All Issues

Issue #50

Branching. Schema Conference. No code.

It only fits that the 50th issue of the newsletter is the largest one so far. While on average every issue has about 27 links, this one is 41! Between the Schema conference, the release of Branching, and major updates to popular no-code tools, there are lots of good things to write about.

If you missed the Schema conference, this issue contains the most complete list of video recordings. They’re not listed on Figma’s YouTube yet, and some of the smaller talks and panels are not available in the event account. I gathered links from a few sources, so spread the word and enjoy great content! While I attended the online conference and watched the first few talks live, I still have to catch up with a few of the later talks.

Special thanks to Webflow for sponsoring Figmalion. Check out their Webflow Inspo newsletter for quality design and no-code resources.

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Issue #49

Figmalion 2.0. Copy and paste. FigJam’s dedication to delight.

Welcome to the new Figmalion 2.0β! Just a few weeks before Figmalion’s 2nd birthday and 50th issue, I launched the new brand and website. It’s not just a newsletter anymore, but the biggest knowledge base about Figma. All 1,325 links from the past issues have been organized by type and topics, so now you can browse for cool resources or dive into specific areas of interest like Developer Handoff or Design Systems. There is still more to do, but the new website forms a solid foundation for future updates and improvements.

Fun fact: the name “Figmalion” is a pun on Pygmalion, a legendary sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved. (There is also a really fun play based on this story by George Bernard Shaw.) That’s where the bust on the old logo came from, but eventually, I fell out of love with it. Meet the new logo by lettering artist Anna Chistyakova! I truly love it and hope it’ll stick for a long time.

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Issue #48

Schema conference. Accessible Palette. FigJam updates.

Happy Monday! Last week, Figma announced Schema, their new design systems conference. The lineup of speakers and agenda look great. I already applied to attend, but all talks will be recorded and shared the week after the event anyway. Looking forward to it!

👉 Speaking of design systems, I mentioned a new tool I’ve been working on in the previous issue. Accessible Palette is a free app for designing color systems with consistent lightness and contrast. It’s built on CIELAB/LCh color space and has some really useful features, like shifting Hue of the color range, checking contrast ratios against any color in the palette, or using an improved contrast algorithm from an upcoming WCAG 3 Working Draft. This tool was born out of a real-life project, and I believe it can be a huge help to anyone working on design systems or caring about accessibility.

🤓 See why the HSL/HSV color model sucks for systems work, WCAG 2.1 contrast ratios shouldn’t be trusted, and sometimes Figma isn’t enough in my article at Wildbit blog: Accessible Palette: Stop using HSL for color systems.

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Issue #47

FigJam plugins and widgets. Audio calls, cursor chat, and high-fives.

I believe this issue breaks all previous records for a number of major features shipped in two weeks. Just look at this list: FigJam plugins and widgets with custom objects; audio calls, cursor chat, and high fives; people mentions in the Community; updates to FigJam on the iPad; improved experience for admins of Teams and Organizations; and even a revision to the Education plan! I’m most excited to see what smart FigJam widgets the community will come up with — the possibilities are truly endless!

In August, I worked on a fun project of reconstructing the color system of Postmark and making it more accessible. That project involved a ton of research on color science, and I ended up building an internal tool based on HCL/LCh color model with built-in support for WCAG 2.1 and 3.0 contrast checks. Last week, I got a great opportunity to spend some time turning this internal tool into a public app. Can’t wait to write about the app and why the HSL color model shouldn’t be used for color systems!

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Issue #46

Move & swap components, designing icons, and community podcasts

Hello 👋 Figmalion is back to its regular biweekly schedule after a short summer break.

While August is usually the quietest time of the year, the last three weeks have been quite busy for the Figma community. First, a long-awaited feature was released — now you can move published components between files without breaking their connection! In addition, Figma shipped a few improvements to libraries and components. Font Awesome (which is shipped with Figma by default) switched their entire icon design process to Figma. Smashing Magazine published a guide on useful plugins. A few members of the Figma community were guests on the podcasts — check out conversations with Miggi and Gleb. Lastly, there are a few great tips on using components and organizing design systems. Enjoy the issue!

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Issue #45

Knockout shadows, versioning components, Tricycle, and HEIC importer

It’s only been a few weeks since Figma released whopping 30 quality updates to the editor, and this week they shipped another 9! While most of them are quite small, one was long-anticipated by the design community — shadows are no longer displayed through transparent areas of objects! This means they behave the same way as shadows in CSS, making developer handoff so much easier. Speaking of handoff, I’m excited to welcome Zeplin as a sponsor — I used it in my work in the past, and it’s a fantastic product.

The design community stayed busy as well. Greg Huntoon shared a smart and easy-to-use way to version components using Variants. Jordan Singer announced Tricycle, a set of design automation tools powered by AI. Pablo Stanley recorded his process of vectorizing sketches. Rogie released yet another plugin, this time for importing HEIC files. See all of that and two dozen other links below!

P.S. I’m taking a summer break this month, so the next issue will come out in 3 weeks, on August 23rd. A major update to Figmalion is in the works and getting close to being finished — can’t wait to launch it soon!

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Issue #44

Multiple prototype flows, new Microsoft emoji, and two Lokis

Last week, Figma shipped several nifty updates, the most exciting of which is added support for multiple flows in prototypes. Presenting before/after or alternative flows is much easier now!

Design community shared a lot of great tips recently – make sure to find time and go through them all! Microsoft released the new emojis, and they are beautiful – already available as a Community file, along with two other projects by their design team. If you’re into Marvel Universe, there are two incredible Loki artworks created in highly distinctive styles. If they inspire you to work on illustrations in Figma, Rogie King created a useful plugin for importing Procreate files straight to Figma, complete with layers, masks, and blend modes.

Enjoy the issue!

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Issue #42

Editor Quality Updates & iOS 15 UI Kit

Have you watched Apple’s WWDC this year? Some folks threw together a Keynote Watch Party in FigJam, which is yet another creative way to use this fantastic app. Joey Banks has already updated his massive UI Kit to iOS 15, which you can find below. Figma shipped a huge set of quality updates to the editor — 30 new features, improvements, and fixes! Make sure to review the community file to not miss anything.

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