I started with Figma I want to say about 6 weeks ago. Before this I have never used any design tool nor gotten into designing (brand new experience). Yeah I have cropped images before or resized them in gimp but I mean never seriously got into using any design tool before. So…
I am one individual learning, growing, and aspiring to enter the freelance market doing all aspects of web development (and entrepreneurship). From design to content creation to development, deployment, and maintenance. But, notably, I don’t have a team (its just me, alone). So I decided to upgrade to the pro plan because of the library sharing feature but I’m not sure I understood what that really meant or how it impacted my workflow (for better or for worse). Here’s one thing I experienced…
I learned that creating all kinds of components in a library without seeing how they fit together in an actual layout is kinda like flying blind (especially if you don’t have any experience). You create all these little pieces but you can’t really tell what they are going to look like in the actual layout (unless you had considerable experience to draw on, I suppose). Then you start using them in a layout and you find out everything looks like shit (wrong size, wrong dimension, colors don’t go well together, font sizes are wrong relative to viewport size, and so on). You already doubled or tripled your overhead (amount of work put in) by even involving a library - rather than just going for it organically and going straight for the raw design - now you’re having to go back and tweak the items in the library (over and over and over again) until it (hopefully) looks decent in the actual layout. I’ll be making 2 cents an hour at this rate! That’s one thing but I’m not sure it has much to do with features that come with the upgraded (pro) plan and whether I even gain anything from that.
So now I’m looking a the (3, three) features that come with the pro upgrade, and considering my experience with it, and wondering what real benefit there is to having it for a person in my situation.
- I’m told that you can still have libraries (and components and variants) even without that pro plan. That the only difference is whether you can “share” the library across files - not whether you can have the library at all.
Is that true? If so, then why do I need to “share” a library when I’m the only one in the team? Isn’t it good enough just to have a library?
My friend (who has much more experience than I with Figma) encourages me that “there isn’t anything you can’t do with the free plan that you would need the upgrade for”. I think he’s trying to say there are workarounds. Is that true?
What about “Prototype Sharing and Permissions”? Am I understanding that feature right? I thought it only applies to team member permissions but the way it reads makes you think that without it you can’'t show a client your prototype without them being able to make changes to it. I don’t want my clients to be able to do anything except experience a prototype - not have access to modify anything. When I did a trial run of a prototype with a friend (sitting next to one another physically in the same room) it didn’t seem like he would be able to do anything but see the prototype and interact with it. Was I wrong? Bottom line… do I need this feature to keep my clients from having access to the underlying design or not?
“Private Projects”… What does this really mean? Private in the sense that anyone on the internet can see my design unless it is “private”? Or private in the sense that anyone on my team can modify the design unless it is “private”? These are two very different things! If it means public on the internet then that is not good and I would need the feature in order to hide it from public view (think private the way github or gitlab means private). However, if it means private in terms of team member access then I don’t have any other team members and I have no use for this feature.
Can anyone address any, each, or all of these points and offer assistance in determining my needs?
Thanks in advance.