5 min read

What’s New in Figma? A 2021 Recap

Figma introduced a lot of new features in 2021 that can help designers bring their imagination to life. Here’s a quick recap of all the new features that were introduced as a part of the Figma new update.

Firstly, let’s address why Figma is so popular with designers.

Figma design app is a web-based interface design tool that promotes collaboration, iteration and documentation throughout the design process. It has slowly become the best choice for bigger and more distributed design teams. This is because Figma has the potential to support the entire design process from beginning to end. From creating a sketch, collecting feedback, collaboration, to prototyping, and developer handoff are all easily achievable with Figma new features. It simplifies the work of product managers and design leads as well as other stakeholders.

New in Figma

FigJam

Figma’s biggest update this year was a white boarding tool called FigJam. A separate tool and brand from Figma design, FigJam allows users to brainstorm and iterate together in an infinite whiteboard experience, complete with a voice service. FigJam allows anyone in the organisation to get involved and share their ideas.

FigJam functionality includes sticky notes, emojis and drawing tools, as well as shapes, pre-built lines and connectors, stamps and cursor chats. FigJam works seamlessly with Figma, so components or other design objects created on FigJam can easily be moved to Figma. 

It is a truly robust brainstorming tool that makes it easy for your entire team to get involved in the collaboration process. It allows you to:

  • Use sticky notes and shapes to share and categorise thoughts and ideas
  • Use the marker tool to draw freehand, annotate the screen or jot down quick thoughts
  • React with stickers, stamps and reactions to flag questions or upvote ideas
  • Seamlessly copy and paste between FigJam and Figma, so everything stays in one place together

With these tools, teams can build diagrams, map out user journeys, analyse results and much more. FigJam also has a large number of plug and play widgets and plugins that extend what’s possible. These plugins and widgets range from productivity tools like plugins that automate repetitive tasks, to widgets that let users play games like dice or even embed content like videos and docs.

Figma is doing even more to make FigJam accessible with the introduction of Open Sessions. Open Sessions allow users to invite anyone to a jam session for a 24 window without a login.

In February 2022, FigJam will also see a price cut. Since there has been a barrier with regards to price, pro plans will decrease from $8 per month to $3 per month per person.

Branching and Merging

Branching & merging

This Figma update 2021 allows designers who are updating the design system for example to branch out and do their work and then merge that work with the existing design system, rather than updating a shared component or resource and affecting everyone else’s workflows.

Audio Calls

Audio calls

This tool allows users to discuss files on audio calls with collaborators rather than having to leave the app and use Zoom or Google Meet.

Up to 500 collaborators

You can now add up to 500 people to collaborate together on the same file.

Prototyping

Prototyping

Build better prototypes much faster with interactive components with this update. Create reusable, sharable interactive components for your design systems and prototypes.

You can also compare, test and present multiple interactive ideas from a single page.

Mobile App

Mobile app

Figma now has a mobile app that allows you to share files and prototypes – from anywhere with anyone. When you update the mobile app, you get a better workflow between Figma and your mobile preview. View your files and prototypes directly on mobile.

Figma Community

Figma community

Figma Community has now moved out of Beta. Now anyone can be a part of Figma Community. Share new work, a helpful template or a cool trick with the world.

Bulleted and Numbered Lists

You can now use bulleted and numbered lists to get your point across. Use them to organise information, emphasise important details or outline next steps.

Connect All Your Figma Accounts Together

You can now seamlessly switch between different Figma accounts and also link different Community profiles together

Connect with Fellow Creators

Connect

Now you can communicate with fellow creators in the Figma Community via comments. Give in-context feedback on files. You can even suggest feature ideas for plugins. 

Faster Navigation

Faster Navigation

This new prototype action allows you to scroll to a selected object or layer in the same top-level frame. Use same screen interactions to help users easily explore landing pages, carousels and more.

Design and Prototype Seamlessly with Figma and Framer

The new Framer integration enables design teams to import Figma files into Framer web for more advanced prototyping.

You can now add external links to product documents to provide your team with additional context. You can also include links to pages and frames to guide them through your page.

Universal Search makes it easier for designers and collaborators find what they’re looking for in Figma. You can now search your workspace for projects, teams, files and people.

Zeplin Integration

With the new Zeplin plugin, you can now export Figma frames, components and styles to explain for a more seamless developer handoff.

Variants

Bridge design and code with variants. Organise your design system with Variants so that even the most complex components are structured intuitively. Combine variations of the same component and simplify your asset library.

Conclusion


The Figma design system is an advanced yet user friendly and intuitive tool that has endless capabilities that make it easy to tackle the entire digital design process. Its unique collaboration and iteration features make it the best choice for individual designers and teams alike. 


Published by Venky Hariharan

Lead UX Designer

Venky

Venky Hariharan Lead UX Designer