This Thursday I am attending Config, Figma’s one-day conference. I’m still new to Figma so I plan to go into the event with the intent to soak up as much knowledge as possible about the highly-praised and widely adopted design tool. I have been very impressed with Figma so far. While it has taken time to shake off old habits I now have a fairly solid baseline understanding of how the tool works. The vector tools are great. Components and auto-layout are my jam. The browser-based nature of the tool has all of my love. Performance has been top-notch and the speed at which updates are issued and new features rolled out is encouraging. I’m excited about Figma Community and what that will enable for the design community. The future for Figma is bright indeed.
Being part of a small team, my workflow is fairly simple. Prior to working at PCPartPicker my design process was far more formal as most of that work was client-services based or part of a larger agency of project managers, designers and developers of all levels, management and other assorted specialities. Now my process is a lot more individualistic. I no longer build out full comps and layouts for review or approval. I spend as much time in a code editor as I do a design tool, if not more so. We’ve found that due to our size we can iterate quickly and directly on the templates we’ve built, essentially designing in the browser, as we push towards a stable-state ready for production. As I’ve watched apps like Figma blossom, I’ve often wondered if and how a tool like it could have a home in our workflow.
Design Systems have also arrived in a big way over the past few years. With the Design System methodology being a foundational ingredient of Figma’s magic sauce, I’m planning on taking inventory of our system and incorporating it into Figma so that we have a better birds-eye view of what we’ve built, what works, what can be better, and what needs to go. And with shareable files a browser-link away, it makes it dead easy to distribute this system to the rest of the team as reference.
There are so many talented people attending and speaking at Config that I’m sure I’ll have no issue having enough takeaways to use after my return. I am specifically interesting in hearing from others working solo or members of a small team like myself. In general though, I’ll be paying close attention to:
- How designers setup and maintain their Design Systems in Figma
- Time-saving/clever methods of using components and plugins
- Unique ways designers are using Figma to get the job done beyond it’s obvious role as an interface design tool
- How designers manage the interchange between a Figma doc and coded templates
- Any large design team wisdom nuggets which can be applied at a micro level
If you’re attending Config and want to chat, please come up and say hi. 👋 See you there!