Edit Access Issue with Figma Dev Mode for Professional Plan

Post 31 Jan 2024 Figma Update, the Dev Mode is accessible only for a paid Figma seat.

This update creates an issue that the paid Figma seat gives full access to the developers and they can edit the file, which is problematic from a hand-off POV.

@TeamFigma can we have a viewer only Dev Mode restored to ensure that the files cannot be edited?

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+1 one on this.

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Agreed! Dev Mode needs to be read only.

At a minimum it needs to have the option to make it read only.

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Figma - CAN YOU PLEASE give the ability to disable Edit access for Developers using Dev Mode on the Professional Pricing Tier - This is causing major problems with erroneous changes to design files. My team is seriously looking at alternatives like PenPot.

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+1 +1 +1 +1 this is very problematic for our team as well

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This should already be an option, I am quite shocked Figma would ship a feature organizations have to give edit access to all the devs to able them to continue to work

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We have the same issue. Developers are accidentally changing files they actually only want to see in Dev mode and we have to run after them to fix the issues.

At the same time devs are actually asking us proactively “can you keep dev mode for me but still but me on read only” and we can’t do it so now we’re facing the choice which team has more work.

The devs because they won’t be able to see dev mode or pms and designers because they have to fix accidental fuckups the devs don’t even notice doing.

Very odd choice to couple editing rights with access rights to a product feature. I understand from a pricing perspective (also debatable but ok I at least get the idea of “you need to upgrade to get dev mode” – fine) but the license type bought for a user shouldn’t directly relate to the user rights!

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+1+1+1+1 on this issue

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I’ve reviewed the help article and the available settings again. It seems to me, that we need does exist, but isn’t fully implemented in the Admin panel by Figma.

  • Users with full Design seats can continue using Dev Mode without interruption.

I.e. Full Users with Edit rights get Dev Mode also

  • People with a viewer-restricted seat can request a Dev Mode seat. While they wait for admin approval, they can use Dev Mode for up to 14 days.

Sounds to me like “Dev Mode Standalone” is just not an available option there directly, but if users are set to “view-restricted” then they can request an upgrade, and if that’s approved then they basically get Dev Mode w/o edit rights. I will try this on a call tomorrow morning and revert back here.

(list filtered to my own name only for privacy reasons)

Whatever the outcome of my test, it would definitely be much much easier if these dropdowns and filters are adjusted and a “Dev Mode” seat is separate from Editing rights either by adding an option to the “Design Seat” column or by adding another column (similar to FigJam)

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I have found the solution, even though it’s not visible anywhere:

  1. Downgrade your Dev users to (view only team rights and) viewer-restricted
  2. Then they can send an upgrade request from their side
  3. In a separate modal you can then accept those upgrade request
  4. You will not see any difference at all (!) in the team member overview, there it will still only show viewer-restricted, but the devs will then be able to use Dev Mode Standalone while still having no edit rights
  5. On the billing page you will also see no information whatsoever about this, only that the number of “Design” seats will go up by the number of accepted upgrade requests. There is no breakdown or information or detail whatsoever that this is related to Dev Mode Standalone.

For the lack of knowing who to tag for this from Figma’s side, @Figma_Moderation: Imho you urgently have to fix

  1. the documentation and
  2. the team member list pages and billing overview pages

to reflect who is using a dev standalone seat or not.

Furthermore I’d strongly advise for giving team admins the possibility to give people a dev mode standalone seat directly, without having to go through the hoops of downgrading them + letting them send an upgrade request + accepting it (but not being able to see anywhere that you did it)…


PS: Because of (imho silly) posting rules for new users I had to first delete my previous post above to be able to post this one. Here’s the deleted post from Feb 19 10:19 AM:

Having said the above, looking at https://help.figma.com/hc/en-us/articles/19813618057623-Dev-Mode-is-out-of-beta-what-admins-need-to-know#h_01HKN19J4JJTKGMATHW6BP331A, “Dev Mode Standalone” seems to be a thing but then not obvious how to get to it. I’ll check later once again and report back here if I found a solution

Figma posting rules say I could have edited my previous post but I don’t see an edit button (only delete which then shows up as edited)…

Furthermore I can only tag two people at the time so can’t tag the others in this thread:
maybe someone else (@Nikita_Nayak ?) can tag those people who is not under the new users restrictions:

@Derek_Jones @Jordan_White @Kelly_Battista @Agathe_Mametz @Ben 
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But the Figma documentation states that the ‘standalone dev seat’ is only available on Organisation and Enterprise plans… so this won’t work for the Professional plan. It is also $25 and $35 for standalone on those plans which is ridiculous pricing for access to specs!

