The Impact of Figma AI on the Future of Product Design

Design Pilot
2 Jul 202443:08

TLDRThe video discusses the impact of Figma AI on the future of product design, focusing on five major impacts, including the effect on design agencies, take-home assignments, content creation, design education, and product companies. It emphasizes the need for designers to upskill in creativity, critical thinking, and articulation to stay ahead of AI advancements. The speaker predicts future capabilities of Figma AI and encourages designers to use this opportunity to improve their career trajectory.


  • 🧑‍🎨 Figma AI's introduction is significant for the design industry, especially impacting junior and mid-level designers who must adapt to new skillsets.
  • 🔧 The initial version of Figma AI is decent and better than other AI design tools, but it's not perfect and is expected to improve over time.
  • 📈 The impact of Figma AI is more profound than immediate, as it will gradually change industry expectations and job requirements for designers.
  • 🎨 Figma AI has the potential to level the playing field for designers, but it also puts pressure on them to be more creative and critical in their thinking.
  • 📚 The importance of learning and mastering UI design fundamentals is highlighted, as AI can produce designs that may match or exceed those of less experienced designers.
  • 🛠️ Auto layout and component properties in Figma have previously influenced design practices, and Figma AI is expected to further this trend.
  • 📉 The demand for designers in service-based companies might decrease as Figma AI can handle tasks that were traditionally given to UI designers.
  • 📝 The focus of take-home assignments and portfolio projects will likely shift from UI design to creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • 🗣️ Designers will need to become better at articulation and storytelling to effectively communicate their design process and solutions.
  • 🏫 Design schools and online courses may become less relevant as AI tools advance, emphasizing the need for self-learning and adapting to new industry standards.
  • 🔮 The future of Figma AI could include generating user flows, improving screen designs, and solving specific design problems, further challenging the role of human designers.

Q & A

  • What is the main focus of the video on 'The Impact of Figma AI on the Future of Product Design'?

    -The main focus of the video is to provide context about Figma AI, discuss its five major impacts on the future of product design, and what it means for designers at different levels, as well as to explore the skills designers need to focus on in the era of AI.

  • What does the speaker disagree with regarding the comment that Figma AI's designs can be easily replicated by someone who has practiced design for a few weeks?

    -The speaker disagrees with the notion that anyone who has practiced design for a few weeks can create designs comparable to those generated by Figma AI. They argue that there are experienced designers who still produce poor-quality designs, indicating that understanding design fundamentals and producing high-quality work cannot be achieved in such a short period.

  • How did the introduction of Auto Layout by Figma change the design industry?

    -The introduction of Auto Layout by Figma brought parity between engineers and designers, as it was a feature that every designer had to understand. It led to a greater focus on UI design, constraints, and responsiveness, and it influenced how designers construct screens, similar to how engineers construct them in code.

  • What is the 'Snowball Effect' mentioned in the video, and how does it relate to the impact of AI in design?

    -The 'Snowball Effect' refers to the cumulative impact of technological advancements in design tools over the years. With AI, this effect is expected to grow significantly, as AI will introduce new capabilities and expectations, potentially making traditional design skills less relevant and forcing designers to adapt and upskill.

  • What is the potential impact of Figma AI on junior designers with less than three years of experience?

    -Figma AI could make the situation worse for junior designers, as it may increase competition and raise the bar for design quality. These designers may need to upskill quickly or risk being left behind by more advanced AI capabilities.

  • How will the focus of design agencies change with the introduction of Figma AI?

    -Design agencies may need fewer designers as Figma AI can generate designs quickly, allowing agencies to take on more projects with reduced manpower. This could also force UI designers to become significantly better than AI to stay relevant.

  • What changes can be expected in take-home assignments and portfolio projects due to Figma AI?

    -With Figma AI, there will be less focus on UI design skills during take-home assignments and portfolio projects, as these can be easily generated by AI. Instead, there will be a greater emphasis on creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

  • How will Figma AI influence the content creation landscape for design tutorials and resources?

    -Figma AI will likely make many existing tutorials and resource-based content irrelevant, as basic UI design skills can be quickly learned through AI. Content creators will need to shift towards providing more in-depth, critical thinking, and problem-solving focused content.

  • What are the implications of Figma AI for design schools and online courses?

