Professional plan should offer more than 4 variable modes

I totally agree this is a design feature, not a company size feature. I at least need 15 modes because our company does a lot of co-branding. I was willing to go to enterprise while I’m the only designer in the company, but the minimum is $5000 per year. Did anyone find hacky loop arounds already?

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I’ve found a dumb way that you can use aliases to string together modes from different collections. It can work for some situations but not all.

For example I just used it to have three main themes in one collection for controlling background and foreground color, while another collection controls 4 accent colors. If I had more than these in my existing design system I could potentially use more collections. I wouldn’t be doing this nonsense if I just had unlimited modes.

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It was inevitable

Hey @dvaliao any feedback from product? Is this a permanent decision?
This limitation is explicitly and AGRESSIVELY anti-user.

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Hi @Hoby-Van-Hoose , thanks for this. I’m trying to do something similar. Can you please a bit detailed example of how you’re using aliases to stitch modes from different collections?

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Agree. I primarily work as a consultant. Why shouldn’t I be able to utilise the power and flexibility of variables for, say, translating my designs into 4+ languages for checking text lengths on my designs before being penalised? The same goes for some of my clients, who only consist of me as a UX designer and 3-4 developers. This smells of easy moneymaking.

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Completely agree here. I’ve completely given up using variables for now because it’s simply not scalable in our setting. This limit thwarts the design capabilities of the tool, and if this approach becomes a pattern, Figma is setting up a very nice ground for a new, more accessible tool to take over. Please do not make the same mistakes others have made in the past.

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Hi @Aniket_Bhadane in the example I mentioned, I have:

  1. Colors collection. Hex values, named for purpose.
  2. Themes collection. 3 themes (modes) featuring different background colors. This contains a set of accent colors aliased to different base colors according to the background.
  3. Accents collection. 1 accent “color” in 4 modes, which are aliases of the accent aliases in the themes collection.

So then for accent colors I want to change according to variables, I set their color to the Accent color. Then for instances or their containers, I set their modes to the Theme and Accent I want for that particular location.

If I need more than 4 accents I could do a couple things, neither of which are ideal:

  • Add more colors to the themes and make an accents-secondary collection with modes that alias those additional theme colors. If you want to be able to choose one accent color and be able to switch between primary and secondary sets, you need to create ANOTHER collection that has the primary and secondary colors as modes. I did this already for a set of pattern colors that I needed 3 for primary and 4 for secondary. It’s not nice needing to set three different modes to get a color but it remains fully dynamic between both accent sets. You could have a total of 16 accent colors if you filled up all the possible modes this way.
  • Add another theme mode where the accent colors are actually entirely different accent colors without their own name. This would allow you to double your available accent colors (or triple if you only had 2 themes to start with) but you’d have to keep track of what color they’re going to end up, outside of Figma Variables.
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Please offer 12 modes for professional plan. It’s difficult to switch to variables if my small team can’t accommodate all themes and languages into it.

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+1, why is there a limit at all? we’re already PAYING for prof. doesn’t make sense for our small team to upgrade to enterprise for this feature alone.

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Adding to the pile here because I spent way to much time trying to find a workaround to this limitation

:arrow_right: Some of the basic usecases shared by Figma for variables modes are for products of an e-commerce and for translation.

  • Both usecases are common for solo designer and small team
  • Both usecase makes no sense with just 4 modes

If I want to use variable modes, I need to inform my client that something as simple as adding an item to a list it will increase Figma licence cost by 5000$.

It’s a very akward conversation.

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Definitely need more than 4, at least 10 - 20

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This limitation makes absolutely zero sense. The number of variable modes required isn’t something that scales up proportionate to the size or structure of your design team, which makes this limitation feel completely arbitrary and blatantly opportunistic.

Have Adobe sent you sales consultants to come up with ridiculous ideas like this? Because it feels completely unthought-out and unlike something I’d expect Figma to do.

We were so excited to use modes to quickly update our entire prototype for usability testing. We were thrilled when we saw our participants’ names, balances, status tiers, etc. updating seamlessly and effortlessly across many pages and components… and then we saw the message RE 4 modes max. We’re lucky that we’re only running two sessions simultaneously so we can update the modes, but it adds extra time, effort, and stress.

We don’t need an enterprise account. We don’t need REST API integration. Our little design team just needs more than 4 modes.

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I agree will all of the comments above. I am leading an Open Source Accessibility Theme Builder project and I am an individual designer with a professional account. I am trying to create color blind themes and there are 8 types of colorblindness, hence I need 9 modes - standard + the 8 colorblind modes… I want to enable all designer the opportunity to apply accessible themes/modes to their design, which means not only do I need access to more that 4 modes but everyone does. Please support this effort and help us reimagine what it means to create accessible experiences by opening up the number of mode available to all designer up to 10.

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This is probably the most valuable comment here. Thanks for you efforts @Lise_Noble

Out of curiosity, what are the benefits of having a wide range of color blindness themes VS one theme that ensures designs meet WCAG contrast ratios?

@Travis 12 I have not come across a 10 color blind pallet in which each of the colors offers a contrast of 3.1:1 against white in light mode and 3.1:1 in dark mode. For charts and graphs you need to have a 3:1 contrast. I am working at developing accessible experiences in both light and dark modes. In addition, there are colors that kind of work for each of the types of color blindness but they are not optimised for each. I am working on a open source accessibility, accessibility theme builder, that is trying to re-imagine the way we build accessible experiences.

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4 is not an arbitrary limit, it is carefully selected so that it is not possible to create library components that support 3 breakpoints and two color modes. Which is a common scenario. Its a business decision to force bigger organizatios into the most most expensive plan.

Zero intention of using Variable Modes with this limit. What a waste of a good feature, just sitting behind an obnoxiously high paywall.

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Adding some more fuel to this request. I think there is plenty of justification in the above comments for not limiting modes for smaller teams. Is Figma really thinking that individual designers and small teams don’t: localize designs for more than 4 languages, create more than 4 different color schemes (or present more than 4 to a client before deciding on the one), design for only 4 device size breakpoints, or have more than 4 different font explorations? Those are just a few examples. Such an arbitrary limitation really keeps the feature from realizing its full potential, because small teams will NEVER pay for enterprise just to get more modes.

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