What is Figma?

Explore the world of Figma, a popular browser-based, collaborative user interface design tool, used in industries worldwide to create dynamic and interactive prototypes. Learn about Figma's capabilities, access, benefits, and its role in various professional careers such as Web Designers and User Experience Designers.

Key Insights

  • Figma is a versatile web design tool that enables real-time collaboration for building interactive user interface prototypes.
  • The tool provides users with the ability to add functionalities including text manipulation, color changes, image adjustments, hovering, scrolling, and animation to their interface assets.
  • Figma is highly accessible and can be operated from any browser, making it feasible for users to work from any location.
  • Several career paths such as Web Designers, User Experience Designers, Web Developers, and Digital Design Directors can significantly benefit from learning and using Figma.
  • Figma offers numerous pricing options, including a robust free version and various in-depth paid subscription plans tailored to different user needs.
  • Comprehensive training for Figma for both beginners and experienced users is available through Noble Desktop's in-person or live online courses.

Figma is a browser-based, collaborative user interface design tool that lets users work together to create vibrant and interactive prototypes. Since its release in 2016, Figma has become a popular tool both in the web design industry and in online communities. Users can collaborate and share templates, designs, and widgets with millions of users across the globe. In this overview, you’ll learn more about what Figma is, what it can do, who uses it, and how to learn it to determine how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

What Can You Do with Figma?

Figma lets users collaborate in real-time to build and prototype user interfaces and web applications. Using vector graphics design tools, teams of designers can build complicated wireframe layouts for websites that can be resized to be optimized for screens of any given size. In addition, users can add interactive elements such as scrolling and hovering functionalities to their designs, letting them make sure that their webpages look and feel like modern designs. This lets users produce working prototypes of their webpages that can be easily tested, allowing designers to receive feedback quickly. Figma even allows users to export some amount of code from the prototype designs to hand off to developers once the prototype has been perfected.

In addition, because Figma is such a potent collaboration tool, there is a massive community of designers and developers constantly creating new plug-ins, templates, and widgets for public consumption. Through Figma’s website and other forums, users can share new designs, provide feedback on templates, and improve on the functionality of interactive interface elements. Every day, more and more new Figma resources are being developed. The resources that are being developed can help users modify and re-purpose existing resources to fit their needs better. Thanks to the Figma community, users aren’t just able to collaborate with their team on a web design; they can collaborate with the entire community of Figma designers and developers on their web designs.

How Do You Access Figma? How Much Does it Cost?

One of Figma’s primary selling points is that you can work on your projects from any location or device (there is a dedicated desktop application, but it isn’t required to use the program). The program is accessible on Figma’s website; you just need to sign-up for an account and log in.

The program has several pricing options to fit your needs. There is a free subscription that allows users to access a nearly complete version of the application with a limited project workload. Bear in mind that free users will only be able to save and store three different design files at any given time, and will encounter a few restricted features (such as limited access to version histories, limited security, and coding functionality).

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There are additional subscription tiers for professionals, organizations, and enterprises for a monthly fee. Figma offers a comparison of these plans, and users looking to use Figma should gauge how large of an organization they are working with and how much collaboration is required. Individual programs will only likely need a professional subscription, though entrepreneurs and small business owners may find higher-tier plans better fit their needs.

What Are the Benefits of Learning Figma?

Figma is one of the most popular user-interface design tools on the market, and it is an excellent skill to learn for anyone aiming to work as part of a web design team. As a browser-based system, Figma lets users collaborate on designs in real-time, making it an ideal tool for building user interfaces with other designers. Figma lets users build vector graphic assets, add functionality such as scrolling and animation to webpages, and allows users to make working prototypes to show to clients and investors.

Learning Figma will help Web Designers optimize their designs for different audiences and platforms. Since the system uses vector graphics, the assets are easily resized, meaning users can test them on many different screens. Learning Figma is an ideal way to set one up for a future career in web design and UI/UX design because it is a versatile tool for letting groups of creatives work together to design webpages. These designs are easily shared, altered, and prototyped, meaning that they will leave the designers' hands in an optional place for developers to turn those designs into a reality.

Read more about why you should learn Figma.

Figma Careers

As one of the more commonly used web design tools, Figma is used in many professional industries. Since an effective web presence is vital for companies of all sizes, almost all industries will employ or hire Web Designers, UX Designers, and other Figma specialists.

Web Designers: Web Designers are responsible for creating the visual look and feel of a company or client’s web presence. They will use programs like Figma to produce the prototype webpages they will hand off to Web Developers to code and launch. This field works primarily with the graphic design side of web design, building assets and interfaces rather than programming webpages.

User Experience Designers: User Experience Designers ensure that a website’s interface is accessible and provides a positive user experience. They perform testing and market research to observe and analyze user behavior to understand how users interact with a webpage. They will use programs like Figma to build assets and plug-ins that make it easier for other Web Developers to make their designs as seamless and accessible as possible.

Design Directors: One of the most significant advantages of Figma is how seamlessly it allows teams to work together on their designs. Its design director is an essential role in any web design project. These directors will oversee the teams of Web Designers and Web Developers who will bring a project from inception to completion. Most Design Directors will need to know how to design layouts with Figma and oversee teams of engineers coding those same designs.

