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Over 3 decades of software interaction design for Autodesk, IBM, Promethean, ADP, and UPS. Figma expert and advocate, as design is a team sport.

I’ve had several people on LinkedIn ask me for advice and tips as they start out in User Experience Design, because of my many years in HCI and related fields. Here’s an unabashedly opinionated list of things to consider when you are just starting out in User Experience Design. (Personally I’ve spent more time as an Interaction Designer, but most of these should apply to any position under the UX umbrella.)

05/02/21 — I decided to change this list bullets so I can put new items at the top and to eliminate any non-intentional ranking order. So this in made…

Author’s Note: (092220) Figma recently announced a few new features that make the approach done in this article as outdated. Figma will soon support Variants and Interactive Components, which greatly simplifies the use of components.

I learned about Brad Frost’s Atomic Design around the same time Figma was going to beta in October of 2016. After Figma added components to their feature set, I was excited to see how I could apply the atomic model using Figma components.

At that time our company used a Visual Design Library (VDL) that contains several hundred components and associated patterns, so as I…

Author note: As with any software, this review is done on versions available on the original publish date; both have had updates and I will try to keep these product comparisons and reviews updated as well.

Updated: 06/29/19

Since most of the UX designers in my previous job used Sketch and few had even tried Figma , I thought I would do a head-to-head contest based on my last 18 months using Figma as my primary design tool.

At a previous company I promoted Sketch over Illustrator, and found similar resistance to the “new thing”. …

As I keep using Figma on a daily basis more subtle workflow improvements are exposed thanks to its collaborative design.

Two things to note before you read this:

  1. Figma uses Slack as its communication channel. You set up a Figma channel in Slack, and any comments made in Figma using their built in commenting mechanism is Slacked to the team.
  2. Figma is browser based, cross-platform, and you can collaborate the same way you do in Google Docs. It shows the people viewing/editing the file in the top of the app.

TIP: If you click on someone else’s avatar circle you…

I tried Figma the day the beta launched October 2016, but didn’t fully embrace the collaborative design tool until the following Spring. At first I was the sole user at our ADP Payroll Innovation Group, but recently teamed up with another UXD to work on specific product features. I convinced her to give Figma a try in place of Sketch or Illustrator.

Prior to Figma, our workflow looked something like this:

Our workflow shown in a simple diagram — this is LIVE; you can use the link at the bottom left to launch into Figma

We use a variety of…

Ben Kopf

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