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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!