Licensing dev mode at a high cost

Within the last year the team that I work for adopted Figma after many months of negotiations with senior leadership in the broader company.

Watching config when dev mode was announced shortly thereafter was like a proverbial gut punch. We had just won the fight to get designers paid seats, so seeing that this functionality is hidden behind a paywall was a reality that came all to fast. There is no way we will get developer seats here. It’s just reality. (I understand the justification for charging a licensing fee, don’t get me wrong!)

There are certainly benefits to dev mode for smaller orgs and startups, but in an enterprise environment where a functioning DSM and component library exists, the cost is not worth it from an engineering perspective. And I would hate to lose the collaboration and efficiency gains that come with building prototypes in Figma.

So I guess this is a plea to the Figma team (and a plea to anyone reading this! please provide feedback if you’re dealing with a similar reality!) to reconsider the pricing of dev mode. Or offer a “basic” version that is similar to what inspect used to be, so we can continue to use the software without a large cost increase. I may be a bit bold in saying this, but I anticipate we wouldn’t be the only enterprise/organizational company that would be forced to find other software if inspect mode is stripped to nothing and dev mode licensing is forced to keep the same functionality :frowning_face:

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Hi! Avantika from the Figma Product team here :wave:t4:

I really appreciate your feedback about this and I’d love to share a few things that might help. We do have a “basic” version of the old inspect panel available for free to all your developers, although the way they access these features is slightly different. I put together a gallery of visuals which helps visually show the differences. They will still be able to inspect the file via the properties tab, get measurements, export assets, and now will access code snippets from the context menu. Would this serve the needs of the developers in your organization?

Totally hear where you’re coming from around dev mode being less useful in an Enterprise environment. If it helps, we have ways for Dev Mode to integrate with your design system and component library. Here’s a great example from Razorpay where they’ve created a Dev Mode plugin to show the component code from their design system) and a few other ideas in the works, so stay tuned!

Let me know what you think! We definitely want to ensure that you can continue to collaborate with developers even if your organization doesn’t have the budget for Dev Mode.

Avantika

@agomes Thanks for the reply.

We got a similar issue at our company and we’re also using the enterprise license. There is no way we get dev seats on top of the design seats (see my post for more info). It was not easy to convince our managers to switch to Figma and with the expensive dev mode we now have to use the free version but the free version is not advanced enough. So I fear we will have another discussion soon to switch from Figma to another tool…

You’re right that devs will still be able to inspect the file via the properties tab, get measurements, export assets, and access code snippets from the context menu but the way the properties tab is structured and how elements are selected in the canvas makes it useless. The important part of the dev mode is this one + the easy way to select elements on the canvas:

You guys should really consider making the basic dev mode more advanced/similar to the image above or make the paid version way cheaper.

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What I don’t understand is how the dev seat cost scales so much when functionality doesn’t. An Enterprise account already pays an exorbitant price for designers, and I understand that for the company it may have added bonuses in security and account control, but these should be on a fixed price per account instead of seatings when they don’t bring as many improvements to the designers themselves (besides 40 modes).

I have been pushing for our company to fully adopt Figma and update their license so we can have more control over our design system (right now we still use Sketch + Zeplin for UI design), but I can’t excuse the huge price increase that it would bring.

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Hi, I share the same feeling. We had a year of negociation internally to get a tool for all designer across our org and it was not easy.
We’re still in battle for FigJam… and this only for designers.

Now there is a will to charge also Devs where Figma is not their main activity application.
It was already hard to get the tool for designers if Devs had the budget to have tools for themself, they would never spend it into Figma but more something related to their Job.

I know there are a lot of plugin that could do things, but I feel it is not adapted to big enterprises where all code need to be done in a specific way and have a strict process.

The price paying 35$ to be able to see the paddings and margins on roll hover of the UI is quiet a price. I’m sure Zeplin could do better in that area. Not at your level, but penpot has it right now for free…

It would be better to focus on empowering people who create and produce something with your application rather than making devs pay for inspect and using a tool that they don’t like (sorry that’s the case of almost all the devs in my company)

Be carreful on your position and how things continue and not losing our trust.
Like:

  • Will you chage 35$ when the AI will be finalized?
  • Will you made the viewer paid 35 because it’s UX researcher not designers?
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I’m with you and having the same discussion in my company.
Hoe things will change :fist:

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Figma is risking to lose customers with this licensing model. People will have to switch tools completely because the costs cannot be justified, as stated in various posts. Not just in this forum, but also on Reddit and other platforms. Many people raised concerns already and Figma needs to react.

