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What is Figma and How to Use It: A Comprehensive Guide

Written: August 20, 2023 by Juan Lizardo

what is Figma

Figma is a powerful design tool that has gained popularity among UX/UI designers worldwide. With its intuitive interface and collaborative features, Figma has become a favorite choice for digital designers looking to create stunning user experiences. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what Figma is, its primary uses, and how to make the most out of this versatile tool.

What is Figma?

Figma is a design tool specifically tailored for digital designers and web designers. It offers a wide range of features and functionalities that make it an ideal choice for creating interfaces, prototypes, and user experiences. Since its launch in 2016, Figma has quickly gained a large user base, with over four million people currently utilizing the platform.

In 2022, Figma was acquired by Adobe, further solidifying its position as a leading design tool in the industry. While Figma offers a free plan with unlimited collaborators and a limited number of files, paid subscriptions are available for those who require additional features and access.

Primary Uses of Figma

Now that we have a better understanding of what Figma is, let's explore its primary uses and how it can benefit designers in various scenarios.

1. Interface Design and Prototyping

Figma course best

Figma excels at interface design and prototyping, making it an essential tool for UX/UI designers. With its extensive library of design elements and intuitive interface, Figma allows designers to create visually appealing and interactive prototypes. Designers can choose from a wide range of dimension sizes, making it easy to visualize how different webpages or mobile app interfaces will look.

Additionally, Figma offers features such as scrolling and the ability to simulate interactions between different screens, giving designers a realistic preview of the final product. This makes Figma an invaluable tool for presenting design concepts to clients or stakeholders.

2. Collaborative Brainstorming

Figma collaboration

Figma's collaborative features make it an excellent tool for brainstorming and conceptualizing ideas. Designers can use text boxes, shapes, and comments to jot down their thoughts and gather feedback from teammates or clients. By centralizing the brainstorming process within Figma, designers can easily refer back to previous ideas and keep track of the evolution of their projects.


3. Website and Landing Page Design

web design Figma

Creating well-designed websites and landing pages is crucial for businesses looking to maximize their online presence. Figma offers designers the ability to design and visualize webpages before they go live. Designers can choose from various dimension sizes, including different iPhone sizes, to accurately depict how the website will appear on different devices.

 Figma also provides tools for simulating scrolling and other interactive elements, allowing designers to create a realistic user experience right within the tool. This helps streamline the design process and ensures that the final product meets the client's expectations.

4. App Prototyping and User Testing

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For UI/UX designers working on mobile applications, Figma offers a range of features specifically tailored for app prototyping. Designers can choose dimensions for different devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, to ensure that their app interfaces are optimized for each platform.

Figma also allows designers to add text, change fonts and sizes, and integrate plugins to enhance the functionality of their app prototypes. This enables designers to create interactive and visually appealing prototypes that can be used for user testing and feedback gathering.

5. Project Management and Collaboration

project collaboration in Figma

In addition to its design capabilities, Figma offers several tools for project management and collaboration. Designers can collaborate with multiple team members, gather feedback, and track project timelines using shapes, text, and other elements within the tool.

Figma's integration with various plugins further enhances its project management capabilities. Designers can utilize plugins to streamline workflow, automate repetitive tasks, and improve overall project efficiency.

6. Mind Mapping and Visual Organization

mind mapping


For designers who prefer mind mapping as a brainstorming technique, Figma provides a range of tools for creating mind maps. Designers can choose from pre-designed templates or create mind maps from scratch using text, markers, connectors, and stickers.

Figma's collaboration tools also enable multiple team members to contribute to mind maps, making it easy to gather ideas and insights from various perspectives.


How to Use Figma: A Step-by-Step Guide


Now that we have explored the primary uses of Figma, let's dive into a step-by-step guide on how to use this versatile tool. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced designer, these steps will help you make the most out of Figma's features and functionalities.

Step 1: Creating a New Figma File

creating a new figma file

When you open Figma, you will be presented with options to start a new Figma file, a new FigJam file, or import a file from another program. If you are new to Figma, select "New Figma File" to start from scratch.

Step 2: Navigating the Figma Workspace

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The Figma workspace may appear empty initially, but don't worry - it's a blank canvas ready for your creativity. The top left horizontal menu contains the main menu icon (Figma logo), which allows you to navigate to different files, access plugins, and other options.

 Next, you will find various tools such as the Move tool, Scale tool, Region tools (Frame, Section, Slice), Shape tools, Pen tools, and Text tool. These tools are essential for creating and manipulating design elements within Figma.

Step 3: Designing Elements

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To start designing, select the Frame tool to draw your canvas. Figma offers premade frame options for different device sizes, such as smartphones, tablets, desktops, and presentations. Alternatively, you can click and drag the frame to create a custom-sized canvas.

Once you have a frame, you can use Shape tools or Pen tools to draw shapes or add image placeholders. The Text tool allows you to add text to your design, and you can customize fonts, sizes, and other formatting options.

To edit and design these elements, use the right-hand menu options such as alignment tools, sizing tools, layout options, fill, stroke, effects, and export. You can also organize your design elements using the Layers menu on the left-hand side.

Step 4: Prototyping Interactions

interactions in Figma

Once you have designed your elements, you can use Figma's prototype tools to add interactions and animations to your designs. The Prototype menu allows you to connect frames or components together and choose the order and transitions between them.

You can simulate user interactions, such as clicks or time-based transitions, to create a realistic user experience. This is particularly useful for app and web design, where you want to showcase how users would engage with your designs.

Step 5: Collaborating and Gathering Feedback

design collaboration

Figma's collaboration features make it easy to collaborate with teammates and gather feedback on your designs. You can invite collaborators to your Figma file, and they can provide comments and suggestions directly within the tool.

Additionally, Figma integrates with various plugins that enhance collaboration and project management. These plugins allow you to automate workflow, share design assets, and track project timelines.

Step 6: Exporting and Sharing

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Once your design is complete, you can export it in various formats, such as PNG, SVG, or PDF, using the export options in Figma. This allows you to share your designs with clients, stakeholders, or developers who will implement the designs.

Figma also offers a feature called "Developer Handoff" that simplifies the process of sharing design assets and specifications with developers. This ensures a smooth transition from design to development.


Figma is a versatile design tool that offers a wide range of features and functionalities for UX/UI designers. Its intuitive interface, collaborative capabilities, and prototyping tools make it a preferred choice for many designers worldwide.

Whether you are designing interfaces, prototyping apps, or collaborating with a team, Figma provides the tools and flexibility to bring your ideas to life. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can make the most out of Figma's features and create stunning designs that captivate your audience.

So, why wait? Start exploring Figma today and unlock the full potential of your design projects!

PS: Want free Figma templates for your next project? Grab the templates here! (No email required)