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Creating CSS Animations from Figma Prototypes

Published on: June 19, 2023

Creating smooth and interactive user interfaces is often the cornerstone of modern web development. CSS animations play a crucial role in providing an engaging user experience.

Leveraging these animations allows you to take static HTML and CSS elements and breathe life into them, making your websites more engaging and intuitive. Coupled with the powerful capabilities of a tool like Figma, the possibilities for design and animation become almost limitless.

In this guide, we will provide a comprehensive walkthrough of how you can use Figma and CSS to create stunning web animations, transforming your concepts into a living, breathing reality. So, without further ado, let's get started:

What are Figma and CSS Animation?


Figma is a web-based design tool that has become an industry favorite for digital creators. Its vector-based approach and collaboration features offer a seamless design experience.

Figma's cloud-based nature eliminates the restrictions of local file management, while its real-time collaboration feature is like Google Docs for design allowing multiple designers to work simultaneously, marking a revolution in design workflows.

From wireframing to prototyping, Figma covers all aspects of web design, making it an ideal tool for creating intricate animations.

CSS Animation

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a style sheet language used to design web pages. It controls the visual aesthetics of a web page. Among the arsenal of features offered by CSS, animations hold a unique position.

CSS animations allow you to animate almost every CSS property, enabling the transition from one CSS style to another smoothly over a specific duration. They offer a high degree of control over timing, easing, and iterations without relying on JavaScript or other technologies.

This means that CSS animations are versatile and efficient, providing designers and developers a straightforward method to introduce motion into their web interfaces.

Understanding CSS Animations

A CSS animation is defined by two key components:

  • @keyframes Rule: This rule defines the animation and specifies the animation's behavior at each stage (keyframe) of the sequence.

  • Animation Properties: These are properties that control the animation's behavior when applied to an element. These properties include animation-name, animation-duration, animation-timing-function, animation-delay, animation-iteration-count, animation-direction, animation-fill-mode, and animation-play-state.

CSS Animation Syntax

The basic syntax for creating a CSS animation is as follows:

@keyframes animation-name {
    from {css-styles;}
    to {css-styles;}

element-selector {
    animation: animation-name animation-duration animation-timing-function;

A Simple CSS Animation Example

Here's an example of a simple CSS animation that changes the background color of a div:

/* Define the animation */
@keyframes change-background {
  from {
    background-color: red;
  to {
    background-color: yellow;

/* Apply the animation */
div {
  animation: change-background 2s linear;

In this example, change-background is the animation-name, 2s is the animation-duration, and linear is the animation-timing-function, which specifies the pace of the animation.

Multi-Stage CSS Animation Example

CSS animations also allow for multiple keyframes, letting you create more complex animations:

/* Define the animation */
@keyframes move-div {
  0% {
    transform: translateX(0);
  50% {
    transform: translateX(200px);
  100% {
    transform: translateX(0);

/* Apply the animation */
div {
  animation: move-div 2s ease-in-out infinite;

This example creates an animation named move-div that moves a div 200px to the right and back to its original position. The animation is set to repeat indefinitely.

Generating CSS Animations from Figma Prototypes

Now that we have learned how to create animations in CSS, let's focus on how to best approach the conversion of figma prototypes to animated web pages:

1. Understanding the Figma Prototype

Before even writing a single line of code, it's essential to thoroughly understand the prototype you've designed or received. Explore each element, understand its behavior, animations, and interactions in the context of the whole design. Look at how elements transition from one state to another, how they respond to user actions, the timing, easing, and sequence of animations. This analysis will lay the groundwork for generating CSS animations.

2. Extracting Design Specs from Figma

Figma allows you to access design specifications, making it more straightforward for developers to match designs exactly. This is an invaluable tool for turning a design into a functioning website.

Open your design in Figma and switch to Inspect mode. Here, you'll find the design specs laid out in detail. This includes color values, typography (font family, size, and weight), elements' dimensions, and the entire design's layout.

Make sure to note down all these specifications carefully, as they are the foundation of your HTML/CSS conversion.

3. Translating Figma Design to HTML

The next step involves laying down the structure of your webpage using HTML.

For each design element in your Figma frame, create a corresponding HTML element. This includes elements like headers (<header>, <h1> through <h6>), paragraphs (<p>), links (<a>), images (<img>), and so on.

Ensure you create a clean, semantic HTML structure. Semantic HTML makes your code easier to read and improves accessibility and SEO.

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4. Styling with CSS

Once your HTML structure is ready, it's time to style it. Style each HTML element to align with the design prototype using the design specs you extracted from Figma. Pay special attention to details like dimensions, colors, and typography. Use CSS grid or Flexbox for layout styling to ensure responsiveness.

5. Creating CSS Animations

Now comes the exciting part - creating animations. The CSS @keyframes rule is your magic wand here. It allows you to create animations and control their intermediate steps. Using the @keyframes rule, you can define what happens at each phase of the animation timeline.

In the case of complex animations, you should use JavaScript in conjunction with CSS. This combination allows even more control and interactivity than CSS alone.

Wrapping Up

So far, we've seen how CSS animations and Figma can make web design more exciting and user-friendly. We've learned to turn static Figma designs into dynamic CSS animations.

Using CSS animations with Figma lets developers build websites that are more engaging and nice to look at. Pushing the limits of these tools can lead to even more impressive results.

So, keep learning and experimenting. With these skills, you can make your web designs stand out.

Happy coding!