July 5, 2023

Config 2023: 5 Really Important Figma Features Presented at the Conference

The next chapter in design will be the pervasive implementation of artificial intelligence, but there are already numerous interesting innovations in Figma available today

The next chapter in design will be the pervasive implementation of artificial intelligence, but there are already numerous interesting innovations in Figma available today

From June 21 to 22 in San Francisco, the long-awaited Config 2023 conference took place. During the event, Figma talked about the key capabilities the company is working on right now, presented an update of the UX platform for designers, as well as several new really important features.

Config is a very significant conference for the industry that Figma holds every year. It gathers not only designers, but also developers, product managers, and other tech industry professionals. The event discusses the latest trends in design and technology.

The 2023 Config conference was traditionally opened with a presentation of new Figma features and a discussion of the company's future plans. The platform's prospects are very promising. The main speakers of this part of the event were Dylan Field, CEO of Figma, and Kris Rasmussen, CTO of Figma.

Figma has become more convenient for both designers and developers. In the future, more and more platform tools will use artificial intelligence. At Focus21, we closely follow the latest trends in the tech industry and regularly participate in similar events.

1. Variables

An important innovation in Figma has been the introduction of working with variables

Today, design teams create application and website layouts for all popular operating systems, multiple screen resolutions, and a variety of languages. Moreover, software products today can also support a couple of theme designs that differ in colors.

To simplify the work on such products, variables were introduced in Figma. With them, you can quickly switch between different appearances of layouts. At the same time, they are located in one file, and changing their appearance is done by selecting the values of variables.

Today, variables in Figma can be numerical, textual, color, and logical. For each of them, you can set a name that will be understandable to all team members, and scopes have been implemented. Thanks to this, for example, switching between light and dark theme designs of an application can be done in one click.

It is important to note that plugin support and Figma API also support working with variables. This allows third-party developers to create tools for automation and more convenient interaction with variables. Variable values can also be updated from external sources.

2. Auto Layout

Designing interfaces for different resolutions is simplified

Designers have received new tools for working with the automatic arrangement of elements on the canvas. Now they can set minimum and maximum values for height and width. This makes it as simple as possible to design interfaces that automatically adjust to screen sizes.

There is also a Wrap feature to adapt design elements to the size of a given area on the canvas. With this feature, you can automatically move elements from a set to the next line if they all don't fit on one. This is especially useful when designing the mobile version of a product.

3. Advanced Prototyping

Creating prototypes has never been so simple

Design teams often have to design not only the appearance of products but also their prototypes. Until recently, this process was quite labor-intensive and not the most convenient. Sometimes it was necessary to use third-party extensions, but more often this task was shifted onto the development team.

Now in Figma's prototype creation mode, there is also support for variables. Working with them is similar to interacting with formulas in spreadsheet editors. For example, now a designer can specify a condition that the value of a variable should increase when a button is pressed. There is also conditional screen display.

Creating prototypes in Figma has become simpler and faster. No more need to spend too much time creating complex paths for transitions. Instead, you can automate the process with simple conditions and immediately test the result through a new viewing mode.

After implementing the innovations described above, teams will no longer refuse to prototype during design. Figma's innovations will help reduce the burden on developers, who will be able to focus on bringing the final version of the product to life, rather than the interim ones.

4. Dev Mode

The developer mode helps to obtain the necessary information about each element

An important innovation in Figma turned out to be the Dev Mode, which is currently in beta testing. This technology reduces the gap between the creation of software prototypes and their direct development. The new tools make it even easier to create and scale ideas.

The new mode of working with components is similar to a browser's inspector. Dev Mode will help developers get all the information necessary for the implementation of each block, including the grid, colors, resources, margins, and logic. The distances between elements on the canvas are now displayed even more clearly.

Figma has introduced support for popular developer services implemented as extensions. Many of these simplify teamwork without the need to switch to other apps. For instance, this applies to Jira, GitHub, Linear, AWS Amplify Studio, Google Relay, Anima.

Now you can view Figma projects directly in VS Code

Figma for VS Code extension has been released. With this extension, you can view the designs directly in the code editor, which should significantly accelerating the development process. These and other Dev Mode tools will be available for free until the end of 2023, with subscription options becoming available in 2024.

5. Enhance Overall UX

The Figma interface has become even more convenient

In the new version of Figma, the font selection window was updated, which made it even easier to search, filter, and select options from your collection. The developers also revamped the file manager, making data interaction of any type even more efficient.

The Next Chapter in Design

The next stage in Figma's development will involve the widespread implementation of AI

During the presentation that opened the Config 2023 conference, special attention was paid to the trends of widespread implementation of artificial intelligence. Figma is confident that tools based on neural networks will help designers do their work more conveniently and effectively.

With the help of artificial intelligence, designers will be able to get initial templates of elements, which can then be quickly refined to the desired result. Figma continues to form a team of machine learning specialists to create such features.

To strengthen itself in the field of artificial intelligence, Figma has acquired Diagram. This is a service that allows you to generate SVG icons, images, illustrations, and other elements, as well as create examples of texts for layouts instead of the classic Lorem Ipsum templates.

In the near future, Diagram features will become part of the Figma feature set. The service team will continue to work on new features based on neural networks. The active implementation of artificial intelligence, which everyone is discussing today, will be the next stage in the development of the platform.


Mykola (Nick) Hrytsaienko


UI/UX Design

Our Latest Thoughts on Technology

Message Us

Let's Get Started with Focus21

Our company is a space where ideas flourish and transform into reality.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Please input your email to submit the form.