    -Design schools may not be as effective in preparing students for the realities of product design, especially with the rapid advancement of AI. Online courses, while a better alternative, may not fully develop critical thinking skills within their structured curriculums, necessitating self-driven learning.

  • How can designers ensure they remain relevant and valuable in the industry amidst the rise of Figma AI?

    -Designers can remain relevant by focusing on developing skills that AI cannot easily replicate, such as creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and articulation. They should also strive to understand and leverage AI as a tool to enhance their capabilities rather than seeing it as a threat.



🎥 Introduction to Figma AI's Impact on Designers

The video script introduces a discussion on the implications of Figma AI's launch in 2024. The speaker plans to provide context about Figma AI, explore its five major impacts on the product design industry, and discuss the necessary skills for designers in the AI era. The speaker emphasizes that the video will not rehash how to use AI features but will focus on the broader implications for junior and mid-level designers. The script also mentions a common sentiment on social media about Figma AI's current limitations and the speaker's disagreement with the notion that anyone can easily match AI-generated designs.


🔄 The Snowball Effect of Design Automation

This paragraph delves into the 'Snowball Effect' of design tools becoming more automated over time, with Figma AI being the latest addition. The speaker suggests that the impact of AI will be significant and long-term, comparing the gradual adoption of Auto Layout and variables in Figma to the potential widespread adoption of AI. The speaker also discusses the challenges faced by junior designers, who are already struggling in the market, and how AI could exacerbate these issues by raising industry expectations and the need for upskilling.


🛠️ The Changing Landscape for Design Agencies

The speaker predicts that design agencies will be significantly impacted by Figma AI, as it may reduce the need for a large number of designers. Agencies might focus on delivering projects faster and at lower costs, leveraging AI to meet tight deadlines set by clients focused on aesthetics. The speaker warns UI designers to improve their skills dramatically or risk being outperformed by AI, while UX designers might find themselves taking on more UI design responsibilities.


📚 Shifts in Design Education and Portfolio Expectations

The script addresses how Figma AI will influence design education and the evaluation of designer portfolios. It suggests that there will be a reduced focus on UI design skills during interviews and a greater emphasis on creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. The speaker also implies that having a well-designed portfolio website will no longer be a unique selling point, as AI can generate competent designs, thus pushing designers to excel in areas where AI falls short.


🎨 Content Creation and the Need for Depth

The speaker critiques the current state of content creation in the design field, arguing that much of the available content lacks depth and value. The speaker calls for content creators, including themselves, to produce more meaningful and thought-provoking material that encourages critical thinking among viewers. The paragraph also touches on the irrelevance of basic Figma tutorials, news reporting, and resource dumps in the face of advancing AI capabilities.


🏫 The Relevance of Design Schools and Online Courses

The speaker questions the effectiveness of design schools and online courses in preparing individuals for careers as product designers. They argue that design schools do not teach practical skills needed for product design and that online courses, while better, still lack the depth to develop critical thinking skills fully. The speaker suggests that learning UI design skills for free online is sufficient and that the industry's rapid evolution due to AI will leave those in lengthy educational programs behind.


🚀 The Future of Product Design in Companies

The speaker contemplates the potential impact of Figma AI on product companies, suggesting that while most designers in these companies are currently safe, early-stage startups might opt for AI over hiring designers for their minimum viable products. The script also suggests that smaller startups may reduce their design team sizes, as AI can expedite the design process, leading to a decreased demand for designers at the company level.


🤖 AI's Limitations and the Human Touch in Design

This paragraph highlights the limitations of AI in the creative process, using the example of a 'reorder' feature in an app to illustrate the kind of nuanced decision-making that AI cannot perform. The speaker argues that AI will not be able to challenge the status quo or think outside the box in the way a human product designer can, emphasizing the importance of human creativity and problem-solving in design.


🧠 Developing Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Articulation

The speaker outlines three key skills that designers need to focus on developing in the age of AI: creativity, critical thinking, and articulation. They suggest practicing and surrounding oneself with smart people to enhance these skills. The speaker also emphasizes the importance of questioning content and experiences to develop better problem-solving abilities and to stand out in a competitive job market.

