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Learning Log, Jan 2022

Industrial-style bookcase with five wood shelves and iron piping on the sides. It’s chock full of books of various genres (some sections rainbow ordered), a large Sonos device, and with a couple knickknacks in front of the books.

Late in January we moved into our new/first house! It’s been a whirlwind of a month between all the packing and unpacking and life administrative tasks, as well as getting things off the ground for this quarter at work. I am looking forward to soon relaxing in a completely unpacked home.

Improving my Figma chops

When I was a designer/developer full-time, I was making websites in Illustrator. I’ve played around with Figma on personal projects or on small things for work, but really hadn’t gotten the opportunity to embrace the design-at-scale, team-centric features that are really the force multipliers behind the product.

In the past week or so, I’ve made much more of a concerted effort to actually learn Figma. A random collection of thoughts on this:

  • I usually learn by doing. If I am following a tutorial, I like to read docs or a blog post, rather than watch a video. I’m realizing that 1) learning UI is the place where video walkthroughs are WAY more helpful to me, and 2) Figma is one of those products where I will absolutely miss or take a long time to discover time-saving features if I just mess around with things as I go. For example:
    • I feel like a buffoon for not realizing there’s a keyboard shortcut to zoom to a selection (SHIFT + 2).
    • I wouldn’t have necessarily discovered particular Smart Selection features.
  • I have clearly been under-utilizing Constraints.
  • I learned so much about libraries, styles, components, and variants in the past week. Shout out to my colleague Kristy Marcinova for some 🔥 tips on this, and also for letting me know you can have more than one prototype “flow” per Page.
  • Despite some initial learning curves, Figma would’ve saved me so much time when I was a designer. Web designers today—who have access to Figma to do their work—are very fortunate.

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