figma community beta

If you’ve been hearing the buzz about Figma community beta and want to know what it’s all about (and how to get access!), I’m writing this to save you some time so that you can get the most out of it.

What is it, exactly?

Whether you’re a new user to Figma or you’ve been designing with the tool for a while, chances are, you’ve wondered whether or not you can find free resources, templates, or plugins to make your life easier.

Or heck, even just for inspiration!

Why?

It can be pretty helpful and all-around awesome to find UI elements and kits made by other designers because it means you don’t have to always create each and every element from scratch (like buttons), which can get tedious.

And like other design tools, plugins can be a major help when it comes to time-saving processes as well.

Well, this community is a combination of all of those resources, along with a social element where you can find creators and like + follow their work!

How do I get access as a member?

Are you a creative who wants to publish files or plugins, sharing your work with the world?

While this feature is still in beta, it can be accessed by all users, but there are just a couple of steps to make it happen:

Next, after logging in, navigate to this page.

On the right, click “create your own profile” link, which will then prompt you to create a profile handle:

creators

How can I become a Figma Community creator?

The creator function is currently in beta, but not to worry: you can request an invite to become a creator.

So, whether you want to create plugins or files to share, it’s an awesome way to give back.

The process is super simple — just fill out this form to be considered.

Don’t worry, because the application process itself is short and straightforward.

As an example, the form will ask you for things like your name, a link to a file you might publish, and more information about how you heard about it.

Simple! Why not try it out and see what happens?

How long does it take to get accepted as a creator?

If you’re wondering how long you’ll wait to hear back about your application, the answer is that it depends.

The criteria for acceptance is a little bit mysterious.

So, how about the timeline?

Assuming you’ve already submitted our application using the method above, I have heard that it can take anywhere from a week to a few months to get approved.

To give you one data point: if I’m remembering correctly, I believe it took us about a week for approval.

Of course, it can take longer depending on what’s going on and how busy they are.

As a result, your mileage may vary.

Creator options

If you want to share some design files with the public, first of all pat yourself on the back because you’re awesome!

Next, you’ll want to make sure you’re a creator first.

Once you’ve been approved, you’ll want to create a handle for yourself or your team.

If you want your creator profile to be associated with a team, first make sure you have a team account.

You can create your handle by going to the “Community -> Settings” tab and clicking “Change profile handle.”

handle profile

Next, it’s time to spiff up your public profile a bit!

Head on over to the “Community -> Community” tab.

figma creator

From here, you’ll be able to customize everything about your profile.

 

You can set a cover image by clicking the pen icon on the right of the header cover to upload a new image.

Plus, you can edit your logo/avatar by clicking it, along with your bio description and link.

All of these fields can be edited simply by clicking on them with some purpose.

Publishing files

Once accepted, you can publish files immediately.

First, make sure you have a thumbnail created before publishing.

Why on Earth…?

Well, the file’s thumbnail will be displayed in the public gallery as a preview.

This is like a featured image that will be displayed in their library for other users to discover.

So it’s a sort of first impression.

To set your thumbnail, simply right click your desired thumbnail in Figma and click “Set as thumbnail.”

Once you’re ready to publish the file, click the regular blue “Share” button at the top right that you’d normally click to share a file with co-workers.

In addition to the usual share options, you should now see a tab that says “Publish to community.”

figma files publish share

Next, you’ll have some more options to fill out.

Complete the rest of the information by explaining your work.

Oh, and it’s always a good idea to add the full 12 tags, too.

Why?

Because it helps with circulation and discoverability.

It’s all about making your file easy for others to find!

publish options

In terms of license, you’re giving others permission to use your file in their projects.

But don’t just take my word for it.

If you want to learn more about the creative commons license and how it works, check this out.

After you’re finished publishing, I’d highly recommend sharing the link to your file on social media channels and design resource sites.

That way, you’ll have multiple channels helping your file get in front of an even wider audience!

Plugins

If you aren’t already using plugins, it’s time to dive in.

There are so many different types out there, and they’ll save you a ridiculous amount of time.

Okay, for example: have you ever needed to fill in images or avatars for a design project, but you need to use open source images?

Well, the Unsplash plugin can help you do just that, without ever having to leave your file.

Yes, please!

No more having to open up a bunch of separate tabs, browsing endlessly for the perfect image.

It’s all right there for you.

Or how about Lorem Ipsum, which lets you fill your designs with dummy text?

To scope out all of the plugins available, just head on over to that tab to get started:

plugins

You can install as many plugins as you want, one-by-one.

Plus, as of now, all of the ones you see listed are free to use.

To use a plugin, just right click on the area in your file and navigate to the “Plugins” arrow to select the one you want to use.

And that’s it!

Engage with other creatives & have fun

Overall, this new platform is an awesome way to discover great work and to see how others are using Figma.

Whether you want to study a new technique or you’re looking to speed up your workflow by using pre-made components, it’s a great place to look around.

Chances are, you find a resource to use now or for a future project.

The cherry on top? It’s completely free.

And it’s updated everyday with new files.

In fact, you can easily browse by “New” to check out the latest from other users.

Check out work by your favorite creatives, use the free UI elements for your projects, stay inspired, and just have fun with it!

Last updated: September 16, 2020