The Most Exciting Updates Announced at Figma Config 2023

Ewa Hendrychowska

28 June 2023

Last week, I attended Figma’s annual design conference, Figma Config, to learn about all the innovative updates they’re bringing to the platform. 

As a senior UX/UI designer with added experience in visual design content and web development, I’m used to pushing Figma to its limit to help drive projects forward. 

At Altar, Figma is an essential part of our product creation process. It’s the ultimate meeting point for almost all stakeholders involved in the project: the design team, the managers, the clients, the developers, the product team and many more.

Figma has always been a fantastic tool to craft, share and iterate on designs. But with such a diverse range of people working on a single project, communication can sometimes become a hurdle. 

For this reason, I was delighted to learn that the focus of Figma Config 2023 was to optimise their design tool to make it accessible for all. 

This will bridge the gap between design, product, development teams and non-technical stakeholders, allowing the delivery of projects to be faster and more seamless. 

At Config 2023, Figma announced a whole host of new features from tiny, quality-of-life improvements like Font Picker and Flex-Wrap to actual beasts like Dev Mode (which I’ll get to in just a second). 

If you want a full rundown of all of the features, you can find them here.

In this article, however, I’ll be focusing on the two that I’m most excited about. 

They’re the two features that, in my estimation, will be spot-on to solve the everyday pains we face in our product team.

Contents

Improved Prototyping 

Prototyping Spaghetti in Figma
Let’s face it, the prototyping spaghetti is real

At Altar, much of our work focuses on helping entrepreneurs turn their startup visions into product reality by building an MVP. As part of this process, we often need to build a clickable prototype which is as close to the real-life experience as possible before moving on to development. 

This gives our clients the chance to see their product and test drive the journey their future users will take.

Prototyping is also beneficial as an internal tool. It helps the team to understand the product’s logic in a much better way – as well as spot dead ends and inefficiencies.

Needless to say, the ability to do this before the development stage is extremely advantageous and saves all stakeholders involved in the process both time and money. 

With that said, before the recent update to prototyping announced at Figma Config 2023, managing more complex prototypes was painful and, as the picture above shows, can result in an unreadable mess of digital spaghetti. 

Now, with the new advanced prototyping function (which includes gems like conditional logic, variables, mathematical expressions and much more), we will have the ability to deliver interactive previews that easily visualise product ideas. 

Figma's Advanced Prototyping update

Or as Figma so aptly put it, we can build “high-fidelity prototypes using fewer frames – no noodles needed!

Daniel, CEO of Altar, Product and Software development company specialising in building MVPs, full custom software development projects & creating UX/UI that is both functional and beautiful
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Dev Mode

Until now, Figma has been optimised for designers who usually feel at home in the various nooks and crannies it offers. 

However, I’ve often seen coders struggle with Figma. 

Bringing a project to life almost always requires some back-and-forth between designers and communicating design changes throughout the product life cycle is often far from perfect. 

That’s all going to change with Figma’s new Dev Mode and VS Code Figma plugin. It’s a feature I’m very excited about as it will help the designers better understand the structure of the project.

Moreover, it will allow us to track the design version history as well as import all of the necessary specs, measurements and assets from Figma directly to the code editor. 

We hope that this, combined with yet another new Figma feature, variables, I estimate that the dev mode will make product development and shipment a more delightful experience for all stakeholders.

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What’s Next for Figma?

On top of all the new features announced, we also know that Figma is making strides to enhance its tool with AI capabilities with the acquisition of Diagram

Given the direction the industry as a whole is moving in right now, I’m sure we’re going to start to see AI-powered features sooner rather than later. 

And with the controversies happening at the junction of creative work and AI, I’m certainly curious to see Figma’s spin on it. 

Thanks for reading. 

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Ewa Hendrychowska
UX/UI Designer
Ewa is a Senior UX/UI Designer at Altar. She’s a versatile creator who’s passionate about making all moving pieces of a project work smoothly together. Infinitely curious, Ewa can balance users’ needs with business requirements, efficiently communicate with all people involved in a project, and mercilessly push Figma to its absolute limits (and beyond).

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