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Migration from Sketch to Figma: A Guide for UX/UI Designers

21 May 2024
  • UX
  • UX Design

Team Conflux

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21 May 2024
  • UX
  • UX Design

The field of UX Design is constantly evolving, a dynamic environment that guides companies towards new visions of their digital products’ user experience. User experience is everywhere; even UX experts are users, who use those tools designed to help them achieve their goals.

 

As we know, a frictionless experience that meets the user’s needs makes task completion more efficient and effective. Therefore, the choice of tools used for design activities in the UX field can make a significant difference in many respects.

 

In recent years, the migration from Sketch to Figma many companies did, has marked a significant change in the landscape of design tools. This transition is not just a mere switch from one software to another, but a paradigm shift towards a more integrated, collaborative, and scalable way of working.

 

In this article, after presenting the benefits of adopting Figma for product teams, we will outline the key steps to plan and optimize the migration. We will also share practical tips on how to integrate Figma into the daily workflow, thus maximizing the productivity and efficiency of the design team. 

Why Consider Migrating from Sketch to Figma

Undoubtedly, Sketch has been the go-to software for UX designers for many years, offering a robust tool with specific features for designing digital interfaces and an intuitive user experience. Opting for a Figma migration is a strategic choice for companies that consider the evident advantages of this tool, starting with its inherent ability to enhance collaboration and significantly increase efficiency. Below, we will explore the main advantages of its adoption.

 

Real-Time Collaboration – One of Figma’s most significant strengths is its ability to allow teams to work together on the same file simultaneously, facilitating smooth and immediate collaboration. All changes and updates are instantly accessible to all team members without the need to sync or send files.

 

Better Collaboration Between Design and Development – Within the app, the development team has access to a Dev mode section, where they can inspect elements and obtain ready-made CSS snippets for the web, native Android, and iOS directly from the design file, without the need for additional external tools.

 

Flexible Layouts – Through the auto-layout feature, the arrangement of elements within the frame can be managed automatically. The layout adapts automatically and consistently to content changes, such as text variation or the addition or removal of elements. Designers can save a considerable amount of time and facilitate team collaboration.

 

Accessibility – As a web-based application, Figma is accessible from any device with an internet connection, eliminating the hardware barriers that can limit the use of software like Sketch, which is available only for macOS.

 

Integrated Prototyping – Figma also includes powerful features for creating interactive prototypes directly within the app and testing user interface flows in the context of UX research. This reduces the need for additional software and allows a smoother transition from design to delivery.

 

Design System Management – Figma offers smooth and optimized management of all elements of a design system through the creation and modification of shared libraries with reusable components and token management through Figma variables, which simplify and ensure design consistency throughout the project, as well as comprehensive and immediate updates of all affected elements.

 

Artificial Intelligence in the Design ProcessAI in Figma is currently integrated within the FigJam environment and allows, for example, the creation of project summary documents to share. Additionally, several plugins leverage Figma AI capabilities, such as those that automatically generate layouts and design assets, suggest changes based on collected data, and simplify the prototyping process.

 

Overall, for teams looking to optimize their workflows and improve collaboration, migrating to Figma is a strategic decision that can lead to significant improvements in productivity and the quality of design work.

Market Context Analysis

Current trends in UX and UI design software reflect the growing need for efficiency, collaboration, and accessibility in digital design. Here are some of the main features these tools need to satisfy:

 

  1. Collaborative Platforms – Tools are becoming increasingly collaborative, allowing teams to work together in real-time, no matter where they are. Designers need to be able to build and test interfaces in a more dynamic and interactive way.
  2. Integration with Artificial Intelligence – AI is increasingly used to automate repetitive tasks, improve usability, and provide personalized design suggestions.
  3. Research Ops – Modern software offers advanced tools that support and make UX research operations more efficient. It is possible to create interactive prototypes and test them with end users, collecting feedback and insights useful for design.
  4. Accessibility and Inclusivity – There is a growing emphasis on accessibility in user interface design. Design tools can incorporate guidelines and checks to ensure designs are accessible to all types of users.
  5. Design Systems – These help maintain design consistency across different products and platforms. Design tools must facilitate the management and implementation of even the most complex design systems.
  6. Extensions and Plugins – Software must be customizable, with dedicated marketplaces and communities where users can find plugins that extend the functionalities of standard programs.