How to Learn Figma

Aspiring Web Designers looking to learn Figma may be unsure of their options for learning the program. There are many different training options available, and Noble’s Classes Near Me tool is an ideal place to start looking for in-person and online Figma classes.

The most immersive form of Figma training is through live instruction courses. These courses are available both in-person and online. Live training courses let students interact directly with experienced instructors who can guide them through the process of learning Figma for professional use. Some in-person classes are restricted to certain cities, but many providers have multiple campus locations.

For students who need more flexibility in their schedule, on-demand Figma courses can provide students with a helpful alternative. These courses are self-paced and let students dictate their schedules, which can be important for users with job or family obligations. These courses lack an instructor to answer questions and respond to concerns, making learning difficult for some students.

There are also numerous free tutorials and learning resources available for students hoping to learn the basics of the Figma app. Noble offers students a recording of their Intro to Figma seminar, alongside several other introductory tutorials, on the Web Development and Design playlist on their official YouTube channel. Noble also collects articles and resources on their Figma Learn Hub.

Read the full guide on how to learn Figma.

A Brief History of Figma

Figma entered development in 2012 as the brainchild of Dylan Field and Evan Wallace. They sought to create a browser-based platform for users to express their creativity in several ways. The program entered into closed beta in late 2015 and was released to the public in September 2016. Since then, Figma has released many updates, most notably their digital collaboration and planning tool, Figjam. In 2022, Figma entered into a partnership with Google for Education to bring both Figma and Figjam to Education Chromebooks, suggesting that Figma may become a default platform for up-and-coming Web Designers.

Comparable Applications

When entering the field of web design, new users should be aware that there isn’t a single dominant program within the field. To address this, Noble Desktop provides students with an overview seminar detailing the differences between Figma and the other major web design platforms, Sketch and Adobe XD.

Figma has a few advantages over its competitors. First, because it is entirely browser-based and built for collaboration, Figma lets teams of users interact more directly with each other than they could on a Creative Cloud program like Adobe XD. Second, the massive community of Figma users has created a sizable archive of the already existing material that can help teams of designers optimize both their projects and their workflow. Finally, on a practical level, Figma offers users a much more expansive trial version of the program, letting new users get accustomed to the program more quickly.

For students who are interested in looking for more information on other programs, Noble’s Adobe XD Learn Hub can help them get a better grasp of that program.

Learn Figma with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop offers students a wide range of options for learning how to master web design using Figma. Figma courses are available both in-person at Noble’s Manhattan campus and online from the comfort of your home. Experienced instructors teach these courses, and even the online courses have small class sizes that allow students to receive focused attention to their learning needs in real-time. Almost all of Noble’s courses come with tech support, with in-person learners using in-house computers and distance learners receiving set-up assistance to ensure everyone is on the same page. Plus, these courses come with the option for a free retake within one year. During this retake, students can refine their skills, make up the work they missed, or simply gain some extra practice with Figma.

Students looking to learn the intricacies of Figma may consider enrolling in Noble’s Figma Bootcamp. This course will teach students how to build web designs using Figma independently and as part of a collaborative team. Students will learn the basics of the program, such as how to create and resize vector illustrations, optimize their designs for different-sized screens, and export their designs for prototyping or demonstration. Then, students will collaborate on advanced designs, including features such as hovers, scrolling elements, or web assets. At the end of the course, students will know how to use Figma to build professional quality web designs.

For students looking to strike out into a new career as a Web Designer, Noble offers many professional training options for students hoping to learn Figma. The UX & UI Design Certificate program teaches students in-depth user experience design practices, allowing them to test and research user behavior to make informed decisions about the interfaces they are designing in Figma. This assures that their webpages will be more accessible and easy to navigate.

Noble’s Web Development Certificate program teaches students the technical side of webpage design. After learning how to build a layout in Figma, students will learn how to use HTML/CSS, Flex, Bootstrap, and JavaScript to turn that design into a functioning webpage or user interface. More creatively oriented students may look towards Noble’s Digital Design Certificate program. This course, aimed at aspiring Graphic Designers, will teach students how to build assets for web interfaces using Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, before teaching them how to import those designs into Figma to serve as templates or plug-ins for later use.

Regardless of why a student wants to learn Figma, Noble has a course offering that fits their needs.

Key Insights

  • Figma is a browser-based web design tool that lets teams of users collaborate on projects to build interactive user interface prototypes.
  • Users can modify texts, shapes, colors, and images and add functionalities such as hovering, scrolling, or animation to their interface assets.
  • Figma is an easily accessible program on any browser, allowing users to work from anywhere. The program has a robust free version and several deep, paid subscription models.
  • Web Designers commonly use Figma, but User Experience Designers, Web Developers, and Digital Design Directors benefit from knowing how to use Figma.
  • New and experienced users can receive comprehensive Figma training through an in-person or live online course with Noble Desktop.

How to Learn Figma

Master Figma with hands-on training. Figma is a popular design application for creating, editing, and sharing clickable prototypes of websites and mobile apps.

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