Figma anyone?

I went to a meet up here in Austin recently focused on designer using Figma to produce designs that then got made in Webflow.

Figma is kinda like Sketch except it is built in the browser.

Webflow is basically a design tool that uses React components to build websites.

The main advantage of Figma over Sketch is that it’s cross platform and being browser based can be easily collaborated one in the cloud.

Now, I would much prefer to recommend an open source tool to solve open source design problems but one should use the best tool for the job. Even Linus Torvalds has used non-FOSS IDEs before when he felt they made him more productive.

If nothing else I’d like to bring these two tools to the eyes of the open source community because I think their approaches could be a good model for open source projects attempting to solve design problems. Web technology is far more accessible to designers than something written in C++ and using QT for it’s GUI, and the cloud nature of Figma makes for an interesting possible solution to the problems that have been discussed in reference to source control and collaboration.

Questions for the forum to discuss:

Have you ever used Figma and what is your opinion of it’s source control solutions?

What design challenges does an open source alternative to Figma face that it’s closed source partner does not? (due possibly to the limited number of users with access to a project file at any particular point, or the fact that it’s file version history is centralized to a single branch with no ability to fork.)

What kinds of technological challenges does making an art/design tool face when built in the browser?

I use it often and I am pretty happy with it.

So far I actually never used them – just undo/redo and duplication of elements when I was trying something new.

I guess the “normal” challenges of open-source user-facing tools: It is hard to modularize usability/design and such a design-workflow and UI-heavy project seems often not very interesting to many who could develop it.

About forking I do not worry much, as I said above, I do not even use its build in version management. Looking at many other design tools, the idea that there should be git-like tools for design seems mainly like a concern of developers, less of designers themselves, so I do not see the absence of them as a problem.

Figma’s engineering blog is very interesting and discusses that topic

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