Figma continues expansion beyond design with updates to FigJam whiteboard tool
In April of this year, collaborative design powerhouse Figma launched a whiteboarding tool called FigJam. A separate tool and brand from Figma, FigJam allows users to brainstorm and iterate together in an infinite whiteboard experience, complete with voice service to chat it out in the very same tool.
For all intents and purposes, FigJam can be seen as an extension upstream for the design software company. Rather than focusing on designers and the parties working closely alongside them, like engineering and product management, through Figma, FigJam asks anyone in the organization to get involved and share their ideas.
Usage data indicates that the product is reaching non-designers in customer organizations, the company said. However, there has been a barrier concerning price, per Figma CEO and founder Dylan Field.
So, starting in February 2022, FigJam will see a price cut. Pro plans will go from $8 per month to $3 per month per seat, and Org plans will go from $15 per month to $5 per month per seat.
“We kept coming back to this principle of ‘let’s not get in the way’,” said Field. “We don’t want to block adoption based on price. So if we can be the most competitive pricing system and use it to emphasize development, but not try to make a crazy profit on this, I think it’s pretty powerful. Because that way, we get more people in the design process, which is aligned with our vision of making design accessible.”
He added that it’s important to not think just about initial cost but incremental cost for these organizations.
There is also a free tier of FigJam that allows for unlimited personal whiteboards and three shared whiteboards.
Alongside the pricing update, Figma is doing even more to make FigJam accessible, including the introduction of “Open Sessions.” Open Sessions allow users to invite anyone to a jam session for a 24-hour window without a login. The company thinks of it as the digital equivalent to inviting someone to the office for a meeting or casual hang.
Figma has a robust plugin community, and the company is looking to bring the same community-powered fun to FigJam. The product is introducing plugins, widgets and other tools to further build out the whiteboard tool.
These plugins and widgets range from productivity tools, like plugins that automate repetitive tasks, to widgets that let users play games like dice, or even embed content like videos and docs.
In fact, Donut has built out a widget for FigJam that pairs users in an org for a jam session. Thus far, Donut has built exclusively for Slack, helping employees in separate departments get to know one another in our remote, COVID world. (You can learn more about widgets and plugins coming to FigJam in here.)
Field explained that there are considerable challenges in building for organizations as a whole, rather than for the designers and their adjacents exclusively.
“We have to recalibrate internally about which people matter and make sure we’re building for the right folks,” said Field. “In FigJam, one of the parameters we really care about is this idea of a facilitator and worrying about their needs. This is someone who wants to make things better and is able to influence inside the organization. It’s a subset of Figma’s audience but it’s not the champion we typically see. And so the challenge is to worry about their needs and make sure we’re addressing them.”
Thus far, it’s working. Roughly two-thirds of Figma users overall identify as something other than “designer.”