My thoughts:

  • Why scale the pricing between Figma Plans at all when there are no feature differences?
  • Why charge the same for Developer seats as for Designer seats (at least in our Professional Plan), when Developers do not need full edit access at all and just need to inspect designs? The price needs to be significantly reduced.
  • Given that developers could use Figma for free to be able to inspect and see all the needed information (until now), it is understandable that Figma wants to charge something because of the increased range of features. But the jump from free to THIS is insanely high and way too much.
  • Features: Lets be honest, most of the dev users will just want to inspect elements and see some values and do not use extended features like syncing. It is unfortunate that the old Inspect tab, which is now Properties, has been reduced to a point that it is basically useless since it just barely shows the essential information.

tl;dr:
The cost increase is insane. Please adjust it Figma.

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Hi all! We are also having a discussion within the company on the same topic. We are on the Enterprise plan, and the main loss for developers will be tokens, the viewing of which will be hidden behind the paywall. This is a really big loss for our product teams as we have a huge design system and we want our teams to have a consistent experience across design files and specs.

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@agomes Let me tell you it won’t work. Most of developers just need to inspect the design in a fancy way, and is a pitty you want to force them to pay for a seat by downgrading them to an awful and uncomfortable inspect tab, which is your actual strategy. What is more, you don’t think about the casuistry of the designer not wanting the developer to edit the design, because your seat gives editing and dev mode privileges.

And I understand you need income as a company, but let me tell you what I think is the worst consequence of all this: if a designer with a free plan and a developer with a free plan are working together and developer wants to keep Dev Mode, both of them have to pay for a seat, because once the developer pays for a seat, the designer is directly downgraded to “view only”. Sorry, but althought I understand a free plan is a free plan, this strategy is completely wrong and creates a bad reputation. You should offer scalable plans.

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It’s a similar situation in our company. We had long discussions and negotiations with the management until we finally adopted Figma for all Designers. The move to now also have Developers pay comes at a bad time and we as Designers are worried how long we still can use Figma - our Company won’t buy additional licenses for Developers, that’s for sure, and if we would have to it would be impossible for us to argue for it in the future… a real bummer and I agree it will lead to people leaving Figma.

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The fact that no one is responding to this worries me greatly.

I just tried to find a way to launch normal Chromium DevTools which used to be available through a shortcut, it is now gone.

Gone is also my ability to choose whether or not I want to use DevTools.
How can I turn off the Devmode for my team completely?

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These posts should be merged. Dev mode princing - #21 by Jason_Williams

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It’s so frustrating to see how Figma has dropped the ball on this. It just punishes use of the plan at larger scales and makes it harder for big organizations to adopt Figma. I don’t know if they’re increasing their revenue by a couple of percentages from this change, but it’s a rot that will undermine their adoption. Did they get some tips on product pricing from Adobe lol?

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Hey Figma,

I guess you really don’t get the point. If we can’t sell internally in our orgs you can’t sell this either. This is a clusterfuck for small and big orgs because of the extracosts. You basically begging us to switch to an alternative.

KR,
Klaus

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It’s also frustrating for smaller companies: we had long and very difficult discussions to argue for the adopting Figma for designers - it’s even harder to now convince management that they have to pay a hell of a lot more suddenly…

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Figma is killing themselves and the whole design market instead of making additional money.

  1. Some basic maths is wrong to charge on inspecting. No company can agree with at least a double cost of design tool just becuz of fxxking basic inspecting
  2. Designers need to paid all the bills and buy some seats, if Developers are not in the same company. Just imagine the case of consultants and freelancer and you will know.
  3. Figma ignore the billing experience but just beta for user experience. This a such a joke for the biggest design tool company
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for team with 2 designers 5 managers and 30 developers we need +35 pro licenses? looks like scam

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Ridiculous that every single developer option is hidden behind a paywall now. It was positioned during the beta that “Inspect” would still have its basic functionality post the beta, this is clearly untrue.

We are a large organisation as well, and this price tag is a slap in the face.

The reply in one of the threads around the fact that there is a “basic” inspect available for viewers is incorrect. The properties panel is of NO use and value to our developers.

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My team is finally collaborating in Figma after a long process to get dev and designer working together in one space.

Figma is a design tool. It isn’t the primary tool for implementation it’s a bridge. It’s really ridiculous that the cost of a dev seat is only slightly less than a designer seat.

Very frustrated.

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This is just straight up bad from Figma. Had the exact same issue with internal chats and eventually got the green line for an Org plan for 3 designers (already quite extortionate). But that took A LOT of convincing and dying on numerous hills to get cleared.

Now we have to pay for 60+ dev seats for our engineering team? Not a fucking chance!

Looking for alternative tools now, and suspect others will be doing the same. Cheers Figma! :poop:

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