Published on November 8, 2023, 4:07 pm

Figma, the design company currently awaiting regulatory approval for Adobe’s $20 billion acquisition, is not wasting time. The startup has just announced the addition of three generative AI features to its FigJam whiteboard tool. These new features are aimed at making it easier for users to get started and organize projects.

FigJam is Figma’s popular online collaborative whiteboard platform that allows teams to work on design projects, organize meetings, and brainstorm ideas. Since its release in 2021, FigJam has gained popularity among customers due to its intuitive sticky note metaphor.

Yuhki Yamashita, Figma’s chief product officer, explained that they recognized a significant opportunity to enhance collaboration and visualization within the FigJam platform. He said, “We realized that there is really a big opportunity for us to get really creative around enabling people to collaborate and visually reimagine all sorts of meetings and things like that inside of our platform.”

Interestingly, FigJam’s user base extends beyond designers. Yamashita revealed that two-thirds of their weekly active users are actually non-designers. This broad appeal prompted Figma to consider ways to simplify the user experience. To address this challenge, they turned to AI.

One of the new generative AI tools helps users create FigJam boards more easily. The blank canvas can be daunting for beginners, so Figma developed an AI tool that generates a new board from a prompt. Users can describe their needs, such as including specific elements like calendars or project timelines.

As boards grow with digital sticky notes filled with ideas and tasks, organizing them becomes essential. To tackle this issue, Figma introduced a feature that categorizes sticky notes into logical groupings based on thematic similarities or responsible individuals. This feature simplifies navigation within large boards.

To aid in synthesizing information from extensive boards and facilitate quick access to key points, Figma created a summarize feature. This feature automatically generates a summary from the sea of sticky notes, saving users time and effort.

Figma is leveraging OpenAI’s powerful language model to implement these AI capabilities. The model has been tailored to understand Figma and FigJam concepts, such as diagrams or calendar objects. However, Figma is also taking precautions to ensure inappropriate or harmful content is not generated. They are testing a warning system that prevents users from proceeding if they go beyond the intended use case.

Chris Marsh, research director at 451 Group, believes that Figa’s new features can address collaboration challenges faced by many employees. According to a recent survey conducted by his firm, 71% of employees struggle with collaboration. These enhancements could serve as an entry point for new users looking to improve their collaboration experience.

The newly announced generative AI features will be available in an open beta starting today. This update demonstrates Figma’s commitment to continuously improving its platform and enhancing collaboration for a wide range of users.

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