Introducing: Figma’s first API Challenge

Josh Dunsterville

Update 11/19/18: Given the concerns raised by our community, we decided not to move forward with any version of this challenge for now.

Update — We’re pressing pause on the challenge and hope to relaunch in the next couple of weeks. Read more here.

Today we’re announcing our first Figma API Challenge — with $15K in prizes for the winners — to incentivize our community to create the best possible Figma to Sketch converter.

That’s right — we want to make it easier for everyone to export their design files straight to our competitor…not harder. It may sound crazy, but Figma is committed to building an open design platform. With this Challenge, we’re putting our money where our mouth is.

Designers work in many different ways — with an array of stakeholders and clients — and shouldn’t have to worry about switching between tools on projects. We’ve had Sketch import available since we launched, so this is a natural evolution of Figma’s design ecosystem.

Sketch export is the first Figma API Challenge, where we invite designers and developers to experiment with Figma’s functionality. After seeing the amazing things people made with our read API, we wanted to start rewarding people for open-sourcing what they create with the broader community 💪. Stay tuned for future Challenges.


Each submission to the challenge will be evaluated on both objective and subjective criteria. Judges will look at how well exporters transfer two files of Figma objects into Sketch:

  1. 1st file = basic level objects
  2. 2nd file = type, components, styles, and prototypes

Although we expect the former to be easier to import — there’s a clear “right” and “wrong” way to do it — the latter file may be trickier. Each of the objects in the second file don’t necessarily have a 1:1 relationship between Figma and Sketch, so the exporters will be judged subjectively. How easy is the exporter to use? How creative is its approach to porting the design over?

The judges will weight these different factors in their review and provide a total score. For example, 5% of each submission’s score will be based on the quality of its code and GitHub documentation. To see the full-breakdown of score weighting and judging criteria, go to the Figma API Challenge rules here.

The first place winner will receive $10K as a token of our appreciation, and the 2nd place winner will receive $5K.

You can work in teams of up to 3 to build the integration, and the contest is open to anyone over the age of 21 in most countries (see exceptions here). Projects should be submitted via this Google form with a link to a GitHub repository containing a readme file and the MIT License.


To select the winners of this Challenge, we looked for judges who have both a strong design background and a history of building plugins, tools and resources for the community. Here’s the roster:

Emily Plumme

Emily is a Design Systems Engineer at GitHub where she works on Primer and is building out a React based component library. She enjoys creating tools for designers and engineers, designing APIs and keeping up with all the new fancy things in the JavaScript world.

Raph D’Amico

Raph is an interaction designer at Google, formerly of Timeful, Jawbone and Massive Health. With a background in behavior science, he is obsessed with system thinking and using design to nudge, cajole and create the architecture for people to succeed.

Cat Noone

Cat is no stranger to helping designers build better experiences for the world. With a focus on design accessibility, she’s the founder of Stark, a color-blind simulator and contrast checker, and Lyra, a symbol-to-speech app for autistic children. Read more about her passion for design accessibility here.

Roy van Rooijen

Roy is a Berlin-based designer who works at design agency IXDS. He keeps himself busy with side projects like Sketch Runner and organizes events like the upcoming Design Tools Hackathon 2018 in Tel Aviv.

The Challenge will run from October 2nd, 2018 to November 16th, 2018 at 11:59pm (PST). We can’t wait to see what our community comes up with. DM me (I’m Figma’s online community manager) on Twitter if you have any additional questions!