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@Karen_Beal I agree, the documentation (and the UX) are super confusing but from my experience above that does not seem to be correct.

Pricing for Figma's Free, Professional, and Organization plans. says

The docs say:

Dev Mode is included in a full Design seat on Professional, Organization, and Enterprise plans. It is also available as a standalone seat on:

  • [Professional not mentioned here but basically seems to mean Dev Mode Standalone at the same price as a Full Design Seat, i.e. $12]
  • Organization for $25/month [instead of $45 for a full design seat]
  • Enterprise for $35/month [instead of $75 for a full design seat]
    Dev Mode is not available on the Starter plan.

[…]

Starter

  • Since Dev Mode is not available on Starter, you’ll be prompted to upgrade to the Professional plan to access Dev Mode.

Professional

  • Users with full Design seats (formerly called Editors) can continue using Dev Mode without interruption.
  • People with a viewer-restricted seat can request an upgrade to a full Design seat from Dev Mode. [that is what I successfully did and am describing above but calling it “Dev Mode Standalone” but Figma seems to be calling “Full Design Seat” in this case as Professional is the only case where both has the same price. Mostprobably the root of the confusion. Especially since Full Design used to be called “editors”, which is exactly what we want to prevent here.] While they wait for admin approval, they can use Dev Mode for up to 14 days.

Organization and Enterprise

  • Users with full Design seats can continue using Dev Mode without interruption.
  • People with a viewer-restricted seat can request a Dev Mode seat. While they wait for admin approval, they can use Dev Mode for up to 14 days.

(emphasis mine and comments marked like [this])

Interestingly enough, without my users actually asking for edit rights actively, but only having done the Dev Mode upgrade request, I got a popup for “these users request edit rights” which I declined.

So now it seems that

  1. They don’t have edit rights
  2. They do have Dev mode
  3. I.e. sounds like what Dev Mode Standalone should be
  4. But since we’re on the Professional tier, they’re billed like a Full Design Seat (and therefore could gain edit rights without changing the bill, which is different to the higher tiers)

So seems like that’s what the thread start wanted to achieve, so now am tagging all other posters after Figma upgraded my forum status and I now can link multiple people…
@Derek_Jones @Jordan_White @Kelly_Battista @Agathe_Mametz @Ben

It’s astonishing though that the docs (and the member management + billing UX) aren’t adjusted for clarity.

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Thanks Dennis! I tried it with my developer and he confirmed he still has Dev mode even though I made him view restricted. He has full access and I still have to pay for his design seat even though he has his own Professional account.

I couldn’t get the above “workarounds” to work, so my devs currently have full edit access to design files - which is completely absurd that this is required. Fix ASAP please or we’ll consider other options

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Literally just add “Dev Mode” to this dropdown, or stop trying to combine two very different paradigms: LICENSING and PERMISSIONS

image

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@Dennis_Sawin Yes! It does seem like team permissions allows for a view-only dev mode in a Professional paid seat plan.

Not fully resolved as I have realised that they have 14 days to use DEV mode while I ponder whether to grant access, so it is still a total confusion for me! After changing their status to View restricted the billing was reduced to 0. So am guessing they won’t have access after 14 days.

@Karen_Beal You have to ask them to initiate an Upgrade Request from their side. Then you can accept, and then billing seats are added while viewer-restricted is still there resulting in paid dev mode without edit rights.

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Figma has produced a really regrettable UX writing !
Is it intentional to preserve the confusion ?
Does it increase the performance of their dark billing pattern ?
At this level, we can ask …
It’s stupid because I’ve denied all edit access… if the term was right like “…want to inspect”, “…want to develop” Figma’ll have sold more seats !

To my mind, it is so simple to modify that I don’t understand why the f@&! we’ve got this.

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@Dennis_Sawin we’re tried this with a Pro plan and it doesn’t work. Accepting the request automatically upgrades the requestor to a full seat with edit access.