Figma’s widely loved web apps enable designers, developers, and product managers to efficiently design and build beautiful interfaces. As an industry leader in collaborative product design, Figma’s mobile apps play a critical role in broadening its user base while making it more convenient than ever for teams to collaborate and communicate anytime, anywhere.
Vivek Karuturi, Native Apps Engineering Lead at Figma, shares why mobile plays a key role in Figma’s growth strategy and details how the team uses Instabug to streamline internal and external feedback processes and generate high-quality, actionable user insights.
Objective: Mobile as a Strategic Imperative
It’s no secret that mobile app usage continues to climb (today, people spend nearly a third of their waking hours on mobile devices). For Figma, this creates the opportunity to play a major role across the entire ecosystem of designers, product managers, and even developers, whether they are using Figma’s mobile apps to collaborate in real-time or building their own mobile apps from the ground up.
Figma wants to be everywhere its users expect, so Karuturi and his team must translate what users know and love about the web app into the realm of mobile devices. “Product design has become a far more collaborative process than ever and it turns out that Figma’s mobile apps are used heavily by design-adjacent roles,” Karuturi notes. These roles often want to review designs and give feedback on the go. Karuturi explains that, despite being a web-based platform, “many of Figma’s most engaged users rely on native platforms,” which highlights the impact that mobile has on the business overall. “It’s inherently in our best interests to make sure these users have an easy-to-use, reliable experience for collaboration on-the-go.”
With the release of Dev Mode, Figma’s mobile commitment extends even further with tooling designed to help developers build better mobile apps, faster. Dev Mode simplifies designer-developer collaboration by making it easier to inspect designs, track production requirements, and manage the latest iterations — all from an innately familiar interface inspired by industry-standard dev tools. Karuturi notes the excitement about bringing design and code closer together, saying “Whether a developer uses Jetpack Compose/XML on Android or SwiftUI/UIKit on iOS, Dev Mode generates relevant code directly from the designs themselves. It’s like a browser inspector for your design file, bringing design concepts — shapes, layers, and groups — closer to developer concepts like code, icons, and tokens. Dev Mode creates a great starting point so developers can avoid going from 0 to 1 every time.”
Ultimately, for Figma to best support its growing and diverse user base, delivering a high-quality mobile experience is simply table stakes.
Challenge: Little Visibility into What’s Driving User Feedback
When Figma’s native apps team first started, they prioritized simplicity in their development process. “We relied largely on feedback from app store reviews, Twitter, and emails to our support team. Internally, we relied on Slack and various meetings to surface issues and feedback,” Karuturi notes.
However, it soon became apparent that what the team gained in simplicity they lost in visibility, as these feedback channels left a blindspot as to what users experienced day-to-day. “Email is a high-friction channel and, as a result, not many users bother to send a report. When they did, they didn’t attach critical information like screenshots, video recordings, or diagnostic data like OS Version, App Version,” Karuturi explains. Simply put, “we didn’t have the context and information we needed to resolve the issue.”
Reaching out to users for further details yielded low response rates, signaling a clear need for a better approach.
Solution: A Made-for-Mobile Platform That Turns Feedback in Action
Karuturi and the team knew they needed to change the pattern. First, they needed to make reporting issues easier so that people flag issues in the first place. “It should be as simple as shaking the phone or taking a screenshot from anywhere in the app,” he explains. Second, they needed to collect as much information as possible on that first touch point to minimize any communication back and forths. “In addition to giving us more immediate visibility, it would ease the burden on our support and engineering teams to dig up that information.”
Naturally, the team first considered building their own solution but quickly decided to focus their capacity and resources on what they do best — building collaborative tools. Instead, they set out to evaluate the existing landscape of mobile-focused issue-reporting software.
Any solution would need to:
- Provide a seamless UX with multiple ways for users to submit feedback.
- Integrate with Asana, Slack, and Zendesk.
- Meet high data security standards and SOC2 compliance.
- Have experience with enterprise-scale mobile apps.
- Offer access to quick, helpful customer support.
Instabug quickly rose to the top of the team’s list. “Aside from our core requirements, Instabug offered plenty of features like network logs, repro steps and alerts and rules that we were excited to play with to get deeper debugging context and enable intelligent routing of issues,” Karuturi notes. Instabug provided a unique combination of qualitative and quantitative detail that Figma's teams could use to understand the triggers behind feedback and, most importantly, to take action fast.
“There wasn’t another mobile-focused product out there that checked every single wishlist item like Instabug did.” —Vivek Karuturi, Native Apps Engineering Lead at Figma
Figma began using Instabug throughout the entire development cycle, from early internal builds to live versions of their apps, providing a painless way for internal and external users to send meaningful, actionable feedback across every phase.
Today, product teams, product designers, managers, developers, and more rely on Instabug to report and log bugs and usability issues throughout the early build phase. These get automatically forwarded to a dedicated Slack channel and the relevant Asana project, streamlining feedback reporting, monitoring, and management, without changing existing workflows.
For major releases, Figma hosts group testing with a wider audience of internal team members to assess launch readiness. All feedback is automatically forwarded to Asana with the relevant context (logs, metadata, etc.) for triage and debugging.
Finally, for their original goal of streamlining user feedback, Figma integrated Instabug into their live apps to give users a painless way of sending actionable feedback. Through the Zendesk integration, Figma’s support team receives and handles user feedback with the tools and workflows they are familiar with and can flag major and recurring issues for the developers.
Results: Decreased Time to Debug User Issues
Instabug has played a key part in transforming Figma’s feedback process, both in terms of the quality and quantity of the feedback received internally and externally.
“We use early builds of our app extensively to live with rough versions of new features and continually improve them along the way. Instabug has become a key part of that process, slashing the effort and time needed to log and triage issues,” Karuturi explains. The same holds true for wider group testing sessions, where the team finds that “the reporting/tracking process is easier, faster, and automatically has a lot more context baked into it.”
In Figma’s live apps, Instabug eliminates the friction of sending feedback and drastically improves the debugging information included in reports. “We used to get a trickle of occasional user feedback with little context,” Karuturi recalls. “Now we get a steady stream of actionable reports from our users about bugs they’ve found or things they want us to improve.” The significant time saved can now be spent investigating any issues or understanding feedback from users.
The net result: Figma’s team stays in tune with their users and what they experience in the app. “Instabug gives us a finger on the pulse of our users and their experience, helping us catch and fix major issues in production before their impact grows,” Karuturi explains. “As we get more feedback, it’s allowing us to better prioritize our ongoing investments.”
Looking Ahead: Continued Growth of Mobile
Figma continues to invest in their native apps to take full advantage of their platforms, and the team has no shortage of big plans. From better on-device testing of mobile designs to more editing options and even more ways to manage feedback, Figma’s mobile initiatives continue to grow, and so too does their relationship with Instabug.
“Instabug’s added layer of customization helps us adapt the service to our growing needs.” —Vivek Karuturi, Native Apps Engineering Lead at Figma
Beyond its mobile apps, Figma continues its commitment to supporting the entire ecosystem of mobile developers, designers, and product builders end-to-end. By helping people design and build better mobile apps faster, from the design phase to getting code into production, Dev Mode stands poised to play a central role in this mission. “As we continue to invest and explore advanced technologies like AI, we’re excited to take Dev Mode to the next level with more ways to improve designer-developer collaboration, extract specs, and drive better alignment between design and code,” Karuturi assures. “You can expect to see Dev Mode become a real superpower for bringing designers and developers even closer together.”