Dev Mode licensing needs a review

Hi there,

we’re currently running Figma in an enterprise license with 10 UX designers and about 20 developers in total. At the moment our annual costs are around $9000 for the full design seats. With the new dev mode pricing we would basically double our annual costs for some basic features a good design tool should offer out of the box. Our devs don’t need fancy “Customize code output” or “Sync design files with their codebase”. They simply want to see all our variables in an easy manageable way, navigate and inspect frames and components ready for dev and maybe track some design changes. Paying almost 9k additionally just for these basic features is insane, especially since our UX designers that have access to the dev mode basically don’t need it. Also there are basic features missing like exporting dedicated handoff collections of components, frames or flows.
It would be cool to be able to get a free dev mode seat to every design seat and be able to apply this seat to anyone in the company. Otherwise please make the basic dev mode features free or reduce the price.

It was not easy to convince our managers to move to Figma and with these new costs I fear we might jump to another tool (again) - which would be a nightmare cause Figma offers the best features. Please don’t monetize every single basic feature…don’t do the Adobe move.


Unfortunately true and the reason why our management decided against dev mode.


I will boycot the dev mode too, so sad.


They had dev mode in free beta for a year, they had all the time in the world to “review” the pricing, but they persisted. I can assure you there will be no review. :laughing: It makes them a huge amount of money.


Well it makes them lose a huge amount of enterprise customers as well.


How so? All the basic dev features are available for free like they always were so it’s not like you have to pay for it. If you want the additional benefits it brings though, you can pay.

Last week we had to have an re-orientation meeting among designers to deal with this out-of-touch pricing model.

We definitely can’t sell $35/devseat/month to C-level executives, as we have about 4x full stack developers who ocassionally inspect produced designs.

The pace of UX maturity is already limited by budget for Editor seats, because we had to cap the contribution to design files to only the most active dedicated designers. Which is a shame and a hit on my direct responsibility to grow design mindset.

$10-$20k/year for ‘just’ the design tool license is madness in the ears of commercially minded executive. And now we should tell them they should spend $20-$40k/year ON TOP so that developers can ‘look’ at the finished designs (that’s what it is for a an executive). It is an un-pitchable business case.

So we are now playing rock paper scissors to decide who is going to tell developers they will get this from now on:

And how do we deal with having to micro-document things.

I guarantee we would have easily quadrupled amount of licenses we buy if Editor seats were cheaper, spreading Figma to front-end developers, secondary contributors and external agencies. And we would have no issue pitching and spreading dev mode if the pricing was anywhere close to realistic added value.

This pricing strategy hurts us, and ultimately hurts Figma’s revenue, severely limiting it’s spread and creating business opportunities for inspect plugins and alternative design platforms.


Just to be clear. I really can’t share the dev link to users who don’t have a paid Figma account? So my customers can’t view the dev information even though i own the design file, which allows me to enable the dev mode?

This is kind of crazy in my opinion.


Just to clarify, Figma doesn’t have a concept of paid accounts, you pay for seats in the team. So others don’t have to pay anything if you want to give them access to dev mode, you have to pay for them to access it.


Well I have to admit after checking again the Properties panel is less stripped down than I thought or remembered. It shows the basics, yes. And it is free, yes. But still the old free Inspect panel felt more powerful somehow.

For example, Figma moved the Code export to where it is basically hidden for whatever reason (Right Click Menu on Canvas > Copy as > Copy code). In the old Inspect panel, it was more convenient before where you could actually see the code snippet first.
Also, you could switch between two different output formats which was useful when Figma misinterpreted font-weights of some fonts.
The new Properties panel also does not fully show all of the new Variables.

Dev Mode surely is way more effective but also a bit pricey.
Especially in the Enterprise plan where it costs over double the amount compared to Pro plan. As others said it might be very hard for Enterprise teams to convince their executives to get approval for the new licences and impactful cost increase.
Teams with an extremely uneven designers to engineers ratio might have a hard time because until now their cost was peanuts.


Right, and it is incredibly unfair. I can’t understand how that business model is even working. Instead of having a paid account that gives you access to all the features, you have to pay for every team a certain user is in. What the hell?


The pricing is just insane, there’s no chance our company would touch dev-mode seats. Most of our devs don’t dive deep enough into Figma to make use of half the features. They just want some basic information.


Figma, please let those who pay for Figma use dev mode in any Figma file shared with them.

I love Figma. Dev mode is fine, and now necessary. As a developer who sees plenty of Figma files from many different designers, I’m quite happy to pay for it, which I did yesterday.

But now it seems, for files created by others, on other “teams”, I have to persuade them, each of them, to pay for my “seat” !?


That’s true, I later realized it’s definitely a lot more stripped down version. Oh and what a nice tip about “copy code”, I didn’t know that! Very useful.

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That’s correct. You don’t actually need to pay for it yourself.

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Can you consider an evolution of your licences?
I have a need that I think is not specific but completely messed. up with this new plan.

In your development process you completly forgot Quality engineer, that is a team that check the feature & Design.

The inspect was a great improvement for them. And now they will not be able to inspect as they were.
They are not developer so Dev more is not meant for them. they are just inspectors…

I also have a question about your use case:

Let’s say a scrum team 6 dev, 1 PM, 1 Design er 1 QA.
there is only 1-2 expert in front end but the entire dev team can build the UI.

How can I allocate the dev mode? only the the Front end experts? Whi will increase considerably the Design work for a small part of the team?
To everyone an increase the cost by 100 ?

Example in my company 500 devs => 17500$ / month… hilarious


Hello Zeplin.

Haven’t ever touched dev mode in a professional capacity. I always handover well-defined Jira tickets with exports of the things, red-lined, etc. At this point I only use Figma because company is paying for it, but that will likely change if this trend continues. Performance degradation alone is enough for me to push for something else.


the Organization plan charges $25 per month for Dev Mode only
the Enterprise plan charges $35 per month for Dev Mode only

However, the Pro plan offers both a designer seat and Dev Mode for only $12 per month. Ridiculous


Unfortunately Figma is becoming a nightmare to our budget and admin control. We will be seriously considering moving to other platform if they keep on doing this.


For some reason, Figma is choosing to PUNISH its users for using their Dev mode with higher costs and illogical and abusive seat pricing. I saw a Zepplin ad the other day that said “Dev Mode is too expensive, so use Zepplin” and the pitch made a lot of sense. Does Figma think we’re stupid?