Collaborating and connecting in FigJam

Last week, we launched a timer in FigJam, allowing you to start, stop, and pause activities as a team. There are so many ways to work collaboratively in FigJam, so we talked to Figmates across the company to learn how they come together in the file. Below, we’re sharing insights from the product, engineering, and research teams on how to meet, connect, and work in FigJam—together.

After over a year working remotely, we’ve found a new home for virtual activities and meetings in FigJam. While we first built FigJam for brainstorming and ideating, we’ve found new ways to bring the magic of in-person meetings to the activities we run online, including stand-ups, research and synthesis, retrospectives—even offsites.

Stand-ups in the browser

Visibility and context are key to keeping the team on the same page. Figma’s Editor Platform team stays in sync by holding a daily stand-up. Product Manager Bersabel Tadesse created a virtual stand-up template that’s similar to the one she uses with her engineering partners. While the PM team has their own template for in-depth, weekly team meetings, this one is uniquely built for a quick, daily check-in.

In the morning, teammates gather in the file together and add stickies to track current and recent work, plus any blockers or issues they may need to problem solve. Each FigJam stand-up file acts as an artifact of a single day, making it easy for the team to understand their progress across time.

Synthesizing feedback

It’s natural to think of FigJam as primarily a tool for jotting down quick thoughts or generating ideas, but our research team enjoys it as a place to connect over deep concepts. Researcher Vanessa Van Schyndel uses FigJam to help Figmates tighten product feedback loops around FigJam. (Meta.)

Previously, the Figma research team used spreadsheets to track product feedback from Figma users. If a Figmate had questions about a piece of feedback, they would have to leave a comment on its cell in the spreadsheet. Beyond being difficult to manage, the process made it nearly impossible to draw group insights outside of synchronous conversation, leading to long meetings and tons of spreadsheet searching. With FigJam, Vanessa and the research team can not only track user input, but also create a space for cross-functional partners to comment, ask questions, and engage more deeply with the material.

A matrix created by Ollie Ronaldson of The Value Engineers

Above is one of multiple matrix templates Vanessa and the research team use. In this one, Figmates fill up with takeaways from a research report concerning different archetypes of FigJam users. Recently, Vanessa invited leaders across Figma’s design, engineering, and product teams to read the report and fill out the FigJam file on their own before meeting to discuss the research together.

Reviewing work and sharing credit

We recently shared how the PM team runs retrospectives in FigJam. Other teams follow the same template, including what went well, areas for improvement, shout-outs, and ideas for future building. In a recent retrospective including engineering, design, and product management, Engineer Karl Jiang noted that FigJam creates a low barrier to entry for people who are shy about giving feedback. This is the real power of FigJam stickies—auto-labeling provides an advantage for widespread teams with varied levels of verbal participation: in FigJam, everyone's contributions are automatically visible from a quick scan.

It is easy to find yourself in the weeds in a retro, so the FigJam timer comes in handy for facilitators who want to keep retros moving at a steady pace. On Karl’s team, every Figmate takes 15 minutes to provide thoughts for each topic by placing stickies all over the matrix.

Retro done in FigJam across engineers, designers, and PMs

Celebrating team culture

Beyond the work, FigJam has become a natural place for Figmates to celebrate and hang out. Teammates have created and circulated birthday cards for one another, hosted speed-drawing competitions, and played board games together.

To celebrate the launch of FigJam, the marketing team spent an hour with a cartoon artist who taught them how to quickly sketch llamas. A llama named Cadbury guest-starred on Zoom while the team drew together using the pen tool—weird, but we loved it.

Llama drawing in FigJam!

Now, FigJam’s built in timer allows the whole team to stay engaged, productive, and on the same page—adding a new layer to activities in FigJam, whether for work or for llamas.

Learn about the timer in FigJam, and check out templates from the Figma Community to get started with stand-ups, retrospectives, architecture diagrams, and more.