Business Intelligence developers play a critical role in an organization by analyzing data and providing insights to help make better business decisions. However, while most BI developers focus on the complicated data aspects of their work (and they should!), they often do not put too much thought into the User experience (UX), and design ends (and they shouldn't). This can be a significant oversight, as good user experience and design are essential for getting the most out of data.
On the other hand, the design community has developed remarkable tools where it is possible to create design systems that help us speed the design process. Figma is one of those design tools, and its design systems are an excellent resource for BI developers who want to deliver well-designed dashboards with user-friendly interfaces quickly.
What is Figma? Figma is a web-based graphics editing and user interface design app. You can use it to do all kinds of graphic design work, from wireframing websites and designing mobile app interfaces to prototyping designs, crafting social media posts, and Business Intelligence dashboards.
But what is a design system in Figma?
In Figma, a design system is a collection of reusable components, patterns, rules, and design elements that can be used to create new user interfaces quickly. Design systems help to speed up the design process by providing a library of pre-built elements that can be easily customized to fit the specific needs of a project.
Is it challenging to learn Figma?
As with any new tool, there is a learning curve; even if Figma is a very well thought tool with a fantastic UX and a drag-n-drop interface, you will be stepping into a completely different world: design. The most challenging thing is not the tool per se, but the understanding of design concepts such as composition, whitespace, hierarchy, and alignment. While Figma does provide excellent resources for learning these concepts, they can be challenging to understand without any prior design experience.
However, with a little effort, it is possible to quickly become proficient in using Figma's design systems to create beautiful and user-friendly dashboard interfaces.
How difficult is it to create a design system?
This depends on various factors as the number of components and their complexity. If you have a lot of different types of components, it will take longer to create your design system. Creating your design system will be easier and faster if your components are very simple. However, even if you only have a few simple components, Figma's design system can save you a lot of time in different stages of development.
What steps of Business Intelligence development can be improved with Figma?
Defining user personas. Understanding your audience is one of the most essential steps in designing effective BI dashboards. Who will be using the dashboard, and what are their needs? To design an effective dashboard, you need to know who your target users are and what information they need. This is where user personas come in. A user persona is a fictional representation of your target user, based on real data about your target users. You can better understand your target users' needs and wants by creating user personas.
Wireframing. Wireframing is essential for BI development as it allows developers to visualize how data will be presented to users quickly. By creating a wireframe, BI developers can identify potential problems with data layout and navigation early in the development process, before too much time is invested in designing and building the dashboard. Additionally, wireframing can help to enforce a unified design across different dashboards.
Prototyping. Prototyping is essential for Business Intelligence development as it allows developers to visualize how data will be presented to users quickly. By creating a prototype, BI developers can identify potential problems with data layout and navigation early in the development process, before too much time is invested in designing and building the dashboard. Additionally, wireframing can help to enforce a unified design across different dashboards.
Exporting elements. A design system is an excellent tool for creating reusable components for your Power BI reports; buttons, backgrounds, and front pages are highly reusable and customizable elements that can be created in a Figma design system.
Documentation. Documenting BI development is no fun but is essential for Business Intelligence developers for several reasons; with the support of a Figma design system, you can include in the scope of the project documentation prototypes and wireframes of your solution and obtain the sign-off of your customer.
Overall, if you’re looking to improve your BI workflow and deliver better user experiences a Figma design kit is the right tool for business intelligence developers looking to streamline their design process. Figma's templates, vector-based graphics, and real-time collaboration features make it an ideal platform for creating high-quality Business Intelligence solutions.