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Framer vs Figma: What Tool Should You Use In 2024?

Framer vs Figma: What Tool Should You Use In 2024?

Apr 10, 2024

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6 min read

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Framer vs Figma
Framer vs Figma
Framer vs Figma

Introduction


If you’re a designer wondering whether you should use Figma or Framer, you’ve come to the right place.


In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the tools and how to choose which one is the best for your case.


I don’t want to waste your time, so I’ve included a key takeaways section to help you understand the topic in less than 30 seconds.


However, if you want a more in-depth explanation, I suggest you read the full article. This will help you fully understand the tools and their differences, and also why there’s so much confusion around the topic.


Key Takeaways


  • Framer is a no-code website builder, whereas Figma is a design tool.

  • Use Framer if you want to design and deploy websites from the same platform.

  • Use Figma if you want a tool to design all sorts of digital interfaces, from websites to web apps to mobile applications.


Figma Overview


Figma is a design and prototyping tool used by designers worldwide to create, collaborate on, and share designs in real time.


As you probably know, Figma is known for its intuitive interface, powerful features, and real-time collaboration capabilities.


With Figma, you can design all sorts of websites, web applications, and even mobile apps. On top of that, Figma also allows you to create realistic prototypes to test the user flow and overall experience.


Once the design is ready, you can hand off your Figma file to the developer team, which will be able to turn your design into a real-world product.


In other words, Figma is the go-to choice for all sorts of designers who want to create, collaborate, or iterate over digital interfaces like websites, web apps, or mobile applications.


Figma's interface


Figma’s Strengths

  1. Real-Time Collaboration:

    → Figma is fantastic for real-time collaboration. Multiple users can work on the same design project simultaneously, making it ideal for team projects.


  2. Ease Of Use:

    → Anybody can get a basic understanding of how the platform works in a couple of hours. While it’s true that more complex features require a deeper understanding of the tool, most features are beginner-friendly.


  3. Prototyping:

    → Figma allows you to create realistic prototypes to test how well your design flows.


  4. Plugins & Integrations:

    → Figma has a community-supported library of tens of thousands of plugins, UI systems, design assets, and anything else you could think of to help you streamline your design process.


  5. Developer Handoff:

    • Figma is the perfect design tool for developed handoff as it allows you to easily export CSS code and design assets.


How the Figma interface looks like for real-time collaboration


Figma’s Weaknesses

  1. Offline Mode:

    → Figma is a cloud-based design tool, so you’ll need a stable internet connection to use it.


  2. Complex Animations:

    → While Figma offers basic animation capabilities, it’s less powerful or versatile than dedicated animation tools.


  3. Performance Issues:

    → Figma may experience performance issues when handling large and/or complex projects. You may also need to close and reopen a file multiple times because of a never-ending loading screen.


  4. Learning Curve for Advanced Features:

    → As mentioned previously, all the basic features are completely beginner-friendly. However, many features required in complex projects will require a deep understanding of the tool.


  5. Limited Print Design Features:

    → Figma is primarily geared toward digital design. Therefore, it lacks print-specific features (such as CMYK color mode).


Figma's error page for lack of stable connection


Framer Overview


Framer is a no-code website builder. Similarly to Webflow, it allows you to design and publish beautiful websites without writing a single line of code.


Thanks to its easy-to-use and intuitive drag-and-drop interface, Framer is becoming the go-to website builder for building stunning websites without any coding knowledge.


Framer’s interface and workflow are also extremely similar to Figma’s and Sketch’s. Making it easy for web designers to transition from design to a fully functional website.


Framer also incorporates many web-related features, such as a CMS, localisation, SEO features, analytics, code overrides, and more!


In other words, the main difference between Figma and Framer is that Figma is only a design tool (though way more powerful than Framer), while Framer also allows you to publish functional websites!


Framer's interface


Framer’s Strengths

  1. Code-Free Website Development:

    → Framer allows users to design and develop websites visually without having to write code, making it accessible to web designers and beginners without any coding knowledge.


  2. CMS Integration:

    → Framer offers a powerful content management system (CMS) that allows for easy content management for websites, even for people who are not tech-savvy.


  3. Hosting:

    → Framer provides hosting services, eliminating the need for users to find external hosting solutions. It also offers SSL certificates by default.


  4. Short Development Time:

    → Framer’s easy-to-use interface allows for quicker website creation than traditional coding methods. Framer developers can also rely on a vast library of pre-made components, sections, and even complete pages! (not to mention the vast library of high-quality templates available)


  5. SEO-related Features

    → Contrary to Figma, Framer allows you to deploy real-world websites. Therefore, Framer also has built-in SEO features to help you rank higher on search engines.


