Figma urgently needs better way to organize files

TL;DR:
Figma needs the ability to:

  • group related files around the main design file, in a fixed order, regardles of ownership
  • quickly access alll files when I switch project context, regardless of ownership
  • manage tabs better (see: tabs in a popular web browser)

Hi. I work with Figma on daily basis with 10s of files at the same time.

I’m struggling to organize all those open projects within Figma UI. How is that possible?

I’m in a huge ecommerce. In my org one project I’m a lead designer in is usually related to 3-5 different projects through dependencies, shared components etc. I often work on 2 types of projects: 1) changes within single steps on a longer customer journey (where we are assigned as owners) and 2) cross-journey projects that affect multiple steps that are owned by other designers.

So if I’m working with 3-4 projects at the same time for a quarter of the year this means there are 4 x 5 Design files open + sometimes additional 4-10 FigJams with research notes, workshops, contextual boards etc.

I’d rather keep them open in tabs but that’s far from perfect. I keep most of projects open in tabs because tabs are the only space I can:

  1. reorder to mimick grouping
  2. keep truly recent projects in a fixed order
  3. keep related files close to the main design file I’m working on.

But tabs in Figma don’t work anymore.

  • I can’t group open projects.
  • When I unplug the main display when I go for a meeting I can’t see some of the tabs I have in the tab bar.
  • I don’t see full names of projects above certain number of open tabs.

The “recent projects” does not work.

  • The order of tile is changing beyond my control, so there is no fixed visual anchor to rely on. If this list is longer than 5-10 elements and become a wall of tiles it’s not helpful.
  • So tabs are better

The projects left sidebar does not suffice.

  • I can only manage files I’m the owner of.
  • Thus, I need to resort to sections. But sections are tiny wee and I can’t see files in sections as tiles in the main homepage area.
  • So tabs are better

My proposal:

  • Tabs grouping feature to manage tabs or…
  • Ability to add shortcuts to related files to Project section on home page.

I assume Projects are like folders in Google Drive, so let’s make “shortcuts” possible so that a file that is related but belongs to another project could still be at a hand’s reach within homepage.

This way I could declutter the tab bar because I won’t loose the link to designs related to my main project.

Hi @Cyryl,
Thank you for your detail feedback! Others in the community have requested something similar, feel free to vote so we can gauge the overall interest in the community:

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True. But these are just features without a job-to-be-done context. I was trying to share the workflow behind them. In any case, I’ll be happy to see tab groups.

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