After being introduced at Config 2023 last June, Dev Mode will move out of free beta on Wednesday, January 31. Last week, Figma showed improvements and features they’ve been wrapping up before the release. Annotations are a big one — “designers can share additional context, specs, and measurements that are connected directly to designs, and developers can easily see designers’ notes as they work, ensuring that they don’t miss any crucial callouts during handoff.” Teams that did this manually will save a ton of time and effort. (As the top comment on Reddit suggests, flow arrows are a missing piece for annotations and something I’d love to see brought from FigJam.)
The compare changes modal was redesigned to show diffs both visually and in code. This is one of my favorite features, and I wish it wasn’t limited to the Dev Mode. I duplicate frames to riff on ideas all the time, and the compare view is an incredible tool for reconciling the differences between the two versions.
Enterprise customers can set plugins to run by default in Dev Mode for all files in their organization — “for example, you may want to check that you’re using a design system correctly, show links to design systems documentation, include information about internal APIs to use, or confirm whether a design uses components that already exist in your codebase.” Finally, the Figma for VS Code extension was redesigned to run plugins and improve the navigation and discoverability of design files. Instead of having to pan around a large canvas, you can easily select from a grid of frames and see frames individually with a focused view.