Measuring Figma Adoption: A Deeper Dive into Walrus Usage

Lenora Porter
May 15, 2023
min read

This weekend, I decided to indulge my inner nerd by exploring the concept of "measuring Figma adoption." My focus wasn't on the broad spectrum of "design system" adoption, but specifically on how designers are adopting the Walrus design system within Figma.

The Challenge with Analytics

While reviewing our analytics, I noticed they often leave much to interpretation. For instance, when we observe inserts and detachments, it's not always clear how to interpret these actions. I feel that these metrics leave significant parts of the story untold.

A New Approach to Measuring Adoption

Inspired by the Pinterest Design Systems Team’s approach to measuring adoption, I decided to evaluate each file by calculating how many layers were Walrus components versus non-Walrus components. For example, if a file contains 25 layers and 7 of those are Walrus components, then that file has a 28% Walrus adoption rate.

Why This Matters

While this method doesn't tell the entire story, it does provide a more nuanced view of how our design system is utilized across files. This can help us understand the adoption patterns and identify areas where we can improve or provide additional support.


Here's a breakdown of the approach I took:

  1. Using the Figma REST API: I leveraged the Figma REST API to gather data.
  2. Filtering to Key Teams: I focused on the teams that use our library the most: Compute, Storage, Networking, Platform, and Sign Up & Onboarding.
  3. Time Frame: I filtered the data to include files edited within the last two weeks.
  4. Metrics Calculated: I calculated three key adoption metrics:
    • Component Adoption: The percentage of layers that are Walrus components.
    • Color Adoption: The usage rate of Walrus color styles.
    • Text Adoption: The usage rate of Walrus text styles.


By analyzing these metrics, I gained valuable insights into the adoption and usage of Walrus components within our teams. Here’s what I found:

  • Component Adoption (45.99%): Nearly half of the layers in the analyzed files are Walrus components. This indicates a strong initial adoption, showing that designers are frequently using the component library. This rate is promising, especially for a developing design system, but there is still room for growth.
  • Text Style Match (28.38%): Just over a quarter of the text layers are using the Walrus text styles. This lower percentage indicates that there is significant room for improvement in the adoption of standardized text styles.
  • Color/Fill Match (29.55%): Close to 30% of color and fill layers align with Walrus color styles. This suggests that while some designers are using the standardized color palette, there is still substantial deviation.

Future Metrics to Capture

To deepen our understanding of Figma adoption, here are additional metrics we can start capturing using the Figma API:

  1. Component Variants Usage: Measure the adoption of different component variants to see which designs are preferred and if certain variants are underutilized.
  2. Customizations: Track the properties of components to infer the extent of customizations made.
  3. File and Page Activity: Capture data on how frequently files and pages are created, edited, and reviewed to understand the workflow and usage patterns.
  4. Adoption Over Time: Create trends over time to see how adoption rates change, helping us identify the impact of new component releases or updates.

Tracking Walrus 2.0 Implementation

Looking ahead, I plan to rerun this query with the new Walrus 2.0 implementation to keep track of adoption. This will allow us to compare the adoption rates before and after the rollout of Walrus 2.0, providing valuable insights into the impact of the new implementation.


This deeper analysis allows us to understand the real-world application of our design system and identify areas for improvement. It provides a clearer picture of adoption and helps us tailor our support and resources to better meet the needs of our design teams. By capturing additional metrics in the future and tracking the adoption of Walrus 2.0, we can continue to refine and enhance the Walrus design system's adoption and effectiveness.

Last Updated:
June 26, 2024