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Figma Play and Learn

Creating community and supporting designers during the pandemic, while also improving engagement and adoption of the Design System

Role

Design lead

Friend

Cheerleader

Team

2 co-op studenets

Scope: On-going, weekly

Risk: Artificial creation of community can feel awkward and may be a deterrent. Producing content and presenting it weekly requires good planning, time management and an ongoing commitment to the project.
 

Concerns: Our Visual Designers are busy busy people. Often, prioritizing learning new features and and enhancements in our chosen design tools can feel like it slows down our work and takes away from time on-product.

Process: Starting in the summer of 2021, each week I would work with my co-op students (2 at a time) to develop a training session highlighting either a feature/enhancement in Figma, a tutorial on using Design System components or a tutorial on some part of our design process. The co-op students then present the tutorial as a hands-on workshop to 5-12 Designers at a time. Workshops were created and presented in Figma. They were documented in a way where if you couldn't make the call you could work through the session asynchronously. Additionally we recorded the sessions so they could be easily reviewed.

Outcome: This was one of the most unexpectedly rewarding experiences of the last couple of years. It was wonderful to see the growth of (a variety!) of students and it really helped create connection among designers who would be silo'd on product requirements without this call. The call, which started primarily with a North America focus has been rolled out to our India teams as well, who work through the same material on a team call at a more agreeable time. 

Training (1).png

Figma components

 

When we started our sessions we started with the absolute basics in Figma: correct use of Frames, resizing, and constraints. As we progress each week we expand the features and processes we cover.

Team Frame.png
modals.png

Breaking out of brand

By allowing designers to play and learn without the constraints of brand and the design system we found a greater engagement with the material and the meetings. The designs became not just a place of learning but also of wit, cheekiness and fun. It was much needed and strengthened our team in terms of both morale and skills. ​

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