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How does Figma expand its enterprise user base after bottom-up adoption by designers?

Matthew Moore

Head of Design at Lime

Matthew: I can speak to what I've seen at Lime. Our team of designers is pretty resource-constrained, so we have to be very selective about the things that we do. Some of the historical asks that teams would have for a design team, we can't support them the way that the business necessarily needs. So we really strive to create files, repositories and libraries that the other teams can use so that we don't block their work. Figma is a phenomenal place to do that, especially with product design work. We just give them editing access. They're not product designers, but they can take, they can borrow and they can repurpose for their needs. I'm sure there is a lot that we're missing on a quality perspective with the work that these folks are putting out, but I think it's worth it for what they're trying to do, which is not often consumer-facing work. This is work that's getting in front of third parties, cities that we partner with, etc.

Another thing that we've benefited from is that going from something like Google Slides to Figma is not that big of a leap in certain areas. I'm thinking specifically about our product managers -- we encourage them, if they want, to go into the Figma file and edit it. I know that there are lots of teams out there that have content designers and UX writers that are doing the same thing. A Figma file becomes much more than just a series of mock-ups. It's more than a replacement to something like Sketch, because it is the place where product decisions are made now. I'll open up a file and see product managers in there, designers, certainly engineers -- anyone in a tech organization, you'll find them in there and interacting with these files, just as a source of truth.

Especially with Sketch -- where no one had Sketch except for designers -- there was a cost of process of exporting mock-ups to Google Slides to create design documentation. There are benefits to doing design documentation: it really helps clarify your thinking and makes you feel more confident with the decisions that you've made as a designer, almost like a double check. But every time I feel like, "Maybe I'll pull these mock-ups out of Figma and put them in the Google Slides," it's like, "No, why am I going to waste my time doing that? People have access to this. They can comment on it. I've laid it out in a way that there's a flow that people will understand. It's a narrative." So it really reduces a lot of communication challenges and redundant work, and then enables others to be able to use the product for their own needs and to move the business along.

I think FigJam is also interesting. I don't know if it needs to be a separate product for them, since it's very similar to the Figma editor -- maybe it's a simplified editor to an extent. I joined a meeting the other day, and there were product managers and engineers doing a quarterly brainstorming session and they had FigJam open and didn't talk to the designer at all to get going with that. They'd seen us using it, and once they saw it, they were comfortable and just ran with it. I was so delighted. I told them, "This is really awesome that you all have done this. You're doing a design thinking exercise in FigJam and there's no designers here."

It's going to be interesting to see how they evolve and where their next step is. Do they grow the core products to meet these different use cases, or do they continue to introduce separate products to do that? I'm not sure.

Sacra: It does seem that Figma is going broader with FigJam, trying to get everyone in the company to use it. And I hear what you're saying is that FigJam is bringing PMs and non-designers into Figma.

Matthew: Absolutely.

Find this answer in Matthew Moore, Head of Design at Lime, on Figma vs. Adobe
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