Why Companies Choose Figma

In recent years, Figma has attracted the attention of numerous companies that have chosen to adopt this tool for the UX design of their products. Besides the advantages we’ve already seen in this article, there are other reasons why companies choose Figma, closely linked to recent changes in the workplace and the UX design sector.

 

  1. Real-Time Collaboration, Accessibility, and Remote Work – Remote and distributed work has become very common. Figma facilitates this organizational model, eliminating distances and improving communication. Additionally, being cloud-based, it supports the need to work from any device, promoting flexibility and mobility.
  2. Extensibility with Plugins – The dynamism of the UX sector requires tools that quickly adapt to new trends and needs. Figma’s plugins allow companies to customize the software according to specific needs, integrating artificial intelligence as well.
  3. An All-in-One Platform – Figma is useful for the different stages of the design process, integrating design, prototyping, and handoff functionalities within the same environment, which previously required companies to use multiple software. This translates into greater productivity and design efficiency.
  4. Scalability to Support Business Growth – Companies evolve, and the size of teams and projects can vary rapidly. Figma can easily adapt, allowing even the most complex needs to be managed.

 

In summary, the growing popularity of this tool can be attributed to a combination of market factors and emerging trends that favor flexibility, accessibility, and collaboration in an increasingly globalized and digitized work environment.

Planning the Transition to Figma

Migrating from Sketch to Figma represents a significant change for any design team. To ensure this transition goes smoothly, careful planning is essential. Below, we suggest some key steps and strategies to prepare your team to fully leverage Figma’s potential.

 

Assess Needs and Migration Objectives – Before starting the migration, it is crucial to evaluate the current and future needs of the design team. Understanding which Sketch features are most used and what limitations are encountered helps outline specific migration goals.

 

Organize Existing Files – In the preparation phase, organizing existing design files is essential. Ensuring that all Sketch files are well-organized and documented will greatly simplify the import process into Figma. Take the opportunity to review the design system and eliminate unused or obsolete assets.

 

Plan Resources and Timelines – Define a detailed plan that includes timelines, necessary resources, and potential challenges to optimize the required effort. Consider team sizes, the complexity of ongoing projects, and the gradual nature of the transition.

 

Create a Migration Checklist – Useful for guiding the team through each phase of the process, the checklist includes steps such as backing up Sketch files, automatically importing them into Figma, verifying the correct conversion of files, and adjusting design systems and components to leverage Figma’s advanced features.

 

Train and Support the Team – All team members need to become familiar with the software’s environment and features. Investing in a Figma course or providing onboarding resources can accelerate the team’s ability to immediately leverage the new tool’s potential.

 

Initial Testing and Feedback – After migrating the first projects, it is important to gather feedback from the team to understand how the new tool fits into the existing workflow and identify any critical issues. This allows for quick adjustments that can enhance the overall effectiveness of the delicate migration process.

 

By following these steps, companies can ensure a smooth transition from one tool to another and, most importantly, seize the opportunity for improvement and innovation that Figma can bring to the design process.

Post-Migration Optimization and Integration

Once all files are imported from Sketch to Figma, the work is not over. The next step is to effectively integrate the new tool into the team’s daily workflow. Here are some tips for optimizing and integrating Figma effectively after migration.

 

Consolidating the Design System – One of the first post-migration steps is to ensure that the design system is fully integrated and optimized for Figma. This includes standardizing components, creating shared libraries, and implementing Figma tokens to ensure consistency and efficiency. The team should know how to use Figma, particularly how to use and update libraries, so all projects are aligned with the design system.

 

Leveraging Figma’s Advanced Features – Advanced features, such as prototyping or auto-layout, can significantly improve collaboration and efficiency within the team. Fully utilizing these features can transform the way teams approach and implement design.

 

Monitoring and Adapting – Finally, it is important to monitor Figma’s effectiveness within the workflow. Regularly collecting feedback from the team on what works well and what can be improved provides valuable insights for improving work practices.

To Summarize

In this article, we have seen how migrating from Sketch to Figma is not simply switching from one software to another. The design tool used by the team affects its potential, efficiency, and approach to the overall UX design process. In the current context, the transition to Figma can be considered a strategic choice and an investment in the future of user experience design.

If you want to delve deeper into this topic or are considering adopting Figma in your company, we invite you to participate in our next Conflux webinar “Best Practices for Migrating from Sketch to Figma” scheduled for June 11, 2024.

  • UX
  • UX Design

Team Conflux

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