🔮 Predicting the Future Capabilities of Figma AI

The speaker predicts future enhancements to Figma AI's capabilities, such as generating user flows, polishing screens, creating multiple design variations, and potentially even solving basic design problems. They caution designers that focusing solely on execution skills may not be sufficient in the future and that upskilling is crucial to stay ahead of AI advancements.

💪 The Call to Upskill and Adapt

In the concluding paragraph, the speaker encourages designers to seize the opportunity to upskill and adapt to the changes brought by Figma AI. They emphasize that designers who can outperform AI have the potential to significantly alter their career trajectories for the better. The speaker signs off by thanking viewers for watching and inviting them to engage with the content.



💡Figma AI

Figma AI refers to the integration of artificial intelligence within the Figma design tool, which assists in the creation of design elements and interfaces. In the video, it is discussed as a significant development impacting the future of product design, with the potential to alter the way designers work and the skills they need to possess.

💡Product Design

Product Design is the process of conceiving and developing the look and functionality of a product, often with the end-user's experience in mind. The video's theme revolves around the impact of Figma AI on this field, suggesting that AI could redefine the skills required for designers and the nature of their work.

💡Junior Designers

Junior Designers are individuals who are relatively new to the field of design, typically with less than three years of experience. The script highlights the challenges that Figma AI might pose to this group, as it could potentially reduce the demand for basic design skills and increase the need for advanced problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.

💡Design Systems

Design Systems are a set of reusable design components and rules that ensure consistency and efficiency in product design. The script mentions that Figma AI could make it easier for designers to build and maintain these systems, which could change the way designers approach consistency in their work.

💡Auto Layout

Auto Layout is a feature within Figma that automatically arranges design elements based on certain constraints. The script discusses how the introduction of Auto Layout changed the way designers construct screens, and it suggests that Figma AI could further automate and simplify this process.


In the context of design tools like Figma, Variables allow designers to create dynamic themes and styles that can be easily updated across an entire project. The script implies that Figma AI's potential to work with variables could further bridge the gap between design and development.

💡Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking is the ability to analyze and evaluate information to form judgments. The video emphasizes the importance of this skill in the era of Figma AI, as designers will need to think more deeply about the problems they are solving and the solutions they are creating.

💡Problem Solving

Problem Solving is the process of identifying challenges and creating solutions to overcome them. The script suggests that with the advent of Figma AI, the ability to solve complex problems will become even more crucial for designers, as AI can handle more routine design tasks.


Creativity in design involves the generation of new, original, and valuable ideas. The video argues that designers will need to focus on enhancing their creativity to stay ahead of AI, as AI tools like Figma AI are unlikely to replace the unique creative insights that humans bring to design.

💡Content Creators

Content Creators are individuals who produce and share content, often online, in various forms such as videos, blogs, or social media posts. The script discusses how Figma AI might affect this group, suggesting that the type of content they produce, particularly basic tutorials and news reporting, may become less relevant as AI tools take over some educational aspects of design.

💡Whiteboarding Rounds

Whiteboarding Rounds are a part of the interview process where candidates are asked to solve problems or explain concepts on a whiteboard. The script suggests that these rounds will become more important as a way to evaluate a candidate's problem-solving skills, which cannot be easily assessed through AI-generated designs.


Introduction to the impact of Figma AI on the future of product design.

Figma AI's current capabilities and its comparison to other AI tools in the market.

Debunking the myth that Figma AI's designs are easily replicable by novice designers.

The historical impact of Figma's Auto Layout feature on UI design practices.

How Figma AI could change the expectations and requirements for junior designers.

The potential for Figma AI to democratize design and level the playing field for designers.

Implications of Figma AI for design agencies and service-based companies.

The necessity for designers to focus on creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in the AI era.

Shift in the focus of take-home assignments and portfolio projects towards creativity and problem-solving.

The diminishing value of traditional UI design skills as Figma AI improves.

The future of content creation in the design industry and the need for depth and critical thinking in tutorials.

The limitations of design schools and online courses in preparing students for the AI-driven design industry.

The potential for early-stage startups to rely on Figma AI instead of hiring full-time designers.

Examples of how AI cannot replace the nuanced decision-making of human designers.

The importance of being able to iterate and validate design decisions beyond AI's capabilities.

Predictions for the future capabilities of Figma AI and its potential to reshape the design process.

The call to action for designers to upskill and adapt to the changing landscape of design work.