How to Create Effective Dashboards with Figma

Creating dashboards is not always easy. Of course, templates allow you to design one in a few clicks, but you want it to be functional, visually appealing, and easy to understand. And that’s more difficult. Under this scenario, you may benefit from Figma, a tool designed to simplify the process.

What Is Figma Exactly?

Figma is a browser-based design tool for creating user interfaces, wireframes, prototypes, and more. You can use Figma dashboard templates on any operating system without installing software. It also has a desktop version for those who prefer working outside a browser.

Figma dashboard design is known for its collaboration features. It resembles Google Docs but for design. Many users choose Figma for dashboard design precisely because of the real-time collaboration. It’s convenient for remote teams.

Figma has robust prototyping capabilities (we’ll cover these in more detail below). Designers create interactive, clickable prototypes without coding. They can easily demonstrate the functions to stakeholders. There’s also an extensive library of plugins and integrations. They streamline the design and automate repetitive tasks.

Figma Dashboard Design Tips: 3 Core Steps

Step #1: Effective Prototyping

Start by outlining your creative dashboard design using frames. Frames are 100% customizable. For example, you might create separate frames for different sections of your dashboard, such as the header, sidebar, and main content area.

Next, build your dashboard using Figma’s vast library of components and assets. You can drag and drop buttons, charts, tables, and other elements onto your frames. Figma’s component system allows you to create reusable elements. All instances of that component in your design update automatically if you update a component.

For interactive elements, Figma’s prototyping tools let you create clickable prototypes that mimic real user interactions. You can link different frames and set up interactions like on-click or hover. This will help stakeholders understand the user flow and functions​.

Quick Tips for Effective Prototyping:

  • Use grids and layouts. Apply grids to your frames.
  • Use auto layout. Figma’s auto layout feature adapts designs to different screen sizes.
  • Incorporate real data. Use sample data or plugins like Google Sheets Sync to import real data into your design.
  • Use constraints. They’ll control how elements resize and reposition.
  • Document user flows. Use flowcharts or user journey maps for that.

Step #2: Implementing a Prototype

Once your prototype is ready, you will want to implement it. Share your prototype with team members and stakeholders for feedback. Figma has sharing options for that. You can generate a shareable link, and anyone with the link can view or edit the prototype. The latter depends on the permissions you set.

Collect feedback directly within Figma. Team members can leave comments on specific elements. You will discuss changes and suggestions and use all this to refine your design. It’s useful to test your prototype across different devices and screen sizes. It must be responsive and work well in various environments.

To finalize your prototype, you export the assets and specifications for developers. Figma allows you to generate design specs and export PNG, SVG, or PDF assets.

Quick Tips for Implementing a Prototype:

  • Set clear permissions. Decide who can view, comment, or edit to maintain control over changes.
  • Use comment threads. Educate team members and show them that they can reply directly to comments. If they create a clear dialogue, it should be easier to track changes and suggestions.
  • Use Figma’s device frames feature to preview how your design looks on different devices.
  • Use Figma’s version history to revert to previous versions if necessary.
  • Include detailed annotations and use consistent naming conventions to smooth the handoff process for developers.
  • Use Figma plugins like Stark for accessibility checks.
  • Schedule regular check-ins with your development team during the implementation phase.

Step #3: Know and Avoid Potential Issues

Of course, you’ll encounter some challenges. One common issue is managing complex projects with many layers and components. To avoid this, group related elements and use clear naming conventions. Figma’s layer management tools (e.g., the ability to collapse groups and use color-coded frames) can help keep your workspace tidy.

Another potential issue is performance. Large files with many elements can slow down Figma. Optimize your design with the help of vector graphics when possible. And try to minimize the use of high-resolution images. Regularly clean up unused components and assets.

Lastly, ensure that your dashboard design is accessible. Use sufficient color contrast and provide text alternatives for non-text elements. Also, check if your design is navigable using keyboard shortcuts. Figma’s accessibility tools will help you check these aspects as you design​.

Quick Tips to Avoid Potential Issues:

  • Optimize layer management. Regularly merge and simplify layers where possible. Your crucial task here is to reduce clutter as much as possible.
  • Regularly save versions of your design. This will be your salvation if you must undo a complex design change.
  • Create and maintain a library of reusable components. The beauty of this approach is that updating a component in the library updates all instances of it in your project.
  • Periodically test the performance of your Figma file. Check for lag or slowdowns. Reduce the number of elements whenever possible and simplify interactions.
  • Use Figma’s accessibility plugins to ensure color contrast, text readability, and keyboard navigability. Do it regularly.

Final Thoughts

All in all, Figma is beneficial for designing effective dashboards. It has robust features and, most importantly, great collaborative capabilities. After you’ve learned the basics, you can create visually appealing, functional, and user-friendly dashboards. These are the dashboards users love and get inspired by.

Suggested article: The Pros and Cons of Using Figma Software 


1. How does Figma handle real-time collaboration?

It lets you and your team simultaneously work on the same file, like in Google Docs. You can see everyone’s changes live. You can gather feedback, make changes, and brainstorm ideas in real time. For example, your colleague can add content or adjust colors while you’re tweaking the layout.

2. Can I use Figma offline?

Yes, it has a desktop app that works offline. Any changes you make offline will sync up once you’re back online. However, some features might be limited when you’re offline.

3. How can I ensure my dashboard design is accessible?

Use Figma’s tools and plugins like Stark to check color contrast and text readability. For example, Stark can tell you if your text is too light against its background. Always provide text alternatives for images. Make sure your design is navigable with a keyboard. This means checking if all interactive elements are accessible via tabbing.

4. What are some tips for optimizing Figma performance?

Merge and simplify layers where possible. Use vector graphics instead of high-res images. If you have elements you’re not using anymore, delete them.

5. How do I handle version control in Figma?

Save versions of your design regularly. If you change and things go wrong, you can revert to an earlier version. For example, you’ll quickly switch back if a stakeholder prefers an earlier design iteration.


Daniel Raymond

Daniel Raymond, a project manager with over 20 years of experience, is the former CEO of a successful software company called Websystems. With a strong background in managing complex projects, he applied his expertise to develop and, innovative project management tools designed to streamline processes and improve productivity. Throughout his career, Daniel has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence and a passion for empowering teams to achieve their goals.

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