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My favourite improvements from Figma’s latest Little Big updates

Figma announced the release of the Little Big updates to great excitement!

UX/UI Design
3 minute read 

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.

On-Canvas Preview

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.

Leading Trim

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?

Non-1 lists

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.


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The rest of a pretty great bunch

These are the updates that will make my day much easier but there are 32 updates in total and I know that you might be excited by some of the others released, so here’s the full list.

  1. New on-canvas previewing ability when you hover over Layer Blend Modes and more.
  2. The luminance mask is now supported. Learn more
  3. Multi-select for a better find and replace/edit experience. Learn more
  4. Leading trim to cap text boxes height to baseline. Learn more
  5. Number lists no longer have to start with “1”.
  6. Punctuation such as quotations and brackets can hang outside the text box. Learn more
  7. Search for your file when you start a new tab on the desktop.
  8. Find what you're looking for with file previews on the desktop tab hover.
  9. Experience new trackpad haptics in the desktop app.
  10. Bold, italicise, and add links to your comments.
  11. Stay updated on file comments with consolidated notification emails.
  12. Right-click to quickly move and consolidate projects.
  13. Component property features like exposed nested instances are now defaulted on for everyone. Learn more
  14. Additional component property features like preferred instances are also the default for everyone. Learn more
  15. During resizing, the image snaps the moment aspect ratio is perfect. You can also hold Ctrl to temporarily disable all snapping.
  16. Select a specific fill layer to paste and replace with images or videos without overriding all fills.
  17. Re-align images even while in editing mode.
  18. Easily align non-instance layers relative to nested instance(s). Learn more
  19. Right-click on rulers to quickly remove them and all vertical guides. Learn more
  20. You can now apply library updates to a single instance or style.
  21. SVG importing has improved, including support for clip paths and bug fixes for the extra path segments issue.
  22. Use Fetch API for your plugin to simplify network requests. Learn more
  23. Use createImageAsync API for your plugin to easily create images. Learn more
  24. Photo-booth widget now shows a mirror image.
  25. There's now a transparency fill option for FigJam shapes.
  26. You can set the default colour for FigJam shapes from the toolbar.
  27. We've added some animation effects to differentiate FigJam stickies from shapes.
  28. Elements can now stick to the top when vertically scrolling in prototyping. Learn more
  29. Archived frames are now selectable in prototyping settings.
  30. Background blur effects on overlay frames now display correctly in prototypes.
  31. Prototyping links (i.e. from other pages) can now open in the same tab.
  32. Don’t forget you can now multi-create prototyping noodles.

Why don’t you check them out and let me know which ones are your favourites?