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Key Takeaways from Figma’s 2024 Config Conference

Dscout’s product design team shares some of the biggest developments from the event, including what they look forward to in the future.

Words by Alfo Medeiros and Lauren Madura

In June, Lauren Madura and Alfo Medeiros from Dscout’s product design team joined 10,000 of their industry colleagues at Figma’s 2024 Config conference in San Francisco.

After a few days of learning, socializing, and getting inspired, they collected their thoughts to share key takeaways from the event.

Overall reaction to the event

Alfo: Config is a great place to meet new design friends—exchange ideas, learn, and just nerd out about Figma and the design world. Compared to last year, I thought the organization was much better. It was easier to navigate the Moscone center and get to talks on time.

Lauren: This was my first time at Config and I was absolutely blown away by the number of attendees, as well as the production level of the whole event. It’s truly impressive and you have to experience it in person to really get it. Config really harnesses the collective energy and creative spirit of people who just really love to love design. It’s unique and I’m happy to have experienced it.

Thoughts on the Figma re-design (UI3)

Lauren: Alfo and I were sitting together in about the tenth row of the keynote talk when Dylan revealed Figma’s redesign. We were both starry-eyed but agreed we’d have to play with the interface for a while to get a true feel for the updates.

Alfo: As with any major change in a tool we use daily, it has sparked some mixed reactions from the community. In general, we’re optimistic about the changes and can definitely empathize with the challenges involved with modernizing and simplifying a complex product.

Lauren: I attended a talk, How We Redesigned Figma, with the team that worked on the UI3 project. It was validating to hear more about the challenges of the project. Redesigns are hard, and we can definitely relate when it comes to updating our own platform.

Below is a picture from the talk where the team broke down the dichotomy that dictates all of their product and design thinking: Freeform vs. structured. Wow, does that feel relevant! I absolutely love the idea that something can be two opposing things at once. We contain multitudes and our products can too!

The dichotomy that dictates Figma’s product and design thinking: Freeform vs. structured.

Introducing Slides

Alfo: We’re really excited about the release of Slides. We design a lot of our presentations and presentation artwork in Figma today, so this product totally streamlines our workflow.

Lauren: We’re even exploring how our marketing and sales teams might be able to use Slides. We might be able to replace our existing deck creation tools altogether.

Hello, Figma AI

Alfo: Figma AI is here to stay! Personally, I love it and am convinced it will streamline a lot of tedious processes (I'm looking at you, Rename Layers). I’m especially looking forward to a future where the Make Designs feature can consume components from our design system.

Lauren: Like Alfo, I’m really excited about Figma’s new AI features. Rename Layers is probably my favorite. I think there is some tension between the evolution of our design tools (AI!) and the future of our roles as designers. AI is here and will impact our industry. I believe we’ll have to adapt the way we work starting now. What are machines best suited to do? What are human designers best suited to do? Where do we lean in, where do we lean out? These are questions we need to be asking ourselves.

Best talks to watch

Lauren: My favorite talk was Rituals to unbreak planning with Shishir Mehrotra (CEO and Cofounder of Coda) and Yuhki Yamashita (CPO at Figma). I appreciated the overarching theme about driving toward simplicity in the planning process. The talk was full of frameworks and metaphors that I found to be very helpful.

Alfo: It was fantastic to have all the design system talks scheduled on the same day and in the same room. This made it so convenient to enjoy all the incredible content without having to move around, and it allowed me to connect with so many component nerds throughout the day! I especially enjoyed The broken promises of design systems by Cam Worboys (Head of Design, OS at Cash App).

In conclusion…

Alfo and Lauren: Attending Config was an incredible experience for both of us. We left feeling inspired and energized, ready to bring fresh ideas and insights back to our team. The event showcased the passion and innovation within the design community, and we’re excited to see how Figma’s new features will enhance our work and challenge us to adapt to a new era of design.

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Lauren is the Director of Product Design at dscout.

Alfo is a Lead Product Designer on dscout's Product Team.

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