Getting to know hand-off tools
My main design tool has been Figma ever since starting Design 101 on DesignLab. I have briefly familiarized myself with Adobe XD before that and I found it quite similar to Figma. What I liked about both of them is that they include not only design, but also prototype and code modes. This together with the cloud base allowing live collaboration and access to developers makes it ideal for me, a real one-stop shop.
Nevertheless, after looking into specifically hand-off tools, I wonder if Figma alone is enough. It did score second in the UXtools.co survey, right after Zeplin, which indicates that people do use Figma for hand-off.
But my code-ignoramus instinct makes me believe that Zeplin might be a bit more advanced solution, with more detailed specifications and working possibilities. I am sorry for the lack of trust, Figma! But it would make sense that a tool that is specifically designed for one thing will do that thing better than another tool which includes it only as one of its many features.
Right now, I am leaning towards Zeplin. They have redesigned their plug-in for Figma last month, making it more advanced and easier to implement. According to their blog Zeplin Gazette, they have experienced 40% user growth since the start of the corona regulations, proving that cloud based work flows such as Figma and Zeplin are the future. I can simply install Zeplin plug-in in Figma and use it for free right from my canvas. This seems like an ideal solution for me.
Another two options I looked into were InVision app and Avocode:
InVision app seems great. Again, I cannot really talk about all the code specifications and what actual developers would find easier or better to work with. But I suspect all these tools translate designs in a similar way. I really like the visual style of InVision and their whole brand. The only disadvantage is that it doesn’t work as a Figma plug-in.
The last tool I learned about is Avocode and I really didn’t like this one. It came across as extremely arrogant, trying to push people to switch from Zeplin and saying how bad Zeplin is, that it is hardly functional. Again, I am no expert, it just seemed a bit desperate. Also, there’s no free tier.
Overall, I think all of these mentioned above work in a similar way and allow developers get the info they need. At the end, just as with design tools, you need to adapt to the common practice of the company you work for.