Framer's privacy-first analytics tool


Framer’s Weaknesses

  1. Limited Integrations:

    → Framer’s library of integrations is quite limited compared to other no-code website builders, such as WordPress, Webflow, Wix, etc.


  2. No Plugins:

    → As of April 2024, Framer currently doesn’t support plugins. However, they’ve already been announced and will be shipped before the end of the year.


  3. No Export Option:

    → Due to how their websites are built, Framer currently doesn’t allow you to export code for self-hosting.


  4. Offline Mode:

    → Similar to Figma, you’ll need a stable internet connection to use the tool.


  5. Complex Code Overrides:

    → Code overrides allow you to overcome Framer’s shortcomings using custom code. However, they’re incredibly hard to use because of Framer’s reliance on React.


Example of a custom code override created in Framer


Why Is There So Much Confusion Around The Topic?


Not knowing the difference between Framer and Figma is completely fine.


However, after a quick review of the search results, I noticed that most articles on the topic cause more confusion than clarity.


Everybody writing an article about this subject seems not to know that these are two completely different tools!


Framer is a no-code website builder. Meaning that it allows you to develop and launch a website without knowing anything about HTML, CSS, JS, or any other programming language.


On the other hand, Figma is a design tool. Meaning that it allows you to design every sort of digital interface.


One root cause might be Framer’s past. In fact, most people don’t know that Framer only recently pivoted and became a website builder.


Before that, Framer (previously known as Framer X) was a prototyping tool and didn’t allow you to build or publish websites.


How Framer X interface looked like before Framer turned into a no-code website builder


Another reason might be that most people mistakenly use “web designer” and “web developer” interchangeably. However, they’re two completely different things!


A web designer is the person who designs the website. Think of it as the architect who creates the blueprint for a house.


On the other hand, a web developer is the person who implements the design into a functioning website. Think of it as the actual builder of the house.


As you can see, these are two very different occupations. And while there are people who do both, that doesn’t imply they’re the same thing!


How To Pick The Right Tool


Now that you know the difference between Figma and Framer, here’s a simple framework for deciding which tool to use.


→ Use Framer if you want to build and deploy websites without knowing anything about coding.


→ Use Figma if you want to design all kinds of digital interfaces, but then hand off the design to somebody who can implement it and make it functional.


And voilà! You now know which tool is best for you.


Also, nothing is stopping you from using both. In fact, that’s what I do!


handshake


I design my websites in Figma and then use Framer to make them functional.


Choose the tool you use based on what you need to do, not the other way around!


FAQs

Q1 - Which Tool Is Better For Web Design


Figma is a better tool for web design than Framer. It offers more functionalities and allows for more flexibility.


With Figma, you can design all sorts of digital interfaces, from websites to web applications to mobile apps.


Q2 - Can You Import A Figma Design Into Framer?


Yes, you can import a Figma design into Framer. The Framer team has developed a handy Figma plugin that allows you to copy and paste your design from Figma to Framer.


All you have to do is download the plugin and then use it to copy and paste the design you’ve created.


If you need any assistance, I’ve written a full guide on using the “Figma to HTML with Framer” plugin.


Q3 - Can Figma Be Used With Framer?


Yes, Figma can be used with Framer. Most people use Figma to design their website and then, once it’s ready, use Framer to develop it and make it functional.


As mentioned in the previous point, you can also use the Figma to HTML with Framer plugin to streamline the process!


Q4 - Is Framer A Good Website Builder?


Yes, Framer is an easy-to-use and powerful website builder. It can be used for all sorts of static websites, from landing pages to massive multi-page websites.


However, Framer is not the best option for developing web applications such as e-commerce stores and membership apps.


Q5 - Should I learn Figma Before Framer?


Not necessarily. If you only want to be a web developer, you don’t need to learn Figma.


However, if you want to be able to both design and develop websites, learning Figma before Framer might be a good idea.


Also, Framer’s interface is incredibly similar to Figma’s, making it easy to transition from one tool to the other once you’ve learned the basics.

Luca Da Corte

Luca Da Corte is a certified Framer Expert and SEO specialist with over two years of experience. He's also the founder of clicks.supply, one of the biggest collections of Framer templates, components, and resoruces.

Luca Da Corte is a certified Framer Expert and SEO specialist with over two years of experience. He's also the founder of clicks.supply, one of the biggest collections of Framer templates, components, and resoruces.

Table Of Contents:

Introduction
Key Takeaways
Figma Overview
Framer Overview
Why Is There So Much Confusion Around The Topic?
How To Pick The Right Tool
FAQs

Table Of Contents:

Table Of Contents:

Introduction
Key Takeaways
Figma Overview
Framer Overview
Why Is There So Much Confusion Around The Topic?
How To Pick The Right Tool
FAQs

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