The Fountain Institute

Figma Skills Won't Get You Promoted

Published about 1 month ago • 2 min read

Figma Skills Won't Get You Promoted

by Jeff Humble

Dear Reader,

Today's advice letter concerns the design community's fetishization of Figma and how our obsession with tools gives the wrong impression.

Let me explain.

Everywhere you look, designer dudes are trying to sell you on Figma.

Design is so much more than software for drawing rectangles.

But still, you click this stuff.

It's almost like you think that learning this one piece of software is the job...rather than, you know, learning how to design the software itself.

I see designers offering advice on Figma as a way to move up the career ladder. To me, this is a red flag. 🚩 Here's why...

Leadership doesn't care about Figma.

People in a position to promote you don't care about your Figma skills.

Figma skills don't set you apart in the job market. A designer who has mastered Figma? 🥱 Cool. Next resumé, please.

And you've had way too many iced coffees if you think the rest of the organization cares about your Figma layers. Nobody cares about your layers or your plugins. Only the developers and PMs care a little, and I bet it's less than you think.

Don't get me wrong. I love "design craft" and can spend hours in Figma, happy as a raccoon in a trash pile. My point is that people in a position to promote you don't appreciate our design craft in the same way as we do.

Leadership and people who promote care about the impact of your designs.

Leadership cares about how design fits into the current business strategy. They care about how design will make them money.

They don't care if you're the team's dedicated layer mayor.

What you can do instead of mastering Figma

These skills will do more for your career than learning how to make animations in Figma:

  1. Metrics - Learn to measure design's impact even if that feels like an impossible task. Check out this free masterclass on UX metrics→
  2. Presentations - Learn to sell your ideas and capture people's attention with engaging presentations. Get started with this hilarious TedTalk video→
  3. Facilitation - Learn how to focus the room's collective intelligence and become your team's best collaborator. Get started with this free masterclass→
  4. Experiments - Learn to test your designs and generate data for your ideas while avoiding bias. Get started with this free masterclass→
  5. Data Analysis - Learn how to form insights from quantitative data using a spreadsheet. Get started with this overview talk on data science→
  6. Design Strategy - Learn how to shape the big picture for your design team and align or even shape the business strategy. Get started with this free course on YouTube→

TL:DR: Mastering Figma is a waste of time. Learn the basics and move on to something more strategic.

This article was originally published on Jeff's blog. Read the full version

Shared by Linus Mimetz in the Guild

WORKSHOP: Aligning with Strategy
June 13, 2024
Learn how to identify and shape strategy
Reserve a Seat

COURSE: Facilitating Workshops
Fall, 2024
Want to be notified when we release the next course date?
Sign up for the Waitlist

COURSE: Defining UX Strategy
Nov. 4-Dec. 16, 2024
Learn to design a winning strategy that aligns design with business
Reserve a Seat

Until next time! ✌️

Jeff Humble
Designer & Co-Founder
The Fountain Institute

The Fountain Institute

The Fountain Institute is an independent online school that teaches advanced UX & product skills.

Read more from The Fountain Institute
3 levels of strategy

Why You Need to "Get" the Business Strategy by Jeff Humble Dear Reader, I ran a strategy workshop for 20 design leaders and managers here in Berlin yesterday. We discussed the 3 levels of strategy. Here's the slide: Ok, here's a quick breakdown of the 3 levels: Corporate Strategy - Most companies don't need a Corporate Strategy. An example would be Alphabet's Corporate Strategy for Google and YouTube. You can probably ignore that one. Business Strategy - The main strategy at most companies....

11 days ago • 2 min read

What We Dreamed Up at the Design Community Session By Hannah Baker Dear Reader, Wow, what a whirlwind of inspiration we stirred up at last week's Designers' Collective Dreaming meetup! Your passion, ideas, and stories have inspired exciting visions for the Guild of Working Designers' future. Our meetup was not just another gathering but a hands-on exploration of what makes a design community flourish and how we can enhance it. Through heartfelt conversations, sticky notes, and imaginative...

25 days ago • 1 min read

Shaping the Future of the Guild of Working Designers - Let's Co-Create! By Hannah Baker Dear Reader, As one of over 6,500 newsletter subscribers, you're part of a vibrant group passionate about senior-level design and leadership. You might have heard us refer to the Guild of Working Designers, or Guild for short, and maybe you're even part of it. But if you've been curious about what this is and why it exists, we are here to clarify that and offer an opportunity to shape its future. The Guild...

about 2 months ago • 2 min read
Share this post