Rituals of modern product teams

Yuhki Yamashita, Figma | Shishir Mehrotra, Coda





Day 2


Building great products starts with building great teams. And building great product teams is more than just hiring the right people; it’s designing the right rituals that help them operate effectively and unlock their full potential. Join Shishir Mehrotra, co-founder and CEO of Coda, and Yuhki Yamashita, Chief Product Officer of Figma, as they share the rituals they’ve created and been a part of over the years. Get inspired by ideas to bring back to your team.

More from Config


By Figma

Day 2


Software as archaeology: digging up the past to build for the future

I’ve been thinking about the process of archaeology as it pertains to building software - in particular, the software behind Figma. I’ve been writing code for the design editor since I was an intern in 2017, and in my years of working here, I’ve seen entire parts of the codebase stripped away, rewritten, and evolve. As software engineers, I’d like to suggest a reframing of our roles. We’re more than those who write code. We’re also the stewards of the systems that came before us, and the architects of the future. What can we do to set up the teammates that come after us for success, as we build upon our codebases? What are practices that can help us pay down tech debt, even as we write new features? How do we unearth years of past code commits to find the gems of wisdom that guide our future implementations?


Design systems

Day 2


Emerging thoughts on AI assisted design

A Long Rope and a Handful of Knots: Emergent Best Practices in AI-Assisted Design and Research
Speaker: Jane Davis

The past several years have seen an enormous change in what AI can do—and who it's available to. The advances in LLMs, combined with their broad availability, mean that Design and Research are facing new opportunities and challenges around how and why to apply assistive and automative technologies to our craft.

To better understand how to navigate a world with widely available AI, I conducted primary research to see where, how, and when designers and researchers have found applications for AI in their work, as well as how they think about the ethics and best practices involved. Based on this research, I'll outline the emergent best practices (and pitfalls) in applying LLMs to design and research work. I'll also share principles for applying this research to design and research processes, and give attendees practical takeaways for how and when they might want to apply AI to their own practice.

Design Systems in Transition: Anxiety, AI, and Where We Go 
Speaker: Kathryn Gonzalez

Design Systems are made to manage change. Mass layoffs throughout our industry have changed the vibes in tech rapidly, AI is moving quickly to reshape our design and engineering practices from the foundations, and all the bubbling anxiety that comes from it are now here. When the world is changing so quickly, how do we use the frameworks, mindset, and skills we have as system builders to navigate what’s here and what’s to come? And what does that future look like? After eight years building design systems and the organizations that run them at DoorDash, Kathryn Gonzalez quit her job to explore the future of the space and make sense of this moment in time in our industry. She’ll share her stories, what the AI-assisted future of systems could look like, how she’s dealing with the anxiety of this critical time for the work we do, and what it all means for the people in this industry. And yes, this talk idea was created with the help of AI.



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@Figma 2023