4 Reasons Why Figma’s “Swap Library” Feature Can Make Design Systems And Product Designers More Efficient, Functional, And Better Harmonized With Their Tech Stacks

Luke Manimala
2 min readApr 17, 2022

4 Reasons Why Figma’s “Swap Library” Feature Can Make Design Systems And Product Designers More Efficient, Functional, And Better Harmonized With Their Tech Stacks

To properly build a UI component library in Figma, you will need to use the “Swap Library” feature.

I’m leading design on a UI library build for a global aircraft services company. I’ll explain why every design system and product designer should use the “Swap Library” feature in Figma.

I hope this helps you build a more efficiently.

1. Supporting both light and dark themes improves the product usability

Light vs. dark theme should no longer be a debate.

The same person may want a dark screen vs. a light screen depending on the time of day. Using today’s OS-level theme preferences, most consumer web apps can detect the system default and respect this, improving UX, because the user knows which is best for the context.

2. If you’re not using Swap Library, you’re swapping something less efficient.

Before swapping style libraries, my team swapped components or individual styles to toggle light to dark modes.

Both techniques were wasteful; Swapping styles individually was tedious, and swapping components, meant we had to maintain light and dark versions of every UI element.

Now, we don’t have to spend so much time building duplicate UI

components.

3. Swap Libraries will accelerate design system growth

Building new UI components will now take half the time.

We can quickly tweak and finesse your Figma components without making updates for multiple themes.

Quicker tweaks will help your front-end devs ship more UI component improvements.

4. Your Figma libraries will be more harmonized with your UI stack

Using Swap Library will make your UI components act more like coded components. Styles must have 1:1 naming to work, like SCSS variables across multiple themes.

UI developers should inspect your Figma and know which colors or styles to grab, improving communication and reducing errors.

Using Swap Libraries in our Figma design systems gets you one step closer to designing with coded UI.

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog

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Luke Manimala

Chicago-based product designer. I am working to find the story and value in every product through thoughtful execution and innovative design.