Comparison15 min read

ProtoPie vs. Figma: Which Tool is Better for Interactive Prototyping?

Discover how ProtoPie compares to Figma, and understand when to use each tool for prototyping.

Gina Lim
Gina Lim, Growth MarketerLast updated on November 16, 2022
ProtoPie vs. Figma, which tool is better for interactive prototyping?

Product UI/UX design is evolving to meet changing consumer demands. To meet these demands, UX prototyping tools are becoming more powerful.

The numbers speak for themselves. In 2022, the UX service market was valued at 19.2 billion dollars, according to Digital Journal.

As the project stakes are higher, so are the risks involved. Designers have more responsibilities. Projects are more complex. And designers are under increasing pressure from stakeholders to send workable prototypes to the engineers so they can outpace their competitors.

The question is: what is the best prototyping tool on the market to meet those demands head-on?

Let’s take on two very different, well-respected tools: Figma and ProtoPie.


  • ProtoPie allows you to create realistic, dynamic prototypes for multi-state scenarios. These are either very hard to do with Figma or impossible with Figma alone.
  • ProtoPie offers essential high-fidelity prototyping features Figma simply doesn’t have.
  • It’s not an ‘either/or’ choice. For the greatest prototyping impact, use Figma and ProtoPie together as they serve different purposes.

What is Figma?

Figma is one of the world’s most well-loved UI design tools. While it’s not exactly a prototyping tool per se, it does have some prototyping capabilities.

Need to showcase a sequence of basic transitions between static screens? You can easily do that in Figma by linking frames together and adding some simple interactions. It is great for simple clickable prototypes with a few states—focusing on a flow, not the actual interactions.

But Figma fails to provide the sort of realistic, high-fidelity prototyping required for such a fast-paced marketplace.

Even with a few states, it can quickly lead to ‘noodle chaos’ whenever you add more.

In theory, the wiring model of linking frames with each other makes sense. However, when a prototype grows in complexity, it becomes difficult to make sense of, manage, or maintain.

Organized chaos when prototyping in Figma.
Organized chaos in Figma. Image by Luke Dowding.

As a designer, you will need a prototyping tool that showcases all the bells and whistles. A prototype that looks and feels like the real thing, without needing to code.

You want to test the experience. To prove concepts that are as complex as a phone tilt in a computer game, or a voice activation in a car display.

Figma alone might not be the right tool to make prototypes with:

  • multiple screens,
  • multiple states per screen,
  • or realistic microinteractions.
Figma might not be a suitable prototyping tool for multiple states per screen.
Each screen with multiple states would increase the number of wires significantly. Image by Steve Ruiz.

When should you use Figma for prototyping?

Figma is a great tool if your project meets the following specific use cases:

  1. ‘Isolated’ and simple interactions.
  2. Click-through prototypes with frames that have a few states.
  3. Visual preview of the user flow.
  4. Early-stage prototyping without having to remake interactions.

This is where ProtoPie comes in. By using ProtoPie instead of or alongside Figma, you will be able to create dynamic and realistic prototypes. Let’s dig into precisely how.

To explain further, we first need to delve into the differences between linear prototyping, and dynamic prototyping.

Linear vs. dynamic prototyping

Figma is linear. Building a prototype in Figma requires you to link every screen. This works fine if you only have four screens. However, you open up pandora’s box when it comes to multiple flows and sequences.

Whereas ProtoPie is dynamic. You simply select a type of trigger you want, and dynamically set the response of what should happen. This makes your prototype easier to manage because it eliminates the need for chaotic interweaving lines all over the place.

What is ProtoPie actually?

ProtoPie is the easiest prototyping tool to turn your interaction design ideas into realistic prototypes. Create high-fidelity prototypes for anything digital, anything with a screen:

  • Mobile
  • Desktop
  • Web
  • IoT
  • ...and beyond

Design teams and their companies across different industries use ProtoPie daily—next to their UI design tool Figma—for all kinds of prototyping. Some of these leading companies are Microsoft, BMW, Headspace, Snap, and Electronic Arts.

When should you use ProtoPie for prototyping?

