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Look no further: New ways to search and provide context in Figma

Meagan Gamache

To bring better discoverability and added context into Figma, we looked to our home on the Web for inspiration. Today we’re excited to announce Universal Search and Links in the editor.

From the beginning, Figma has set out to facilitate a more open design process. In fact, it’s one of the reasons we built Figma on the Web—to create a space where design work is openly available to anyone with a computer and internet.

With over 50% of Figma users identifying as non-designers, designers have embraced working with collaborators across teams—developers, product managers, researchers, marketers, and beyond. To help these teams make the most of this open environment, we’re making it easier for designers and their stakeholders to find what they’re looking for. We’re also enabling designers to provide context and navigation within their files to help teammates understand their work.

Easily find what you’re looking for

Last fall, we reoriented the Figma workspace around designers and their teammates—allowing users to focus on the people and context behind the file instead of navigating by folders and file names. We introduced project, team, and organization pages as well as individual profiles, to help everyone understand the context around each project and make it easier to find each other's work.

Even with these changes we found that the more work you do in Figma and the bigger your team is, the harder it is to find what you’re looking for. To help with this, we’ve built Universal Search so that designers and their teams can more easily navigate their Figma workspace and find what they’re looking for.

Users have always been able to search for files in Figma. Now, they don't have to know the name of the file to find what they’re looking for—designers and their teammates can also search their workspace for projects, teams, people, and even private plugins. As a user types, they’ll see results in each of these areas, and can filter the results to focus on a specific category.

Users in the Figma Community beta will notice that their search results will also include community files, publishers, and plugins.

We’ve been rolling out Universal Search over the past few weeks, and it’s now available to all Figma users. For designers, this new experience will mean less time searching for work (for yourself, or to send to others!) and more time making. And for the rest of the team, a more intuitive way to find what you’re looking for and stay up to date on the latest design work.

Better navigation and added context

Beyond helping designers and their teammates find the files they’re looking for, we also want the files themselves to be easier for collaborators to navigate. Where are the latest designs? Are there early brainstorms I can look at?

Designers can now guide teammates through their work by including Links to any page or frame within their files. One way we’ve been using this here at Figma is by creating a clickable table of contents that orients any new visitor to the design file.

Another way links can be useful is to create an index of all relevant product docs and links in a single place. Design work doesn’t exist in a vacuum—it’s almost always part of a larger project with related docs and resources that provide necessary context but live outside of Figma. Is there a related product requirements doc (PRD)? How can I learn more about the user persona we’re building this feature for?

links gif

With Links, you can now bring this additional context into Figma, connecting the latest designs with relevant requirements and specs and allowing your design files to be the single source of truth for your project.

We’re excited for you to try out these new features. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning a bit more about how Links work in Figma (as well as a bit of trivia) check out our Links playground file.

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