In the age of ever-growing competition and rapid technology development, getting an idea from conception to market at lightning speed has never been so important. Cue plugins and automations – the tools and resources that have the potential to supercharge the design process.
At Humbleteam, we prioritize efficiency and always ensure the design team's got the best tools and resources to produce the best results in record time.
Today we're sharing our gems. I asked our top designers to go through their workflow and pick the most useful plugins and tools that allow the team to accelerate at cosmic speed. Well, almost. Each plugin cuts down the time by at least 10 minutes. Multiply that by days of work, and you'll see the time value.
Take a look and make sure your design team's got these on their radar as well.
But first, why is process optimization so important? And why should the right software be at the heart of it?
Certain things make a great designer: that old-fashioned mix of talent, experience, and fairy dust. But introduce technology to the mix, and you'll find that this combo doesn't automatically guarantee the best results.
What used to require a tremendous level of skill is now solved via software within seconds. For example, you don't need to remember fonts by heart anymore — just run it through Font Ninja. The shift from raw talent to technical skills brings the need to prioritize the team's growth and toolkit.
In our work with interns, we emphasize two parameters: speed and acceleration. They require continuous work and improvement. Speed is simply how fast the result can be achieved and will always be stunted by limited program knowledge, internet speed, or computer power.
Acceleration is a way to cut down the time from idea to the final result. And that's where a manager steps in with a clear vision for boosting the team's potential and optimizing all processes possible.
If a designer is like Iron Man (stick with us here), their software is their suit: it allows them to level up their superpowers for extra effectiveness.
Critical web design mistakes to avoid
Here are the plugins and automations that we use day in, day out
Each one of them is a game-changer 👇
This plugin is used to illustrate and organize color styles on each page. After that, it automatically generates a color scheme. It's worth keeping in mind that it doesn't take image fill, stroke, and invisible layer margins into account.
2. Content Reel
A truly powerful tool for adding reliable mockups like user names and pictures, phone numbers, dates, addresses, countries...the list goes on.
You can also create custom categories like a car brand folder and upload your set of elements in there. Content Reel can close a range of tasks at once, thus saving tons of time.
Similayer takes Figma's "select everything with" to a whole new level. After selecting a layer, run this plugin to select multiple layers based on a set of characteristics. The best thing? You can choose multiple!
Just a few ideas on how to use it:
- To select all instances of a specific component to replace with another
- To replace all layers with a specific text style
- To select all "cards" with the same corner radius and fill color
Stark helps make sure all colors, images, and typography in the design model are aligned and offer good readability, compatibility, and clarity. You can select a layer, and Stark will analyze whether the colors are in accordance with the color accessibility framework WCAG 2.0.
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5. Rename It
Keep your Figma organized with this one. Rename It offers packaged layer and frame renaming, including multiple elements at once.
This plugin helps to find and replace text across the entire document. But it also offers a few extras on top of that. It lets you find and replace layers by name.
Both operations are case sensitive and allow you to specify where in the string you want to perform the substitution: anywhere in the text, in the beginning, at the end, or only in specific matches.
7. Design Lint
Helps to find and fix errors in your designs. Design Lint is an open-source plugin that finds missing styles within your designs and fixes inconsistencies.
Autoflow makes it easy to draw flows. Simply select two objects, hit a hotkey, and a line will be magically drawn between them.
9. Batch Styler
Need to change values of multiple (text and color) styles at once but don't want to go through the process of changing each text style on its own?
With Batch Styler you can do just that – whether you're talking two or 30 text styles, changing from Inter to Roboto, or keeping all font weights and other styles.
10. Instance finder
Find all Instances of a Component used in your file. Select a single Instance or Component, and the plugin will search all pages and all frames and create a list of all Instances used.
A well-organized file with structured components definitely positively affects the design work process and speed. It's like having your lego pieces neatly organized by color and shape instead of having them all mixed up in a huge box.
What are the tools that you can't live without? Hit us up at [email protected], and we'll add them to the list.
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