Streamlining Figma Libraries

Experiencing rapid team growth, we recognize the importance of efficiently managing Figma Libraries. These libraries form the core of the daily operations for our design team, which includes 15+ Product Designers. The team's extensive weekly use of thousands of components underscores the need for meticulous organization and maintenance of these libraries.

🚀 Challenge

The primary challenge was keeping the Figma Libraries clean, well-organized, and accessible. Initially, all components were housed in a single file, leading to accidental deletions, overrides, and misalignments. Additionally, the team grappled with decisions on component usage and sharing and managing components not intended for development.

🔑 Solution

Our strategy involved a bifurcated approach:

1. Splitting Components into Base and Pattern:

  • Base Components: Generic components developed and used in production, including UI kit elements and workflow-enhancing tools 🧰.
  • Pattern Components: Figma-specific templates and organisms designed to optimize Product Designers' workflows. Design teams individually manage these components 🛠️.

2. Structured File Organization:

Our Figma Design System files were reorganized into three categories:

  • Foundations 🎨
  • Base Components 📂
  • Pattern Components 🗄️

🏆 Outcome

This revamped structure led to significant enhancements in managing and utilizing Figma Libraries, evidenced by:

  • Clearer component ownership and responsibility 🛂.
  • Improved efficiency in locating and using components 🔍.
  • Facilitation of modular component creation, reducing design and technical debts 💡.
  • Continuous innovation and updates in the Playground file 🎨.

📚 Key Learnings

Key insights from this project include:

  • Clear Guidelines and Ownership: Establishing explicit permissions and ownership from the outset is essential, particularly for teams expecting growth 📋.
  • Library, Goal: Keeping separate libraries for distinct objectives helps maintain workflow efficiency and clarity 🎯.
  • Inclusive Collaboration: Engaging all relevant teams in synchronization efforts ensures smooth updates and uniformity 🤝.
  • Strategic Deprecation of Components: A thoughtful approach to component deprecation, based on usage frequency, helps maintain design integrity and user trust 🔄.