When we started building multiplayer capabilities in Figma four years ago, we weren’t positive that designers would embrace this new way to design. But we were motivated by the belief that design should be more open, cloud-first and on the Web. Thankfully, the community latched on and we’ve since seen big shifts in how designers approach their work.
Designers are opening up. They’re welcoming non-designers into their process. They’re co-editing with teammates. They’re sharing what they do and how they do it with the community. And they’re setting a new standard for the next generation.
So, today, Figma is evolving to make it even easier to open up the design process. As part of this, we’re introducing two new spaces in the product:
Our users are the bedrock of the Figma Community, so we knew from the start we could never build this alone. Much like with plugins, the space will come to life with all of your involvement, and we’re excited to see what everyone comes up with.
In our first release of the Figma Community beta, you’ll be able to choose which files you want to publish to your public profile. The first license we’ll offer will be the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. We’re interested in exploring other more restrictive licenses in the future and would love to hear your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s the start of a multi-month beta, because we have a lot to learn. Here’s some of the feedback we’ve heard so far from companies, schools, government organizations and independent designers.
We heard from companies like Slack that they’d like to publish a UI kit to help their partners build better Slack apps.
We learned that Dropbox wants to share culture kits for any design manager to use at their own company.
Unsplash wants to make it easier for designers to add beautiful avatars to their creations.
On the education and government front, we learned that the City of Chicago is launching a public design system for their citizens to remix with their own identity.
We heard from both Lambda School and Stanford d.school that they want to publish free learning templates.
We also spoke with a few independent designers, like David Kulakevich and Zach Grosser, to understand what kind of Figma profile they might create to complement their Dribbble and Behance portfolios. Zach runs his own presentation design business. He’s publishing a few of his most popular slide templates.
David also runs his own business, and he moonlights as an artist in his free time. A couple of months ago, David posted a painting he recreated in Figma on Twitter. He initially shared it to get feedback from his peers. In awe of his pen tool skills, the community wanted to learn how he created the piece. Dave replied with a video tutorial showcasing each individual layer. Now, he’s sharing his file on the Figma Community where everyone can view the source of what he’s created.
Finally, the Square Crypto team is another group we’re working with. They’re researching methods for contributing design as well as code to Bitcoin, and they want to do it in a way that respects the openness and transparency of the Bitcoin community. We’re working with them to explore how the Figma Community platform can help serve those needs and what functionality is required to enable design projects that stretch across company boundaries.
How to reserve your Figma handle: Sign up for the beta to create a public profile, reserve your handle and give us feedback on what you’d like to see in the Figma Community.
The other part of this community vision is to bring communal spaces into all your workspaces. Community is all about the people, yet design files historically have not been. We want to change that. Instead of navigating by folders and file names that are easy to forget, we’re re-orienting work in Figma to be centered on the people behind the file.
To help you and your teammates discover each other’s work and share all the context and updates you seek, we’ve redesigned the Figma workspace and re-architected how files are organized:
A note about feature roll-out: The new Project, Team and Organization Pages will be rolling out to all our users over the next week. Internal Profiles are available to customers on the Organization Plan now, and will soon be available to all users in a month.
This is just the start. In partnership with our customers, we’re excited to bring designers closer to their teammates and the broader community. We’d love to have you with us on this journey and can’t wait to see what you’ll create and share in the Figma Community. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us (@zoink @figmadesign on Twitter) to chat and share feedback.