"Fear is the mind killer"
Like many of you, we find ourselves being held back by fear. By fear of judgement. By fear of being wrong, and that too in public. By the fear of not being good enough.
As the Litany Against Fear proclaims, we must not fear.
Today, we face our fear, and go even further, fully embracing it: we are making our Figma files public.
These are the Figma screens where we ideate, plan and execute how ente apps look and behave. There is nothing left out of it - these are in their full, forever-in-progress chaos.
If you open it, you'll see our designers scurrying about hammering nails, creating components; and engineers ambling around with their tapes, measuring the designs as they translate them into code. Designs left unimplemented, designs yet to be picked; designs from an earlier era, designs for a future, it's all here.
Unlike many other companies that published distilled versions of their "design systems", for us here there is no separate publish step – the link is to the actual, live, designs that we're using right now to build all our mobile, web and desktop apps. Any update we make, you'll see and can comment on; reminiscent of how GitHub works for source code.
"I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path."
We do not have an end goal in mind. The ente apps are already open source, and you'll find us active on our Discord and other public channels like Mastodon and Twitter. So making ente's designs public is just another advance in this spirit of building out in the open and continuously living in the midst of customer feedback.
There are downsides, yes, of such an approach. By getting early feedback, there are many things we will have to discard - not because they were bad ideas, but simply because of limited engineering bandwidth and other constraints. The people giving the feedback might not know of these details, and so there is a risk of them feeling disregarded. On the flipside, some customers might get too expectant of WIP designs that never see the light of the app, and thus we risk setting up false hopes too. So we're not sure if making this public is a good idea; let's see where this goes.
"Today, every digital product is a work in progress. And this has changed how we design. Our work never feels done because it isn't... It's the chaotic reality of modern product design and development.
–– Making progress in an in-progress world (from Figma's blog)
Thank you for reading, and we hope you take a look. Here is the link. And if there are suggestions you have on the designs, just press the C button to enter "Comment" mode (you might need a Figma account to be able to comment).
See you in the Figma file!