the business context, there is data portability and ownership, when you control your data, you can control how it is inherited by future iterations of your product teams.
Also, you're using macOS which is extremely callous as to keeping old versions of programs running - do you really think that a 10-year old version of Sketch or any other macOS program will run on any modern OS? macOS fully deprecates and breaks programs aggressively every release.
I believe that what was meant was collaboration between generations, collaboration of ideas through time. And not so much collaboration of managers keeping tabs on the amount of minutes freelance designers work.
In that regard Sketch file format is open and specced (https://github.com/sketch-hq/sketch-file-format). It should allow for future generations of OSes and tools to work on top of their files.
This is in direct opposition to figma approach, which clearly state:
"We store Files in Figma, in our own File Format: .fig
This File format is specific to Figma and cannot be opened by any other tool."
Once you go Figma there is no coming back.
When Adobe moved to a subscription model I didn't upgrade.
I used Sketch and other tools, but unfortunately they are not cross platform, so I switched to Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo.
I'm hoping native tools can survive.
Hot-spotting some images isn’t really going to cut it.
I’m waiting for Framer X to come to windows (switched from Mac to Windows because Apple are taking the p*ss). But I think it’s going to be web only like Figma.
If that’s the case I might just use svelte for higher fidelity prototyping.
That said, Figma promises to be the combination of Abstract + Sketch + Invision and thats what has me intrigued. Going to a Figma webinar may ease a lot of my worry.
If you don't mind me asking, how do your designers handle rebasing and conflict resolution?
In a merge, select the desired version (eg `git checkout --theirs -- logo.png` for the version from the branch you're merging into the current branch or `git checkout --ours -- logo.png` for the version from the current branch), then add the file and complete a normal merge commit.
git merge foo
git checkout --theirs -- logo.png
git add logo.png
git commit -m "Merging foo into master"
Also, there's a plugin for Figma that lets you automate anything in Figma with typescript which is immensely cool.
I just used it recently to go through and add the hex code for every color in our library to its description for quick designer reference