Figma, the browser-based UI design and prototyping tool, is giving users public profiles to share design files and works in progress. It’s part of a multimonth beta test of the new Community platform that’s launching today. Figma Community is meant to be a supplement rather than a replacement for portfolio sites like Behance or Dribbble as the point is for users to share files to their profiles and show the design process like layers and vector paths that make up a piece of work. Users can choose which files they want to be published to their profiles, which can be accessible for others to view, remix, and learn from.
The announcement blog post highlights companies that are part of the closed beta launch, like Slack and Dropbox. Slack envisions use cases like sharing UI kits for third parties to build better Slack apps, and Dropbox says it could share culture kits for managers to use internally. Figma also worked with institutions like the city of Chicago, which is publishing a public design system for citizens to use, and the Lambda School, which aim to publish free learning templates.
Besides being a place for companies to share entire design systems and kits, Figma’s community profiles can also work on a smaller scale for designers to learn from each other. For example, a few months ago, designer Dave Kulakevich shared a video of his process of re-creating a painting in Figma. With the community profiles, he can now share that project file on his page, opening it up for users to view the layers themselves and pick apart each component of the painting to see how he created it. Figma says published works will be covered under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, but the company is still exploring other licenses during this beta period.
It feels a lot like Glitch, the collaborative coding site that encourages users to remix apps, or GitHub or Medium, for designers. But Figma co-founder and CEO Dylan Field is hesitant to use the Medium analogy just yet. “On Medium, when you publish work, there’s sort of a finality to it. My hope is that Figma will be a place where people work openly,” Field told The Verge.
Keeping with the Community theme, Figma is redesigning its platform to be centered on team members instead of folders and files. Project Pages serve as a central hub for teams, housing pinned files, notes, and links. Team and Organization Pages show which users are working on which projects, and Internal Profiles show the most recent files the user has contributed to. The new workspace features will be rolling out to everyone this week, while Internal Profiles will be available to customers on the organization plan first and rolling out to everyone in a month.
Though relatively new at around three years old, Figma has quickly established itself among competitors like Sketch and Adobe XD. Its standout feature, Multiplayer mode, is like Google Docs for design, letting team members collaborate in real time on project files that are hosted in the cloud. “One thing we’re seeing on teams, is that people are sharing design process in a much more open way now,” Field says. “They’re sharing work in progress, they’re getting feedback earlier, involving more people in the process and getting better results faster. And so our hope is that people will start doing that publicly as well.”
Figma has three pricing plans, ranging from a free starter plan, a $12 / month professional plan, and a $45 / month organization plan. Users who want to try out the beta for Figma’s Community profiles can sign up here.