3 Quick and Fun Figma Prototyping Tutorials

Apr 25, 2023Eugenia Sorgetti

Welcome to another blog post, where we'll dive into a world of fun and engaging Figma prototyping tutorials! As UI/UX designers, we understand the crucial role that prototyping and animations play in creating intuitive and visually appealing interfaces. That's why we've curated a selection of quick and enjoyable tutorials to help you level up your design skills.

In this post, we will explore the versatile prototyping capabilities of Figma, a popular design tool that has transformed the way designers collaborate and bring their ideas to life. Our tutorials will cover three exciting techniques: dropdowns, modals and pop-ups, and buttons. All of these animations will be powered by Figma's Smart Animate feature, ensuring smooth and lifelike transitions.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a curious beginner, our friendly and informative guide is tailored to help you create captivating experiences for your users.

What are Dropdown Menus?

Dropdown menus are interactive UI elements that reveal a list of options when clicked or hovered over. They help conserve screen space while providing users with easy access to additional functionality or navigation options.

Designing a Dropdown Menu in Figma

To design a dropdown menu in Figma, create a frame containing the menu trigger (e.g., a button or icon), and another frame for the menu options. Ensure that the menu items are organized and visually distinguishable.

Combine both of these items in a single frame using Auto Layout and make sure to select “Clip content” on the menu on the right.

Designing a dropdown menu in Figma

After this, create a variant; one of them will be closed, and the other one will be open. For the closed variant, just make the frame shorter in height. The “clip content” feature will make it so that the options frame is hidden.

Adding Interactivity to the Dropdown Menu

Connect the menu trigger to the dropdown options using Figma's interactive components. Set the appropriate interaction (e.g., "On Click" or "On Hover") to reveal or hide the menu when the user interacts with the trigger.

Interactive dropdown component

Animating the Dropdown with Smart Animate

Use Smart Animate to create smooth transitions when opening and closing the dropdown menu. Experiment with different easing options, durations, and animation styles (e.g., fade, slide, or expand) to achieve the desired effect.

Design Tips for Responsive and Accessible Dropdown Menus

When designing dropdown menus, consider these best practices:

  • Ensure keyboard accessibility.
  • Use clear labels and icons for menu items.
  • Create touch-friendly menu items for mobile devices.
  • Provide visual feedback for the active and hover states.
  • By incorporating animated dropdown menus into your designs, you can create a more engaging and intuitive user experience.

Modals and Pop-ups: Engaging User Interactions

Understanding Modals and Pop-ups

Modals and pop-ups are interactive elements that appear on top of the main content, temporarily interrupting the user's interaction with the page. They are commonly used for displaying additional information, collecting user input, or confirming actions. When designed thoughtfully, modals and pop-ups can create a more engaging and user-friendly experience.

Designing a simple Modal/Pop-up in Figma

To design a modal or pop-up in Figma, create a new frame with the desired dimensions, and design your content within it.

Adding animations with Smart Animate

Use Figma's Smart Animate feature to add smooth transitions and animations to your modal or pop-up. Experiment with different easing options and durations to achieve the desired effect.

Figma modal prototype

Triggering the Modal/Pop-up using interactive components

Connect your modal or pop-up to a trigger element, such as a button, using Figma's interactive components. Set the appropriate interaction, such as "On Click," to display the modal when the user interacts with the trigger.

Figma modal prototype example

Tips for designing accessible and user-friendly Modals/Pop-ups

When designing modals and pop-ups, consider the following best practices:

  • Ensure they are keyboard accessible.
  • Provide a clear and visible way to close the modal or pop-up.
  • Avoid overly complex designs that may confuse or distract users.
  • Use proper contrast and font sizes for readability.

Animating Components: Bring Your Buttons to Life

UI component animations, such as those for buttons, switches, and checkboxes, play a crucial role in enhancing user experience by providing visual feedback and making interactions feel more intuitive. In this section, we'll explore how to animate button components in Figma using Smart Animate.

Designing a Button Component in Figma

Start by designing a button component, including various states like hover, active, and disabled. Convert your design into a component and create variants for each state. To animate the button states, use Figma's Smart Animate feature. For example, add a subtle scaling or color change for the hover effect, and a slight shift in position or appearance for the active state.

Figma component variants

Animating Button States with Smart Animate

Next, implement the animated buttons in your prototype by adding interactive elements to trigger the animations. Ensure smooth transitions between button states for a polished user experience.

Additional Tips and Tricks for Animating Components

When animating components, consider the following tips: create cohesive animations across all components, balance functional and visually appealing animations, and be mindful of accessibility and usability. By integrating well-designed and animated components in your interface, you'll create a more engaging and interactive experience for your users.

Mastering Smart Animate: Tips and Tricks

Leveraging Smart Animate for smoother animations

Smart Animate is a powerful Figma feature that enables designers to create smooth and natural-looking animations. To get the most out of Smart Animate, experiment with different easing options, durations, and transition styles to find the perfect combination for your design.

Common use cases and examples

Smart Animate is versatile and can be used in various scenarios, such as animating component states (e.g., buttons and checkboxes), creating transitions between screens, and enhancing interactions with elements like modals and dropdown menus. Exploring examples from other designers or online resources can provide inspiration for your projects.

Troubleshooting and overcoming limitations

While Smart Animate is a powerful tool, it has some limitations. If you encounter issues, such as unexpected behavior or misaligned elements, try adjusting the layer names and hierarchy or simplifying your design. Breaking complex animations into smaller steps can also help overcome these limitations.

Combining Smart Animate with other Figma features

To create more advanced animations, combine Smart Animate with other Figma features like interactive components, Auto Layout, and constraints. By leveraging these features together, you can create complex and engaging animations that elevate your design and enhance the user experience.

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Eugenia Sorgetti

Eugenia Sorgetti

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