Figma chief in Nige­ria, ad­vo­cates sys­tem de­sign

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - GUARDIAN TECH - By Adeyemi Ade­petun

TO fur­ther ce­ment the growth in Nige­ria’s soft­ware sub-sec­tor, the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Figma, Dy­lan Field, has stressed the im­por­tance of sys­tem de­sign.

Sys­tems de­sign is the process of defin­ing the ar­chi­tec­ture, mod­ules, in­ter­faces, and data for a sys­tem to sat­isfy spec­i­fied re­quire­ments. Sys­tems de­sign could be seen as the ap­pli­ca­tion of sys­tems the­ory to prod­uct devel­op­ment.

Field, who was in Nige­ria for the Figma Meetup fo­rum, which had over 200 par­tic­i­pants, said Figma is the first in­ter­face de­sign tool based in the browser, mak­ing it eas­ier for teams to cre­ate soft­ware.

The CEO ex­plained that his com­ing would en­able him iden­tify po­ten­tial pi­lot part­ners for ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tive; learn what it would take to kick off a de­sign ori­ented pro­gramme, es­pe­cially where an en­gi­neer­ing pro­gram ex­ists; grow Figma us­age in Lagos; sup­port user group, meet with in­flu­encers; learn about users and mar­ket and trends

Ac­cord­ing to him, there are five trends in de­sign hap­pen­ing right now, which de­signs are be­com­ing more im­por­tant than ever; de­sign be­comes more col­lab­o­ra­tive than ever; the de­sign tool chain is frag­mented; de­sign­ing be­com­ing more ac­ces­si­ble for de­vices and that great de­sign does not show geo­graphic bound­aries. “That’s where Figma comes in,” he added.

On his com­ing to Lagos, Nige­ria, Field noted that since Figma’s in­cep­tion, “we’ve spent a lot of time think­ing about how to em­power peo­ple to de­sign. We be­lieve one of the main ways that more peo­ple are go­ing to be able to par­tic­i­pate in the de­sign process in the fu­ture is through a thing called de­sign sys­tems.”

Ac­cord­ing to him, there is still is no clear con­sen­sus on how de­sign sys­tems should work, say­ing that in De­cem­ber, Figma launched de­sign­sys­tems.com, with a goal of cre­at­ing a way for de­sign­ers, glob­ally, to talk about de­sign sys­tems.

He re­vealed that along with the launch of the web­site, the firm kicked off a se­ries of global meet-ups, to cre­ate a space for de­sign­ers to tackle the hard topics head on - shar­ing the messy war sto­ries, hard earned lessons and best prac­tices that ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit from.

“We’ve had one meetup so far in San Francisco, and Lagos is our next stop. That is the rea­son for our com­ing.”

On the choice of Lagos, Field said it’s clear that great de­sign does not show geo­graphic bound­aries, “When we launched Figma last year, we didn’t tar­get any in­ter­na­tional ge­ogra­phies. How­ever, we’ve been sur­prised to see that 80 per cent of our user base re­sides out­side the U.S.

“A few things brought Lagos specif­i­cally onto our radar. This in­clude a large user group started grow­ing or­gan­i­cally, which was started by my friend Namnso. Se­condly, a group of stu­dents started us­ing Figma with a non-profit called AYITI. I started dig­ging in and saw a glimpse of what is go­ing on here, and knew I wanted to learn more.

“When the time came to launch our next De­sign Sys­tems meetup, Lagos seemed like a nat­u­ral choice.”

On the im­por­tance of the soft­ware sub­sec­tor, Figma noted that apps devel­op­ment and sys­tem de­sign are what would drive next gen­er­a­tion of eco­nomic growth, “so I think govern­ment should cre­ate an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for the sub-sec­tor to grow. Tech­nol­ogy re­mains a key fac­tor to any coun­try yearn­ing for growth. I think it should be ac­corded a pri­or­ity here.

“I am im­pressed by the tal­ents I have seen here in Lagos, they are amaz­ing. What is needed is sup­port from both pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor,” he stated.

Cross sec­tion of the par­tic­i­pants

Cross sec­tion of the par­tic­i­pants PHO­TOS: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Mem­bers of Ac­ces for youth in­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy at the event

Prod­uct De­signer, Hefty­byte Inc, Ugo Ifezue ( left); Chief Tech­nol­ogy Of­fi­cer, Ho­tels.ng, Neo Igho­daro; Lead De­signer, Ho­tels.ng, Namnso Ok­panah; Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Figma, Dy­lan Field and Prod­uct De­signer, Paystack, Aikomo Onaopemipo at the Figma Nige­ria Meetup on Un­der­stand­ing de­sign Sys­tems.

Speak­ers and the co­or­di­na­tor of the con­fer­ence

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