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Figma Introduces a Redesigned Platform and New Generative AI Features

Figma, the website and app design platform, introduced a user interface (UI) redesign and multiple new artificial intelligence (AI) features, on Wednesday. The company is calling the new look UI3 as this is the third significant redesign of the platform since its launch in closed beta in 2016. Alongside, a suite of new AI features has also been introduced, including tools such as Visual Search, Asset Search, text and image generation, and more. One AI feature even turns static mocks into interactive prototypes. The new platform and features are being rolled out as a part of a limited beta.

Figma’s UI3 redesign

In a blog post, Figma said the older design was “becoming unapproachable to newcomers” and it wanted to introduce new ways to interact with user experience (UX) design elements that did not exist a decade ago. The new Figma UI3 comes with resizable panels and a slim new toolbar at the bottom of the canvas. Another major change has come to the layout options. All options including width, height, and Auto Layout have now been merged into a single panel.

figma new ui Figma New UI

Figma’s UI3 layout
Photo Credit: Figma

Figma said it was departing from its minimalist UI with sharp edges and abstract icons to focus on usability over decoration. With UI3, users will get backgrounds on inputs, borders around dropdowns, rounded corners, and 200 hand-drawn icons by designer Tim Van Damme.

Figma AI features

While the redesign is a significant addition, Figma has also introduced several new AI features to automate and simplify users’ workflows. The suite of features is called Figma AI, and the company is offering these tools for free during the beta period which will continue for the entirety of 2024. Here is a quick rundown of the notable AI features:

  • Visual Search — It will let users find and reuse designs by uploading an image and selecting an area on the canvas. The feature will also work by entering a text query.
  • Asset Search — The existing feature will now use AI to understand the semantic meaning and context behind search queries to find the most relevant components and assets.
  • Content Generation — Users will be able to generate realistic copy and images to fill out the pages to create engaging mockups.
  • Remove image background — As the name suggests, it will let users isolate subjects from images without the need to switch tools.
  • Make Prototype — It can turn static mockups into interactive prototypes, allowing users to see the flow of the interface at the ideation level.
  • Rename Layers — It will let users rename the layers with a single click. The AI will use contextual titles to rename them.
  • Make Designs — In the Actions panel, it will generate UI layouts and component options using text prompts. This can effectively generate the first draft of the design which can be edited manually.

Figma also highlighted that the generative AI features are powered by third-party, out-of-the-box AI models which were not trained on private Figma files or customer data. However, the company also highlighted the need to train AI models on Figma-specific design concepts and patterns. For this, it will let the Figma admins decide whether or not their team’s data is used to train the AI. The post further added that this decision will not affect whether or not they can use the AI tools. This optional training will come into effect starting August 15.

Both Figma UI3 and Figma AI are currently available in limited beta. Interested users can join the waitlist directly from Figma by navigating to the bottom and clicking the “?” icon.

Apart from these, Figma has also introduced a new presentation tool dubbed Figma Slides in open beta.


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