Africa to the world: Figma is here on the continent
Nobody perceived design to get this much attention, says Namnso Ukpanah, lead designer at hotels.ng and Africa lead at Figma. Namnso says his days as a designer are usually sad as it’s a really difficult profession, and they also deserve “accolades”. Well, I couldn’t agree more.
Talking on being a UI/UX designer, the Figma Africa lead says designers are involved in every part of product development and tells us what Figma has in store for Africans (as they launch in the continent) at the Lagos launch event.
Figma, a San Francisco based tech company, is unleashing the first ever interface design tool with real-time collaboration to the rest of the world with the launch of its Global Design Community in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. With ~80% of Figma users located outside of the US – and a large number of those users based in Africa, it is seeming like there’s a type of affinity towards Africa. Which is why the expansion appears the right move.
Many companies dream would be to perfectly align their business goals with aesthetics, as to help foster competitive advantage and increase user retention rates. Examples are Airbnb, Uber. Namnso went further to tell who a good designer should be. One that can communicate ideas to non-techies and the practical story tellers tops his list.
How Figma ‘epp’ Africa?
This new-to-africa online tool (Figma) would to a very great extent help African designers be better. Rather than working alone and progressing at a very slow rate, Figma provides a platform to work in teams, and as a result, move faster. You can work in team of 3s, or even upgrade plans to accommodate far more than that.
In summary, Figma helps with collaboration, growth amongst all stages of designers (even the about-to-begin stage), and helps to project Africa (designers) to the world. We do want to see a world where Africans are at their beat, yeah?
Figma Africa started in January with just a few people and have organized many events for the masses’ consumption. From holding meet-up in different cities, to design hackathons, virtual design hangouts, design challenges, design sprints and one-on-one sessions. Stay tuned.
Answering a question, Namnso iterated that consistency is a very important trait for designers. He also noted that the best feedback is gotten from users and not fellow designers. Expectations are high that Figma, as before, would prove a very necessary tool for African designers.
The Lagos launch event featured a panel session which had on it various product designers, UI/UX designers, a UX researcher, brand designer.
P.S: Figma Global Design Community initiative is pan african. Next city is Accra on May 12th and May 26th in Capetown.