5 ways to structure your workflow with Pages in Figma

Josh Dunsterville

Designers are constantly on the search for the perfect workflow, so they can spend less time organizing and more time designing. Alas, there’s no one path to design-lightenment. Every company, team and individual has unique needs, which is why we made Figma as flexible as possible.

We introduced Pages last year to add to that adaptability. With Pages, you can subdivide your design file into separate tabs on the left hand side, to organize your work in the way that makes most sense for you, whether you’re building a design system, making an app or freelancing for others.

There’s a lot of different ways to set up your files, so we asked people to share their own approach. Take a look for some process inspiration.

1. Platform or screen size

When you’re working on a product that’s cross-platform or responsive — i.e. it’s an Android, iOS and Desktop app — use Pages to separate your designs. That way, you can build your designs responsively using Figma’s frame presets and constraints. Each Page holds its own prototype, which makes it easy to run user tests for different platforms or screen sizes.

2. By feature in the app

If you’re working on a team with multiple designers and building an app with a lot of features, organize the sections of the product by Pages. That will allow you to work independently on a feature while still referencing the project as a whole. For example, one designer building the profile view of an app can easily check on what’s happening with the home screen design to stay consistent. You can test the flow for unique parts of the app by making a different prototype on each Page.

3. Stage of the design process

If you organize your Pages based on stage of the design process, other stakeholders can see how the work is progressing. Put finished designs on a Page labelled “Done,” and developers will know what they should be building (versus what you’re still tweaking). Stick early ideations and brainstorms on a different Page, so your polished work stays clean.

Some possible Page structures:

  • Thumbnail, wireframes, designs, archive — from Cameron McNab
  • Docs (reference materials, journey maps, other research), staging (where the messy work is done) and ready for review — from Nick McVey
  • Sitemap, wireframes, mockups, QA, screenshots for marketing — from Michael Robson

Or, go for pure simplicity:

4. Atomic design method

Already using the atomic design method for your design system? Put each building block of your design onto its own Page — atoms (typography or icons) in one, molecules (buttons) in another and organisms (full pages) in a third.

When you name the Pages that way, you can find any “button” you need when searching your Team Library, because they’ll all show up under the Page labelled button. That simplifies your layer panel. For example, you won’t need to name each individual component or instance “button-selected” or “button-hovered,” you can just name it “selected” or “hovered.”

5. The kitchen sink approach

Want the best of all worlds? You can change your approach to organizing Pages depending on the project you’re working on. Perhaps your overall design system can be captured in one file via the atomic method, and a particular app you’re designing could have its own file organized by OS Pages. Why not mix ‘n match to suit your needs?

And that’s a wrap for our Pages roundup! Did we miss any major use cases? Do you have a unique spin on how you organize your Figma files? Give us a peek into your process over on Spectrum.