If your projects sound more like the list described below, you'd be better off using ProtoPie:

  1. Scenarios with multiple states and dependencies.
  2. Conditional and cause-and-effect interactions.
  3. Interactions with specific touchscreen triggers.
  4. Interactions involving text input, voice, media playback, sensors, etc.
  5. Interactions across multiple devices.
  6. Interactions involving custom hardware.

Which benefits does ProtoPie provide for prototyping over Figma?

There’s no magic wand in design. Instead, designers must selectively pick the tools that they’re going to work with. Needless to say, these need to have the right benefits and features. ProtoPie offers a range of essential features making it your go-to prototyping tool.

Let’s delve into 10 benefits that ProtoPie has over Figma.

Create interactive prototypes

Prototyping in Figma allows for no interactivity with the elements.

Let's say you want to show off a login flow, like letting users enter their email addresses.

You would have to:

  1. Duplicate a screen.
  2. Then double-click and change the content inside the input field.
  3. Change the styling to make it appear inputted.
  4. And create the prototype, so there’s a transition between screens when the user taps the input field.

In short, there is no room for interaction between the elements when you create prototypes in Figma.

Now, look at ProtoPie, which allows for high interactivity with all the elements.

Let’s use the same example—the user inputting an email address. With ProtoPie, the user can input their email address and you can showcase that email address dynamically on the next screen. In short, you can make the prototype look and feel like the real thing. It’s surprisingly simple—you assign text inside a local variable to be stored dynamically and reutilized.

interactivity difference figma vs protopie

It works like this:

  • You create a drop-down input field.
  • Create variables, allowing you to store whatever information is inputted.
  • Pull that info out into another text.
  • Hit ‘Get Started’, and the user is dynamically pulled to the next screen.

This is far more realistic and engaging than Figma’s undynamic static screens. It unveils ProtoPie’s winning solution: you can build the entire product code-free before even testing it.

Add drag and scrollable areas to prototypes

You can make drag interactions and scrollable areas in Figma. But, they are limited to specific elements only. Also, they cannot influence other elements or interactions in the same frame.

In ProtoPie, drag interactions and scrollable areas can cause other interactions to happen. For example, dragging a layer to the right or left could decrease or increase the total score. You could prototype these kinds of interactions in a single screen.

Discover how scroll can affect other layers, e.g., parallax scroll.

Let people type real text in prototypes

Prototypes must emulate real-life products. If you are designing a smartphone app, your prototype needs to function like the final product one would use on an actual smartphone.

Let people type real text in prototypes with ProtoPie.
Mobile keyboard prototype with text input.

Imagine you’re prototyping a login page. In ProtoPie, add an input layer and some additional interactions. Done!

In Figma, you’d have to create a complex set of wires prototyping the keyboard itself as a workaround. Otherwise, you have to ask people to rely on their imagination about how they’d type. Not only is this more hassle and against the premise of realistic prototyping, it also takes more time.

Try this example prototype with text input.

Play audio, video, and Lottie files in prototypes

Your designs need to be as rich as possible—there might be times when you need to insert media files into your prototypes. Hence, ProtoPie supports audio, video, and Lottie files.

Video player prototype with media playback, made in ProtoPie.
Video player prototype with media playback.

Figma, on the other hand, offers no way for users to directly embed audio or video. If you’re creating media-rich prototypes then there’s only one option: ProtoPie.

Try this example prototype with media playback.

Bring ‘if/then’ conditioning into your prototypes

Conditions are the mainstay of successful prototypes, setting out key ‘if/then’ rules. Imagine you have a reusable toggle button component. For example, toggle to the right to enable airplane mode, and toggle to the left to disable airplane mode. Enabling airplane mode would lead to certain icons appearing and disappearing. At the same time, specific options would get grayed out.

With interactive components and variants in Figma, you can make your own reusable toggle button. But, it’s difficult to make the toggle button affect other layers and interactions uniquely depending on a state. This is, on the other hand, where ProtoPie shines.

Example prototype with conditions, made with ProtoPie.
The position of the dial determines the number that is shown with conditions.

Try this example prototype with conditions.

Harness the power of dynamic interactions

ProtoPie’s formulas & variables are at the heart of dynamic interactions. This is one of the things that truly set ProtoPie apart from Figma or any other prototyping tool. By simply adding a formula to an interaction, a prototype instantly becomes dynamic.

