Folks, it’s a big day around here! For the last few months, I’ve been working on a book about Figma and finally ready to talk about it publicly. “Designing in Figma” is a complete guide to using the app and designing with reusable components and styles. It dives deep into every topic and filled with tricks that I collected while writing this newsletter. The book is coming later this summer, and it would mean a lot to me if you help spread the word and subscribe to updates.
P.S. I’m trying a new format in this issue. Instead of grouping links by source, I organized them by topic. Let me know what you think on Twitter or by replying to this email.
Figma’s VP of Product Yuhki Yamashita and special guests recap recent releases and give a few sneak peeks for what’s coming soon.
A beta channel for the desktop app is now available — you can run it side-by-side with the existing stable desktop app.
You can now turn off the Figma toolbar and footer in Presentation View without going full screen.
Nice update. Duplicating files just to see what’s inside was quite annoying.
Figma Raises $50M in Series D
Dylan Field: “Today, I’m excited to share that Figma has raised a $50M Series D round of funding, led by Peter Levine and Marc Andreessen at a16z.”
Andreessen Horowitz: “Figma puts all the pieces together, and into more than the sum of those parts. What used to take four or five discrete tools can now be done end-to-end in Figma, the single source of “truth” for product design and design systems. [...] Their community has taken off with a product-led virality that I haven’t seen since GitHub — extending beyond product designers and into product managers, marketers, and engineers.”
Forbes: “But Figma also plans to use the money to consider acquisitions and “acquihires,” in which a company will purchase a startup not for its intellectual property, but for its talent, as part of Figma’s next phase of expansion.”
“A spokesperson told TechCrunch that this deal was “opportunistic,” and that the company was in a strong cash position pre-financing. The new funding expands Figma’s runway during these uncertain times, with coronavirus halting a lot of enterprise purchasing and ultimately slowing growth of some rising enterprise players. “ Also interesting: “Field also added that he has not met other investors in this round in person, and the vast majority of the deal was done over Zoom.”
Good tips on creating custom transitions, handling and organizing multiple flows in a prototype, and communicating during developer handoff.
Ramy Majouji, Product Designer at Glossier, and Joey Banks, Designer Advocate at Figma, show how they use Auto Layout and other features to speed workflows up.
Helena Jaramillo from Coda and Silvia Tueros-Cossio from Stash share how they convinced their developers to join them in Figma and what that collaboration looks like.
Figma’s Designer Advocate Rogie King continues streaming the process of designing a cocktail recipe app. This part focuses on typography, colors, and style, while Part 3 brings at all together with additional views, prototypes, and transitions.
Great collection of tips and tricks from the community.
An interesting thread on how Analytics can help make informed decisions when changing the design system. Too bad it’s available only on the Organization plan.
Great demos of the most popular animations.
Switching to Figma
Because of COVID-19, the design team at YML had to adjust quickly to a new reality of remote work. They switched from Sketch to Figma as so much of their work relies on collaboration, and now their team shares why.
Airbnb’s chief design officer Alex Schleifer talked to TechCrunch. An interesting insight into how Figma helped them ship new features while working remotely: “We like to use as few tools as possible, but Figma is a game changer because people can see decisions being made live.”
Building Tools for Figma
Cory Etzkorn shares his experience with building Faker plugin. Overall it’s a good summary of work involved in shipping Figma plugin.
Alessio Calvo talks about fears and motivation for building his first side project, Artisan Kit for Figma.
Part 1 covered color palettes, typography styles, and shadows. In this part, Marc talks about icon sets.
Finds detached component instances in your document, so you can decide what to do with them.
Designer Advocates Tom Lowry and Rogie King talk about their favorite Figma plugins. Here is a list of all discussed plugins.
Short tutorial on syncing live spreadsheet data using Google Sheets Sync plugin. Part 2 covers ordering data, hiding cells, and swapping components.
Framer Web team shows how to move from visual design to interactive prototyping in minutes, thanks to their recently announced Figma importer.
Zeplin redesigned their Figma plugin, improving export experience and solving some of the performance issues.
The Microsoft team just published four files of icons and components for their open design system, Fluent, on Android, iOS, and web.
A collection of components for designing tables.
Project showcasing and explaining The Unigrid System, created by Massimo Vignelli for U.S. National Park Service.
No idea how that will work, but seems really interesting.
A description of how Figma calculates font metrics, for font foundries and type designers.
From the Headquarters
Noah Levin, Design Director at Figma, dives deep into their day-to-day operations — meeting cadences, rituals, and anything else that helps the design team stay connected and efficient.