Pain, Gain and Figma Connect

Is it possible to be more coordinated about changes in a design process? Yes. Figma Connect makes it easier for all roles in the company to stay up to date.
21/03/2021 - Figma Connect

Want to test out our new app? Check out Figma Connect on Atlassian Marketplace.

If you are a designer, you have probably experienced frustration when someone in the C-level presents the latest functions for a service – and views an outdated design. In fact, it might not look the same at all!

And if you are a developer, you have probably started working with the wrong design. And as the designer happens to go by your desk, they stop up and start with a: “I think that’s an old design..“. Continuing with an “I’ll find the right one and send it to you right away,” and then they’re gone, like poof! As a designer, I can tell you why we run when these things happen, we have a guilty conscience. We know that it’s most likely our fault because we forgot to send over the latest version. 

Because design and development is an iterative process, there is no doubt that changes will happen. It’s a reason for all the files named “final_v.7” and “superfinalfinal.” The team will build new insight, and the team has to make changes based on this. There will also be faults in the design that need to be addressed. Either there is an error in the text, or you have to change the user flow.

The software we use should reflect this. Product owners, developers, testers, and others should have access to tools that help them become a part of the design process. These tools should provide the information we need in a simple way.

Figma + Confluence Cloud = Figma Connect

Many firms today use Figma as their design tool of choice. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this tool – It’s like Google Docs but as design software. It’s nice to have something that works smoothly and is synchronized regardless of user, and of course, device. Figma is an excellent tool for cooperation. Here you can see the changes in real-time, and several people can work in the file simultaneously. It’s also a perfect tool for handing over designs because it’s always up to date. 

But Figma doesn’t solve all the frustration in a design process.

For instance, as the designer on the team, I have experienced several times that some manager needs my latest work for a presentation – in an hour. These are often important meetings where they discuss which team will get more money or a meeting to convince stakeholders. It can be a bit frustrating when you are in the flow working on something else, but of course, you look up the design and export it to an appropriate format and send it over. Then you need to get in the flow again. It’s said that you need at least 20 minutes to context switch like this and get up to the same efficiency. This can be quite a lot of time through a week or month. 

On the other hand, we have the manager. Who is tired of fussing over designs for presentations and scared to enter the advanced design software. Actually, it’s pretty easy to use, but many of us are terrified to break something when we are unfamiliar with the software. This is totally natural! To skip the part of asking for the design and being dependent on the designer being available would be much more efficient than how many do it today, ourselves included.

We also know that all of us would rather do things in the tools we use daily regardless of profession. Learning new software or opening extra software even if we know how it works can be an agony. So to be able to do the things you need, where you are, is essential. 

I think we all can agree that we just want to do our job, what we are educated in, hired to do, and love.

As a designer, I want to design as much as possible and everything included in this process. Diving into Figma and experimenting with different solutions, interviewing people, user-test, have workshops with the team, the list goes on and on. What’s not on the list is exporting design and keep documentation updated. It’s not like I refuse to do these things, but let’s be honest – it’s boring…   

As a developer, I bet you want to dive into the code, make things work with as few lines possible, push it, and hope the branch doesn’t break. Yeah, I know there are several other things you would rather do than work on an old design because the designer forgot to send the new one. 

Can we do something about it?

As I said with Figma, this problem is not a big issue anymore because it is a cloud solution, and everything is updated and synchronized at all times. But the files are getting bigger, way bigger! Cause the designer keeps working in the same file, and it just growing month by month. Usually, we say it’s for history, but it’s also because some of us suffer from erasing anxiety, myself included. So if the designer doesn’t send you a shortcut to the artboard, your new pain is to hunt down the correct artboard. Happy hunting!

Big Figma project with many screens

If you aren’t a developer or designer, chances are you haven’t been much in Figma or another design software lately. As a manager or a team lead, you want to control the process and be more self-helped when exporting your images to presentations.

The list goes on and on. Maybe you think of some examples yourself right now?

Anyhow, our experience with these pains and situations got us thinking – can we do something about it?

Yes. We call it Figma Connect

We have named the app Figma Connect. And we hope it will help engage all roles throughout the company to become part of the design process. Figma connect also supports FigJam, which launched recently.

Preview of Figma Connect app in Confluence

If you work in a place with Confluence Cloud and Figma, you can test the app for free. You can also get a 100% discount on the first 3 months if you sign up by June 30 by applying the discount code L4IRDC.

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