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Five predictions for Config 2023, Figma's Annual Conference 🤫

Author avatar
Zsofia Komaromi | Product & Community
6 months ago


As Config 2023, Figma's annual conference, draws near, the buzz in online design communities is palpable. This global event, slated for June 21-22, is a goldmine of insights, training, and discussions led by the brightest minds in product design and development. One of the most thrilling parts of Config is the unveiling of Figma's significant product updates. Last year, for instance, the Figma team rolled out powerful enhancements to the auto layout, component properties, and much more.

his year's edition promises to reveal some exciting announcements that Figma has been keeping under wraps. Based on recent launches, popular community requests, and a thorough review of the 2-day event’s agenda, we've made five predictions for the upcoming announcements.

1. Token management goes native, no plugins required

Many companies we’ve collaborated with and product design communities we’re part of use Token Studio for Figma alongside their Figma design system. This approach has proven effective for managing color and style tokens, especially when juggling multiple themes.

Once UI 2.0 Knowledge base
Being able to reference styles within other styles in Figma could really smooth out the tokenized workflow and let us wave goodbye to 3rd party plugins.

This year, we anticipate a shift in this landscape as Figma is likely to announce native support for managing tokens. This feature, a frequent request within the design community, was a hot topic during Figma’s last product announcement, Little Big Updates 2023. The introduction of a native solution in Figma would be a game-changer, offering a more streamlined approach to design system scalability by allowing us to have a hierarchical style structure with referencing values. It’s a feature we would incorporate into Once UI to make color and style customization more efficient and facilitate theme swapping.

In addition to native token management, we also anticipate Figma to support more token types, such as border radius, to ensure a more consistent design aesthetic.

Once UI 2.0 Knowledge base
Border radius tokens would be a very cost-efficient improvement from Figma that would be a very useful addition to design systems.

2. Bringing CSS principles to style management

Style management is a critical aspect of any design system, and we're expecting Figma to introduce some exciting new features in this area. With these updates, we foresee designers working more like developers, applying styles in a manner similar to writing CSS.

  • Stacking styles
    The ability to stack styles would probably be the simplest, yet very effective improvement to the style management of Figma. This feature would allow an item to have multiple styles, like a shadow and a blur, or multiple fill layers using different styles, offering designers greater flexibility and depth when crafting design elements and improving the maintenance and consistency of designs.
  • Native theme management
    Think about how much easier life would be if we could manage themes (like light and dark modes) right within Figma. It'd be a great way to streamline our design process and guarantee that we're on point across different viewing modes. Now, let's take this a step further. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could set these themes at the frame level? This way, we could show off different themes all in a single file, skipping the hassle of juggling multiple libraries or wrestling with library swapping. We're keeping our fingers crossed that Figma makes this a reality.
    Once UI 2.0 Knowledge base
    Native theme management and frame-level themes would be a game-changer in a tokenized design workflow.
  • Gradient stopping points
    We're hoping for the ability to incorporate colors from styles directly into gradient stopping points. Just imagine how handy this could be! Let's say you're crafting illustrations using your brand colors. With this feature, your illustrations could dynamically update whenever you tweak your tokens. It's such a simple feature, yet makes a huge difference and opens up exciting opportunities!

3. Superior prototypes, still without code

We expect Config 2023 to roll out some high-level prototyping features, including an upgraded prototyping viewer. Right now, there's no way to set your prototypes' default view options – like making hotspots vanish when clicking on non-interactive elements, or having the prototype automatically match the window's width. These settings should really be decided by the prototype creators, because they know their designs inside and out.

Furthemore, many websites use a header, and right now, the default overlay pops up and covers interactive header elements when you move your cursor near the top of the screen. This is one of the most frustrating issues with the current prototyping window, but we're hopeful that the Figma team is already on it and we'll see this issue addressed in their upcoming release.

4. Designing with AI

As AI integration becomes a common theme across various industries, we're keen to see how Figma plans to tap into this trend within its design system framework. Companies like Galileo are already pushing the boundaries with text-to-image technology, and we're intrigued to see how Figma could use AI to take the design process up a notch.

But let's not get carried away here. Yes, AI can seriously speed things up and smooth out our workflows, but it's not perfect. While we're definitely stoked about the possibilities AI brings to the design table, we need to stay savvy. AI is great for tackling the mundane, repetitive tasks, but when it comes to the need for critical thinking, nothing beats a human touch.

5. Bridging the gap between design and development

Figma is renowned for its collaborative features, and we're anticipating further improvements in this area. Enhanced documentation and tools for designer-developer collaboration could streamline the design process, fostering more efficient communication and reducing the time from concept to implementation.

One feature we're hoping for is an improved inspect panel that show us the code equivalent of design components, complete with props and customizations. It'd mean developers could cut back on the documentation deep dives and whip up UIs in less time, all while maintaining design- and code consistency. We can't wait to see how Figma continues to innovate, making our lives easier and the design process smoother.

Once UI 2.0 Knowledge base
Copy-pasting code equivalents of components from Figma could elevate the design-to-code workflow to new heights.

Once UI 2.0 is here, with a 40% sale before Config 2023

Big announcements aren't just for Figma: Once UI 2.0, our upgraded design system for Figma, is finally here! Once UI is designed to empower you to rapidly create, test, and refine a broad spectrum of design solutions. It's a developer-friendly design system that enhances collaboration and boosts your creative workflow.

Once UI 2.0 Knowledge base
Check out what’s new in Once UI 2.0 and get it with a 40% discount before Config 2023.

See you at Config 2023

So, mark your calendars for Config 2023. To stay up-to-date and join the conversation on Config, join Once UI’s design system community on Discord. We look forward to seeing you there!

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