I joined Figma in 2013 as the first designer and fourth employee. Over my years with the startup, I worked to define product direction, identify target users, and develop UX patterns as well as the visual style of the application. I had the opportunity to run user research studies, and worked closely with engineers to prototype and test thousands of different variables. I quickly learned the value of fast iteration cycles, the importance of working at the appropriate fidelity, and how to be our users’ #1 advocate.
Having the chance to build out a dream design team was unforgettable, and the most meaningful perk of joining such an early stage company. I served Figma as an advocate for design across the spectrum, from product, to branding, to the interior design of our office. It was my hope from day one that instilling a strong and true sense of design deep within the culture of Figma from the start would help the entire team better relate to our users – designers.
List of projects and decisions:
Web vs. Native Strategy
- Users are skeptical of web-based software
- Web-based gets team environment “for free”
- Expectations from other design tools
- Key commands
- Paths vs. Networks
- Fills and strokes
- Share files across a team
- Solve cold-start problem for new team members
- Eliminate need to sync across Dropbox or email
- Feedback in context of document
- Simultaneous editing
- Important to match expecations from other web-based editing environments, like Google Docs
Important to match expecations from other web-based editing environments, like Google Docs
The following is a selection of process work since the genesis of Figma.