Figma for Everyone: Unifying Presentation Templates

April 5, 2019

The presentation is one of the most popular means of visually conveying information to an audience.Presentations are used everywhere by various specialists in various fields, because of the ease of their compilation and the popularity of content form. Due to such popularity people in corporate segment developed a set of approaches, norms and rules for presentations, because all corporate presentations should be designed in the same style in order to represent the company's brand in the best way possible, so it is better to use unique templates for this purpose.

The creation of such templates assumes thoughtful work on the structure, hierarchy of components, colors and fonts, universality in use and correctness in the design of visual information, therefore such templates should be created properly. The difficulty in creating a template pays off the ease of its use by other colleagues who does not possess appropriate design knowledge. So our design team set the goal of creating a template for presentations that will be comfortable and versatile to use and not imply special knowledge and skills, will be flexible and convenient to use.

Research and a proper tool selection

As the employees of our company work in various operating systems and in order to increase flexibility we considered only web-based solutions

A detailed study of popular presentation tools revealed that their functionality is not enough to allow us to create all types of slides which are needed (for our tasks). The main complaints we had were: the impossibility of flexible settings for image’s placeholders and backgrounds, limited headers hierarchy and confined master slide’s customization. Faced with such a problem, we decided to seek other tools for working with presentations and the solution was found unexpectedly, we decided to use one of the main modern designer’s tools — Figma.

Presentation development. Libraries

The idea was to create such a template that would require minimal skills and knowledge to work with it and allow user to quickly fill in the template with content. Also, let’s not forget that it is necessary to protect the template from accidental changes. In addition to the built-in version control, Figma allows to use libraries with predefined templates and styles, which gives an ability to work within one file without affecting the library.

Making the main file as a library
Adding the library to the presentation file

Presentation development. Customization

After the library is connected to the file with presentations, we can start creating a presentation using predefined color palettes, text styles, and slides components. Each slide component has its own layout for different purposes.
Here is a 9-step guide for a quick start:

#1 Create a new page and name it. We decided to go with “one file with all the presentations and split it by pages” approach.

#2 To place a slide template inside, we need to create a frame (F), as presentation’s preview mode requires frames for each slide.

#3 Choose (Alt + 2) a slide with a desired layout in the Components tab.

#4 To make a slide, Drag & Drop template slide component in the frame.

#5  Press “Resize” to fit button in the right side control panel, to equal slide and frame dimensions.

#6 Open Layers tab (Alt + 1) to edit text on a slide. It’s important to remember, that any work with the text has to be done only in frames of the text field..

#7 To change the placeholder select the image frame and click on the image field in the right control panel then pick a desired one.

#8 In Figma, there is a possibility to set links only for block elements, so, if pasting a link is required, choose the Rectangle tool (R) and wrap the necessary element. After that, switch to Prototype tab and pick the following settings: Trigger: On click, Action: Open URL, paste the link.

#9 Open back the Design tab and press eye icon near the fill settings to hide the grey rectangle.

This is literally everything you need to start working with presentations! As you can see, this template allows to fill the slides with content quickly and does not require special knowledge, everything is available for everyone in a single browser tab.

Conclusion

Figma is a more functional tool for working with visual information, and has a number of benefits:

  • Extensive template customization;
  • Using the template does not require special skills;
  • Quick and easy content filling;
  • Parallel work on the document online;
  • Backup and autosave system;
  • Accidental changes prevention.

This is why working with presentations in Figma was a blast for us and was happily accepted and used by various kinds of specialists across all company, allowing us to obtain well-read, nice-organized and solid-designed presentations.

Happy designing, everyone!

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