Figma is announcing a bunch of new features at its Config conference today, including a major UI redesign, new generative AI tools to help people more easily make projects, and built-in slideshow functionality.

Let’s start with the redesign, which is intended to “lay the foundation for the next decade,” according to a blog post. You’ll see things like a new toolbar, rounded corners, and 200 new icons. As part of the design refresh, the company wants to “focus the canvas less on our UI and more on your work” and make something that’s approachable to new users while still being useful to Figma experts.

Figma’s “UI3.”
Image: Figma

Figma says this is the company’s third “significant redesign” since Figma’s closed beta launch. The new look is rolling out as part of a limited beta, and users can join a waitlist if they want to try it out.

Beyond the redesign, the headline feature addition is new generative AI tools, which look like a useful way to quickly get started with a design. They’re basically a Figma-focused version of the “draft an email”-type AI tools we’ve seen many times.

In a briefing, Figma chief product officer Yuhki Yamashita showed me an example of how Figma could create an app design for a new restaurant. A few seconds after he typed the prompt into a textbox, Figma mocked up an app with menu listings, a tab bar, and even buttons for delivery partners like Uber Eats and DoorDash. It looked like a generic mobile app mock-up, but Yamashita was able to start tweaking it right away.

In another example, Yamashita asked Figma AI to spin up a design for a recipe page for chocolate chip cookies, and sure enough, it did — including an AI-generated image of a cookie. Over Zoom, it looked like a pretty accurate image, but I can’t imagine that a basic image of a chocolate chip cookie is hard for an AI generator to make.

Figma is also introducing AI features that could help speed up small tasks in big ways, such as “AI-enhanced” asset search and auto-generated text in designs instead of generic Lorem ipsum placeholder text.

Ideally, all of the new Figma AI tools will allow people who are newer to Figma to test ideas more easily while letting those who are more well versed in the app iterate more quickly, according to Yamashita. “We’re using AI to lower the floor and raise the ceiling,” Yamashita says in an interview with The Verge — something CEO Dylan Field has said to The Verge as well.

Figma AI is launching in a limited beta beginning on Wednesday, and interested users can get on the waitlist. Figma says the beta period will run through the end of the year. While in beta, Figma’s AI tools will be free, but the company says it might have to introduce “usage limits.” Figma is also promising “clear guidance on pricing” when the AI features officially launch.

In a blog post, Figma also spelled out its approach to training its AI models. “All of the generative features we’re launching today are powered by third-party, out-of-the-box AI models and were not trained on private Figma files or customer data,” writes Kris Rasmussen, Figma’s CTO. “We fine-tuned visual and asset search with images of user interfaces from public, free Community files.”

Rasmussen adds that Figma trains its models so they learn patterns and “Figma-specific concepts and tools” but not from users’ content. Figma is also going to let Figma admins control whether Figma can train on “customer content,” which includes “file content created in or uploaded to Figma by a user, such as layer names and properties, text and images, comments, and annotations,” according to Rasmussen.

Figma won’t start training on this content until August 15th; however, you should know that Starter and Professional plans are by default opted in to share this data, while Organization and Enterprise plans are opted out.

The company is likely being specific about how it trains its AI models because of Adobe’s recent terms of service disaster, where the company had to clarify that it wouldn’t train AI on your work.

In addition to the redesign and the new AI features, Figma is adding a potentially very practical new tool: Figma Slides, a Google Slides-like feature built right into Figma. Yamashita says that users have already been hacking Figma to find a way to make slides, so now there’s an official method to build and share presentations right inside the app.

There are a few Figma-specific features that designers will likely appreciate. You’ll be able to tweak designs you’ve included in the deck in real time using Figma’s tools. (Note that those changes will only appear in the deck — tweaks won’t currently sync back to the original design files, though Yamashita says that Figma wants to make that possible eventually.)

You can also present an app prototype right from the deck, meaning you don’t need to make a convoluted screen recording just to demonstrate how one piece connects to another. You can also add interactive features for audience members, like a poll or an alignment scale, where people can plot on a range if they agree or disagree with something.

Figma Slides will be available in open beta beginning on Wednesday. It will be free while in beta but will become a paid feature when it officially launches. The company is also adding new features for its developer mode in Figma, including a “ready for dev” task list.

This year’s Config is the first since Adobe abandoned its planned $20 billion acquisition of Figma following regulatory scrutiny. With the dissolution of the merger, Adobe was forced to pay Figma a $1 billion breakup fee.

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