Disable 'observe' mode

Hi all,
Thank you for your feedback @Rebecca21 !
You are right @matteogonzalez, others in the community have requested something similar here: Disable 'observe' mode - #24 by benka . I merged your topic with this one, so we can have all the feedback in one place. :slightly_smiling_face:


Often times I’m on projects where I want to show my WIP with my coworkers or stakeholders but I don’t want them to jump into my work constantly popping in and checking now that they have a link to my file. There’s also many cases where I need them to review and comment but I don’t want their comments to flood my actual working file because it creates a messy habit of changing my original design instead of allowing me to archive it and make updates to a copy of the original. My current solution is to either make a new page as the review page or duplicate working file and create a share out version of the file. There are times when collaboration is key in a Figma file and then there are times when you need to keep your working files clean of outside tampering. I’m not sure if creating a review mode or creating a more robust permissions settings would be the solution.

I also agree it is incredibly annoying to as a designer to have PMs, clients, ENG following you while you are in the midst of working.

As a workaround to this issue, you can create a new branch in your Figma file. Unless you share the link to the branch, you can work in privacy then merge your changes back to the main file when you are ready.

I am a Sketch user trialing Figma and considering it for use in our company. The inability to disable the collaboration feature makes Figma a no for us at this time. The collaboration feature is great for presenting or when soliciting feedback, but it hampers designers during ideation and feedback stages as the designer needs to deal with unsolicited feedback on ideas that may or may not make it in to the final draft.

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This is so important. Can you please start hiding users from others when working on designs? I don’t want my teammates or boss hovering over my designs while I work on them.
I know many designers are suffering from that. Please implement this ASAP.

I would like to work in private please.

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By default I think the Figma team should REALLY pay attention to this. It’s so irritating to see a PM looking over your shoulder and making suggestions as you design. I think by default no one should be able to follow you on the file. That should be enabled in review sessions similar to the TIMER in FigJam.

It contributes to micromanaging and it violates designers pri

I have to actively copy and paste the boards in my drafts so I know no one is watching it’s stupid.


Another example in case it helps:

  • Someone sends me a file to look over & provide feedback
  • I am looking over the file
  • They are WATCHING me look over the file, following my cursor around and chatting, “Hey if you have questions let me know! Here’s X, here’s Y, here’s Z” - really annoying and unhelpful because I’m often need to focus and digest first before starting a conversation
  • I don’t own the file so I can’t turn it into a draft

I definitely agree with others that this goes under the bucket of not having control over my own privacy as a user.

Blocking Figma on Little Snitch does the trick.

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Now that’s a way around :slight_smile: Can you elaborate a bit? Any other issues when blocking Figma through Little Snitch?

You essentially block all outgoing and ongoing connections from Figma Helper using a firewall (Little Snitch or any other). When you’re done and want to upload the file, you can disable the rule. The only issues I’ve noticed so far are that you can’t use plugins, search, or open files without temporarily disabling the rule.

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Let’s all fight against this despotic feature, in line with Frank Chimero’s insight:

Judgment is an important part of the creative process, but when improvising, self-criticism and evaluation from others must be avoided in order to let ideas develop from their delicate state. Criticism has a crucial role in the creative process, but its rigor should match the heartiness of the ideas, which become stronger as they develop. The more real an idea becomes, the less suspension of disbelief is required, and the more criticism it should withstand. But all ideas, both good and bad, start young and fragile.

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Completely disagree with you. No need to explain.

Like many users here I also see the need for some type of private mode. It is easy to be interrupted or questioned about designs that are WIP. I would love to use full-fledged Figma, while still appearing offline.

+1 to the thread. I want incognito mode for my cursor. I would love to be able to pause comments/notifications as well. I’ve had multiple occasions where other people are in my file while I’m working either watching what I’m doing or leaving comments on things that aren’t finished that are counterproductive to the process. I can’t duplicate the file or work in a draft because this happens after it has moved into a workable area, so doing so would create version control problems and the one time I tried to make a V2 file it did exactly that. I had devs in my V1 asking questions about dead UI. When I tried to control the links being shared it didn’t work.

I think that commenting and visibility is great but I should be able to adjust these settings on the fly. Having someone pop into my file at any time to spark up a convo or monitor what I’m doing is disruptive AF.