UPDATE. Aug, 2021.

Figma now has a Branching feature. Something I've been longing for since learning about Git flow. While I still do believe it's important to leave notes on your designs, some of the benefits in this article may be washed away by this new Branching feature. Go check it out too!

Design screens can change daily or hourly. But how to track these changes in Figma? There's File version control. But it's not really helpful to reverse the entire file when you only need to know what's changed in just 1 screen.

Additionally, I'd like my colleagues to see those changes on their own. Without me always presenting each change I do. Imagine if you move a button 5px to the right, and the developer knows about it without your explanation. Like they would read your git commit:

Visual Studio Code shows the difference between the older and newer "welcome.blade.php" files. Lines 9, 10 & 11 were removed.

There's of course Abstract and Zeplin. The first doesn't work with Figma yet. And Zeplin, well, it takes your designs away from Figma. It may not be always comfortable for the process.

How I do it

Back when I was working at Arcade Design System for Output, I created a label component that I would attach to all the screens. Here it is in the wild:

Status label is a yellow component on the left.

The component has:

  • progress status like "Not started", "In progress" or "For review";
  • color coding of the progress status;
  • last time and date the screen was changed.
  • a single pinned comment.

Here's the video of how I use it:

Process of me updating the status. Comments are just examples.

So what you do is:

  1. Attach labels to each screen frame in the file.
  2. Pin a single Figma comment to each of the labels. That way you'll have a thread with all the changes.
  3. When finished with changes, for the time being, update the time stamp inside the label.
  4. Add a commit message in the comment.

Components template

I created a Figma file with similar component examples you can use. Feel free to duplicate it and use.

It's also available in the Figma Community post.

This method of course has its flaws. But before we have something that would look like Git for designs, I think it's a good workaround.