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Figma declares large redesign with AI

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Figma is saying a bunch of recent options at its Config convention at present, together with a significant UI redesign, new generative AI instruments to assist folks extra simply make initiatives, and built-in slideshow performance.

Let’s begin with the redesign, which is meant to “lay the inspiration for the following decade,” based on a weblog publish. You’ll see issues like a brand new toolbar, rounded corners, and 200 new icons. As a part of the design refresh, the corporate desires to “focus the canvas much less on our UI and extra in your work” and make one thing that’s approachable to new customers whereas nonetheless being helpful to Figma specialists.

Figma’s “UI3.”
Picture: Figma

Figma says that is the corporate’s third “vital redesign” since Figma’s closed beta launch. The brand new look is rolling out as a part of a restricted beta, and customers can be a part of a waitlist in the event that they wish to attempt it out.

Past the redesign, the headline characteristic addition is new generative AI instruments, which appear to be a helpful strategy to rapidly get began with a design. They’re mainly a Figma-focused model of the “draft an e mail”-type AI instruments we’ve seen many occasions.

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In a briefing, Figma chief product officer Yuhki Yamashita confirmed me an instance of how Figma might create an app design for a brand new restaurant. Just a few seconds after he typed the immediate right into a textbox, Figma mocked up an app with menu listings, a tab bar, and even buttons for supply companions like Uber Eats and DoorDash. It appeared like a generic cell app mock-up, however Yamashita was capable of begin tweaking it instantly.

In one other instance, Yamashita requested Figma AI to spin up a design for a recipe web page for chocolate chip cookies, and certain sufficient, it did — together with an AI-generated picture of a cookie. Over Zoom, it appeared like a fairly correct picture, however I can’t think about {that a} primary picture of a chocolate chip cookie is difficult for an AI generator to make.

Figma can be introducing AI options that might assist pace up small duties in large methods, resembling “AI-enhanced” asset search and auto-generated textual content in designs as a substitute of generic Lorem ipsum placeholder textual content.

Ideally, all the new Figma AI instruments will enable people who find themselves newer to Figma to check concepts extra simply whereas letting those that are extra properly versed within the app iterate extra rapidly, based on Yamashita. “We’re utilizing AI to decrease the ground and lift the ceiling,” Yamashita says in an interview with The Verge — one thing CEO Dylan Discipline has said to The Verge as well.

Figma AI is launching in a restricted beta starting on Wednesday, and customers can get on the waitlist. Figma says the beta interval will run by way of the tip of the 12 months. Whereas in beta, Figma’s AI instruments might be free, however the firm says it might need to introduce “utilization limits.” Figma can be promising “clear steering on pricing” when the AI options formally launch.

In a weblog publish, Figma additionally spelled out its method to coaching its AI fashions. “All the generative options we’re launching at present are powered by third-party, out-of-the-box AI fashions and weren’t educated on non-public Figma information or buyer information,” writes Kris Rasmussen, Figma’s CTO. “We fine-tuned visible and asset search with photographs of person interfaces from public, free Group information.”

Rasmussen provides that Figma trains its fashions so that they study patterns and “Figma-specific ideas and instruments” however not from customers’ content material. Figma can be going to let Figma admins management whether or not Figma can prepare on “buyer content material,” which incorporates “file content material created in or uploaded to Figma by a person, resembling layer names and properties, textual content and pictures, feedback, and annotations,” based on Rasmussen.

Figma gained’t begin coaching on this content material till August fifteenth; nevertheless, it is best to know that Starter and Skilled plans are by default opted in to share this information, whereas Group and Enterprise plans are opted out.

The corporate is probably going being particular about the way it trains its AI fashions due to Adobe’s latest phrases of service catastrophe, the place the corporate needed to make clear that it wouldn’t train AI on your work.

Along with the redesign and the brand new AI options, Figma is including a doubtlessly very sensible new instrument: Figma Slides, a Google Slides-like characteristic constructed proper into Figma. Yamashita says that customers have already been hacking Figma to discover a strategy to make slides, so now there’s an official methodology to construct and share displays proper contained in the app.

There are a couple of Figma-specific options that designers will possible recognize. You’ll have the ability to tweak designs you’ve included within the deck in actual time utilizing Figma’s instruments. (Be aware that these modifications will solely seem within the deck — tweaks gained’t at present sync again to the unique design information, although Yamashita says that Figma desires to make that potential finally.)

You too can current an app prototype proper from the deck, which means you don’t must make a convoluted display screen recording simply to show how one piece connects to a different. You too can add interactive options for viewers members, like a ballot or an alignment scale, the place folks can plot on a spread in the event that they agree or disagree with one thing.

Figma Slides might be accessible in open beta starting on Wednesday. It is going to be free whereas in beta however will develop into a paid characteristic when it formally launches. The corporate can be including new options for its developer mode in Figma, together with a “prepared for dev” job checklist.

This 12 months’s Config is the primary since Adobe deserted its deliberate $20 billion acquisition of Figma following regulatory scrutiny. With the dissolution of the merger, Adobe was compelled to pay Figma a $1 billion breakup charge.

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