A few months ago, Figma caught my attention. They wanted to gather insights into suggestions for small improvements from users, to boost the usability of Figma. Other designers were as keen as I was and submitted a lot of contenders. A few days ago, Figma announced the release of the Little Big updates to great excitement! If you haven’t had a chance yet to try some of them out, here are my favourites.
Sticky scrolling in Prototyping
I design a lot of complicated things. And it’s necessary within the flow to show the user the scope of the information they need to enter but also keep them focused on one task at a time, or I might have a super long page with lots of content and need to signpost where the reader is within the page or information architecture. Sticky scrolling, where you can keep multiple persistent elements on a screen, is fantastic for this functionality. And I can’t believe it has taken this long to deliver.
Background blur effects in overlays
I love an overlay. It’s another tactic I use frequently. For focusing a user on optional but required sub-tasks within a flow. Traditionally I’d have a transparent background behind it. Now that Figma has released this feature, blurred backgrounds on overlay models will work and it is magical! You need to create your modal with the background on the frame and it works out of the box.
I’m not a Photoshop expert but in my first design role, I used Photoshop and Illustrator for two years but did it very reluctantly. For years now, as I use Figma every day, it has been irritating enough to try to work out what “Darken” or “Color burn” might do to my image or how “Color dodge” is different from “Color burn”. Hallelujah! It is now possible to see a preview before you commit in the properties panel within Figma. I’m even more excited because I know this is a precursor to the highly anticipated Fonts preview.
Have you ever worked with someone else’s file or typographic styles and sometimes think the line height is annoying? This usually happens to me in buttons or other constrained containers. There's good news! The Vertical trim feature in Type settings on the latest version of Figma will let you trim your line height to the x-height for your buttons. Groovy, huh?
You don’t know how many times I’ve wanted lists that have been broken up into separate containers. This means that you have a numbered list that doesn’t start with one. It was impossible to do this in Figma before but now, totally possible and so great.
Desktop tab hover previews
Whenever I present my designs, I have to close a million tabs in the browser and within Figma. I haven’t always been organised and thoughtful about my filenames and I’ve inherited other people’s files at work so, desktop tab hover previews now save me seconds at a time when trying to locate the correct file. You can see a preview of the file's contents just by hovering over the tab.