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Using Figma to capture user feedback
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For the first time I'm trying to capture user feedback directly on Figma. I started with just putting normal comments on my frames but after two sessions I found this gets too messy. I'm considering the following options (coming up with them while writing this).

  • Normal comments prefixed with a session name (participant alias). This was my first idea, but it gets messy, because I don't know what 'resolved' means anymore: 'irrelevant comment', 'applied change to next iteration' or 'I looked at this, made no changes but wanted to clean up the comments to keep track of what I read'.
  • Normal comments, but with a set of screens for each test session. That way you can at least see what comment referred to what session at a glance.
  • Self-made comment components placed on the live prototype so the test participant can see what I write
  • Color-coded comment components on a copy of the prototype. With a copy for each session so I don't have to update two copies with changes made after a session.

I'm curious about your experiences and ideas!

A downside of normal comments is that they are only sticky to the top most layer. So if you move components around, the comments get detached. A workaround can be deleting the top level layer temporarily and making all comments snap to the new top level layers.

A downside of using my own comment component is that they become quite small and thus harder to find when zoomed out on a big prototype flow.

I found the Detach within frames plugin is very useful to preserve reference copies of iterations.

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I made a quick prototype for a comments component. Not really happy with managing states via component properties just yet though.

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Nathanael ChoProduct Designer at Esri
3 mnths ago

Are you doing this async, or are you present when users are testing the prototypes?

I considered doing it on the live prototype, but I think it's distracting. I tell participants (repeatedly) that I'm taking notes on my laptop, so they know I'm 100% paying attention.

So my in my workflow I make a copy of the screens for each participant, detach all components and place my custom notes component on those copies.

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For anyone interested in trying my approach: I shared the comment component I was referring to on Figma Community. Summarizing my previous messages, this is my worfklow for getting user feedback on prototypes:

  • Copy all relevant prototype frames to place notes on
  • Detach the components inside those copied frames with this plugin. Ideally, styles should also be detached, so you have a permanent copy of that state for future reference.
  • Do the feedback session with the original prototype
  • Place copies of my custom comment component on the note taking copies of the prototype frames
  • Use the comment component's variants to set the color
  • Use the comment component's variants to keep track of the status of each comment after the session (research, draft design, done)

I just learned that we can now place 'widgets' in Figma, I'll look into whether this is a good use case for that!

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