Getting started with interactive components in Figma

Fayas fs
Fayas fs
Sep 29 · 3 min read

Every design gets its final toppings with the prototype. The prototype has been used for experimentation before a design actually goes into production. Its designers dream to build a prototype in the design tool itself, rather than switching to a new tool (at least some level of interactions).

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Before

The logic behind creating a prototype may look simple, you have to connect A to B where A is a starting point and B is an outcome of A. But things get out of hand if you’re going to prototype for an entire file.

This process will be a huge setback for design systems. Since every single prototype needs to be handled separately for each component, it's quite difficult to do an experimental prototype with design systems.

A single switch component will have two outcomes on and off. The probability of collective outcomes will be increasing exponentially based on the number of actions we keep like the example below.

Figma prototype flow before interactive components

Even a simple prototype flow may look more complex. This makes the prototype look more complicated and it becomes worse for design systems.

Figma’s Interactive Component

Figma released its interactive component as a beta test. Only applied candidates can able to use this feature. To get invited, apply here.

This feature allows the designers to create prototypes between the variants. Since the prototype has been linked to variants, when instances are used in the design, the prototype is automatically linked to its respective variant. This helps teams to minimize the number of prototype links created in the entire file.

Step 1: Let’s take out the element which is going to have the action. Here, it's a switch component. Let’s create two components. Checked and unchecked states. Combine both the components to create a variant set. If you’re new to variants, check this blog to learn more about variants.

Creating variant set for a switch component

Step 2: Select checked state switch component and enable a prototype link with unchecked state switch component and select respective properties for the prototype.

Repeat the same with an unchecked component for rollback action.

Prototype properties

Now you only need to add the instances of switch variant in the design and When you view the prototype, Figma would have automatically created the interactions and when you click the switch it switches between checked and unchecked states.

Variant interactions

Hope you get to build the prototype with interactive components. To learn more about components, design systems, and Figma as a tool, check this list of blogs.

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