John Jago

Nothing is difficult, blame the tools

The other day, I created a few social media banners to make better use of that space.

Previously, I would have used GIMP or Photoshop to create the graphic, and I would have struggled through the process.

After seeing Figma become popular, I decided to give it a try. It worked out well, and I was impressed! The workflow for creating non-photographic graphics is intuitive. Why was I trying to use a photo editor in the first place? Of course, there is Adobe Illustrator, but that was released 35 years ago! They might have gone through a few rewrites, but over those 35 years, it has accumulated a lot of complexity that isn’t needed to create simple banners.

With Figma’s canvas approach, I can create multiple graphics in one file, but I also have the ability to select only parts of it to export to PNG. This works really well because you often don’t know what you’re going to need along the way to a finished design. Much of the struggle of the other programs was not having the space to experiment. No more juggling open files!

The user experience of Figma is a lesson. Many people say they’re not good at graphic design, but perhaps nothing is really difficult, and it’s just our tools that are lacking.