Use formulas for dynamic interactions, for example,

Formulas and variables add a level of realism and dynamic to your prototypes. With solely wiring frames together, you wouldn't be able to.

Checking a bank account balance prototype, made with ProtoPie.
Checking a bank account balance prototype.

Make complex prototypes easily with ProtoPie’s list of events

Figma’s list of events is limited to ‘Type’ and ‘Duration’. This is fine for simple user flows and presentations. You simply:

  • Select the element in which you want to place a trigger.
  • Head to ‘Prototype’.
  • Click and drag.
  • Connect the two screens.
  • Change the click to drag while hovering.

But here’s the rub: if you want anything more complex, you’ll be waiting for eternity.

list of events and triggers of Figma vs ProtoPie

ProtoPie is different because it has an immense list of events.

See for yourself by hitting ‘Add Trigger’.

You’ll see six different categories: touch, conditional, mouse, key, inputs, and sensor.

The Foundational touch triggers include everything from tapping and pulling to pinching or rotating your phone.

More powerful are the Conditional triggers. You can chain a series of events or detect data inputted into components—for example, a user’s email address. There are triggers for where the mouse moves—over or out of an element. A trigger set on key presses. Sensory triggers, from voice and sound to phone tilt or compass.

Get the most out of smart device’s built-in hardware

You want your prototypes to interact seamlessly with the hardware they’re designed for. Take smartphones and tablets, for instance. They come jam-packed with a range of hardware features.

ProtoPie gets the most out of your device's built-in hardware, e.g., camera, microphone, gyroscope, and proximity sensor. Prototyping Instagram or TikTok-like apps, voice assistants, dictation apps, mobile games, and augmented reality (AR) apps—it’s all possible with ProtoPie.

TV prototype with voice prototyping features.
Thermal screening kiosk prototype with camera & sensors.

Learn more about camera, voice prototyping, and sensors.

Make prototypes work across multiple devices

We live in an interconnected world. UX isn't limited to a single device. People engage with a whole ecosystem of connected devices. Hence, designers need to be able to prototype multi-device experiences.

Examples of a wide variety of multi-device scenarios:

Gamepad integrated prototype.

Figma prototypes don’t allow you to go this far. To prototype the mentioned scenarios and use them for usability testing, you’ll need ProtoPie. If you actually think about this, there are endless multi-device scenarios that people face every day already.

Sharing & handing off prototypes

User testing is the ultimate burden of proof for any prototyping tool.

As we've already talked about, Figma is good for showing user flows between static screens because it makes it easy to see how users move from one screen to the next.

Figma allows users to save their prototypes on the cloud and the prototypes can be viewed and played on mobile and desktop. But that’s it. A user can view the prototype—in a similar way a user might have limited interaction with a series of powerpoint slides.

ProtoPie changes the ballgame, and here’s why. The user downloads their ProtoPie Player app, scans a QR code, and experiences the app as if it was real. The user can input their email address and see it saved on the next screen. Tilt the phone. Use voice activation. All code-free.

Moreover, when handing off your prototypes to engineers and developers, ProtoPie has interaction recordings. Let them know exactly what and how to implement and increase the value of your prototype even more.

interaction recordings developers handoffs
All the interaction specs your engineers needs on a single page.

Try this example interaction recording.

Use Figma & ProtoPie together

Figma is a good start but not enough when it comes to high-fidelity prototyping. To create realistic, lifelike dynamic interactions, you need ProtoPie’s essential prototyping capabilities.

For prototyping, you could make a choice between Figma and ProtoPie. But, why? You don’t have to make an ‘either/or’ choice. In fact, Figma and ProtoPie work best when used together as they each serve different purposes.

Use Figma when designing the UI of your product and flesh out ideas visually. Once ready, import your Figma designs into ProtoPie, and create dynamic, realistic prototypes. While iterating, go back and forth between the two as much as you see fit.

importing from Figma to ProtoPie

Explore the infinite horizons of no-code, high-fidelity prototyping today

Ready to benefit from the power of both Figma & ProtoPie?