Figma celebrated five years since its public launch! Before that, a small team been working on it for over three years. Dylan Field wrote an excellent essay, “Meet us in the browser”, on their choice of the platform, the initial negative reactions, and a cultural change it delivered. Figma also ran its biannual Maker Week, and while the event is internal, I collected a few publicly shared projects and experiments.
I’m taking some time off during the holidays, so the next issue will be sent on January 4th, 2021. Happy holidays! 🎄
P.S. Readwise is one of my new favorite apps, and they’re currently looking for a Principal Product Designer. Passion for Figma is one of the requirements! They didn’t pay me to share this, but as a user I have skin in the game and want them to find someone great 😎
Prepare for a range of communication roles with skills like UX, UI, and HCI. Specializations content strategy, communication with data, or learning design.
Text color now defaults to white when typed on a dark canvas.
Scroll to selected objects or layers within the same top-level frame.
Use scroll interactions to create fast navigation of your designs. This playground will walk you through everything you need to know to help users explore landing pages, carousels, and more.
Sebastiaan Schillebeeckx quickly recorded a tutorial on using Scroll To in prototyping. BTW, great choice of the book on his desk! 😉
As soon as Figma releases something new, Miguel Cardona comes up with a great use case.
Using the power of AutoLayout 3 to build a table with reorderable and resizable columns and rows.
A comprehensive list of Figma plugins for an overall design process.
A few plugin recommendations for working with content and data from the team at Simple Thread.
A new video by MDS.
Pablo Stanley released the first chapter of his Figma Crash course with five videos on Auto Layout.
A new video in Rogie’s short video series.
Miguel Cardona with a good tip: use Cmd-Shift-\ to hide the Layers panel, and Cmd-\ to hide both panels when sharing a screen.
And another tip from Miguel for making simple animated spinners.
Nifty little time-saver.
It’s not clear from the video, but all it takes is a double-click anywhere on a text frame.
A smart hack that can be useful with Auto Layout. (In the last issue, I included a different solution.)
I haven’t tried it myself, but know that many people desperately want it. It’s a side project made by Giel, so the app is different from the official client.
Martin Bekerman shows a mind-blowing illustration made 100% in Figma. Here is a community file.
Look at the process of creating this artwork in the 2nd tweet! Also, check out this poster reusing both illustrations.
Justin Mezzell with a complex circuity illustration with lots of neon glow.
Another incredible illustration by Joey Lamelas.
🌎 Cup Icon
What a fun application of Variants!
This Community template by Vic includes 9 different 3D shapes, each in 10 color variations, that could be used in your designs.
FontBot automatically generates your very own font from a single shape, line, or object.
Beautiful holiday-themed cards made in Figma.
Bureau Gorbunov is one of my all-time favorite design companies. Its designer Sergey Chikin has been drawing a new icon every day for over three years, and now this set is available as a plugin. 266 icons are completely free, and the commercial license includes over 1,200 icons.
Dylan Field introduces four “houses” on Day 1 of Figma’s biannual Maker Week.
Seems like the Haus of Jorts has won this competition!
Toni Gemayel runs an open design experiment to collaboratively create 100 patterns.
Alex built a plugin concept to automatically generate missing variants and add labels.
Sawyer Hood made a plugin that runs a Gameboy emulator inside of Figma and renders the output as vectors to the canvas. Not available in the community yet, but the source is already on GitHub.
Another Maker Week project — a plugin to play Asteroids with friends.
A fun team exercise to express themselves.
Great essay by Dylan Field on their decision to build Figma in the browser. "Initially I didn’t understand the negative reactions to Figma’s closed beta launch. I only saw the obvious benefits: a single source of truth for files, cross platform support, and multiplayer editing. Now I understand that the power of the browser lies in the broader cultural change it delivers — and this change can be scary. The browser is natively multiplayer. It forces a mindset shift on access. It strips away the need for expensive hardware. And it pushes us to embrace working together, especially when we are blocked and our default might be to hide.”
In this guest post Kylie Poppen, Design Lead at Google, shares a framework for thinking about the 90,000 hours that make up your career — whether you’re looking for a new role, hiring for your team, or just evaluating your next step.