By Damien Correll, Creative Director, Figma
I’ve been using Dropbox forever. From the days of running a small studio, to my own personal usage, and now at Figma. One of the most beneficial things of Dropbox over the course of my career is the archival nature: everything is organized and in one place. I can just as easily share work in progress and approved collateral from two years ago. At Figma, we’ve put simple systems in place with Dropbox so it’s easy to connect our creative output to the teams that need to use it.
Organization allows for easier discovery
We have a pretty straightforward folder structure. We keep work-in-progress separate from finished assets—which is super important for versioning issues. I know this is getting into the weeds, but I find it’s very helpful: we create nesting folders that go from broad to narrow. The more organized and consistent we are, the easier it is for both our future-selves and others to parse through and poke around to find what they need, when they need it.
Give people what they need
Dropbox is also good for sharing specifically requested assets with people across different teams at Figma. For example, someone on the marketing team has an event in London and they’re looking for video collateral they can use at the event. We can quickly search and then share folders with all of our approved video assets so they can pick and choose what they need for the activation. I also like this approach because then they can pick what they think is best for the event—I don’t have to share different assets until we find what they need. Having that archival system set up makes it seamless, especially when we’re working across different teams within Figma.
Paper makes embedding easy
We use Dropbox Paper for creative briefs and our product team uses it to document new features being built. What I really like about Paper is how easy it is to embed Figma design files right into the doc. This is important because it helps with version control. Things can fall through the cracks as you’re getting closer to final and embedding the Figma file right into Paper removes a step—which is especially important with hybrid and decentralized work as the norm for so many creative teams now.
A designer can continue making changes in the Figma file and that will be reflected in the Paper doc. It allows our creative team to be more iterative and fluid in their work and creates awareness in a format that non-designers on the marketing team are familiar and comfortable with.
Meeting partners where they are
As a decentralized team we’re often juggling time zones and when you’re moving at the speed we are, it’s critical we bring everyone along. More recently, we’ve been experimenting with ways of asynchronous communication and have been using Dropbox Capture to share project progress through recorded presentations. This has allowed the team in California to share updates with the New York team at a time that makes sense for both teams. Now our time together is more of a discussion than a presentation—allowing for a more fruitful collaboration process.
Dropbox makes our creative work more streamlined
Work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. At Figma, we believe that it takes a team to establish a vision and execute something that is final and shippable to the client. Dropbox as a tool meets all creative teams in the place where they are most comfortable sharing their work and moving a project forward.
It makes things move quicker. And it allows us to not only react, but invite others in to share their work—and share their work out—faster and easier.