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Figma 2020 Wishlist

I have made many requests in the Spectrum.Chat community. Some are long standing, others have been completed. Here is my consolidated Wishlist for 2020.

Built In UI Components

Every designer I have ever worked with and every desktop application I have ever seen all have some common elements. Here is a short list:

  • Tables
  • Combobox
  • Modals
  • Trees
  • Bullet Lists (numbered and unordered)
  • Charts
  • Tabs

Can’t Figma have some of these built in and you customize them in your design system? It would make designing so much easier if you dragged on “Tabs” and they worked like tabs are supposed to work. It’s nearly impossible to make scalable tabs that overlap in Figma currently. The same goes for all of the other UI elements. If this tool is used to make user interfaces, then why is it so hard to make user interface components?

Tables should sort, re-order columns, and grab data from a Google Sheet. Charts should grab data from a Google Sheet as well. Trees should expand and collapse easily.

A First Class Design System File

It is so weird to me that you publish to the team library but you can’t edit the team library. You have to re-publish all the time. The elements can come from all over the place. We have an old design system and a new one. If you accidentally cut/paste from the wrong one is screws everything up. I hate it.

There should be a special file designated as a Design System. It should be organized to help designers make sense out of it. One obvious thing is in there is an Icon Library – see next.

Icon Library

I add icons to many parts of the UI. I want a first class Icon chooser. It should let me “tag” icons so I can search easier. It should show the icon in the search. Icons8 made a plugin, which is nice. But I think Figma should have something built-in.

Independent Stroke Control

This is pretty minor, but it comes up alot. You should be able to choose which sides a stroke is applied. Top, Left, Right, Bottom. We sometimes hack a 0px blurred shadow to achieve this, but it is clearly a hack.

Bounce Animation Easings

Easing options are good. I just want to add EaseOutBounce and EaseOutElastic. Those are nice. Should be easy, no?

Engineer Notes mode

We make prototypes for multiple people. There are the sales people who want to demo a new feature. They want it to be clean. On the other hand, there are engineers who want to see all the little notes. It would be great to have an engineering notes mode in the prototype where it would show a side-panel or sticky notes or whatever. I think a side panel would be great because it could double as a comments system with engineering. That brings us to the next item:

Better Comments System

The comments system is really hard to use. When I get an email, the picture doesn’t help me understand the context of the note. It never shows the thread of the discussion. Basically, I find it useless. Comments are important and it feels like Figma just phoned it in.

Folders for Artboards

I hate how disorganized my tree is. There are so many root level frames. I can’t find anything, nothing is grouped. It is driving me crazy. For terminology, I call a root-level frame an artboard. Otherwise, it’s confusing to call them frames because you can have sub-frames, but those do not have the same behavior. Only “artboards” can be prototyped.

All I am asking is to let me group (not frame) root level frames and they stay as root level frames and thus prototype linkable. This is a really big deal for me. I hate the tree right now.

Hover and Click Prototype on Same Element

This is kind of a simple use case. I have a link with a tooltip. How do I do that in Figma? It is impossible. I can’t hover and click on the same element. I imagine there is some technical reason, but as a user, it stinks. It means I need to add an engineering note to make sure they do it correctly. It leads to confusion.

Better Community Software

Normally, I am all over the forums of software I love. Unfortunately, the UX of Spectrum is so confusing that I stopped participating. It makes me sad because the potential is so enormous and the experience of using Spectrum is so bad.

Part of this is having a first class Feature Request board. Adobe XD does this extremely well. For the life of my, I don’t get why they stick with Spectrum.

Summary

Figma is innovating and delivering solid features at a fast clip. They hired many new engineers and hopefully they will continue to invest in speed, bugs, and customer success. I am on the bandwagon for 2020 and don’t plan on switching to Adobe XD or Framer X despite them both having concurrent authoring options.

Just keep in mind, designers are a fickle bunch. We get excited about new things.

Stay gold Ponyboy. Stay gold.

Outsiders, 1983

Whatya think?