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Figma for collaborative sketching (idea)

I use Figma to design interfaces. However, I often resort to other applications like Excalidraw for quick ideation and sketching. Although Figma has many great features, it's not really designed to do fast sketching. Especially if you need to collaborate with others who are not designers.

Some of the practical problems with sketching in Figma:

  • Useful tools like free drawing, shapes, arrows are hidden under dropdowns.
  • Toolbar displays other tools that are not useful for sketching.
  • The layers panel and settings are always visible while not needed for simple sketching.

This can be better!

What if Figma allowed for more simple collaboration with non-designers? In theory it should be possible without any big redesigns, by introducing “Ideation” mode:

  1. Distraction-free mode for a rapid sketching session.
  2. Useful sketching tools at hand.
  3. Sharing a public link where anybody can join as Ideator without signing up at Figma.

Made a quick video prototype showing how this could look like: Figma feature prototype

New lightbulb icon enables Ideator mode and reorganises the toolbar. Unnecessary layer tree and layer settings panels are hidden.

The prototype is obviously a quick one, and further considerations are necessary, but it illustrates the main ideas.

I hope something similar will be implemented in the future and it will be possible to run rapid sketching sessions directly in Figma!