Organising Your Figma Pages using Hierarchical Header Components

Ansh Mehra
Ansh Mehra
Published in
6 min readJul 26, 2021

Organising your Figma Files well is a crucial aspect of your Design Handoff, especially when you do not use extra tools like Zeplin or Storybook (common in a lot of startups)

Just like your product, your Design Files also has customers. They are your Developers and Project Managers. Properly organised Figma Files keep your Devs & PMs happy which leads to a happy team. A happy team leads to a happy product, resulting in happier customers. And what does that get us? Praise and revenue. Both are extremely valuable to your company.

Let’s take a look at how you can organise your Figma Frames through Header Components

Let’s explore the anatomy of our header:

1. The Base Layer

I would suggest you to fill the base with one of your brand colours. It is better to stick to your branding palette to make sure the entire vibe of your Design Files represents your Brand Identity.

Dimensions created using the Redlines Plugin for Figma

I’ve applied one of my colour styles on the base. The base has Horizontal Constraints (HC) set to ‘Left & Right’ and Vertical Constraints (VC) set to ‘Top & Bottom’. This is to make sure I can stretch my header frame in any way without breaking the design.

2. Gradient Layer

Now to add some extra flair, I’ve also add another rectangle with a dark linear ramp on top of it.

Do not add the gradient directly on your Base Layer. You’ll understand why I’ve added two separate layers for the Header fill in a while 😏

This is how it looks with a subtle gradient layer placed on top of the solid colour. Smooth, right?

3. Branding (Optional)

If needed, you can design a branded PNG overlay or simply put your logo on the right side of the header. It should be something really subtle.

A quick hack is to set the blend mode of your logo/branding PNG to “Overlay” instead of “Pass Through” from the Image Properties Panel.

Logo on your Header ; Blend Mode : Pass Through ; Frame Clip Content is “Off”

Things look better with an opacity of 20% at Overlay. You don’t want your branding PNG to compete for extra attention ⚠️

Quick Tip: Select your logo PNG and press Shift + 2. It’ll quickly reduce the opacity from 100% to 20%

Left: Overlay with 100% Opacity ; Right: Overlay with 20% Opacity

Do not forget to add constraints to your branding PNG. In my case, I’ve set “Right” for HC and top and bottom for VC. This gives me a lot of flexibility as now my header looks good in any dimension.

Proper constraints are making sure my header looks great in all shapes and sizes.

4. Text Labels for setting Context

I always keep two text labels. The first one gives a broader view and the second one gives the specific context for the frames placed next to it.

I’ve added both these texts into an Auto-Layout and set the auto-layout’s HC to Left and VC to Centre.

Keeping your text in an auto-layout keeps them together at all costs.

With this, we are finally done designing our header. Make sure you make a component of this and publish it. This would allow you to have access to this component in all your project files. If you ever decide to change anything, once single change would trickle down to all your headers in a click.

Made the header a component

Ah, looks beautiful when I try to stress test it:

Constraints looking good 👍

One little detail. Name your header component with “ — — “ prefixed to the component name. This is to make sure that when you browse your layers panel, it’s super easy to identify your header amidst other frames.

Without the “ — “ your header would often get lost in between the frames

Now let us understand how I use these headers for organising my frames.

This is how most projects usually look like for a lot of beginners who work in isolation on their projects:

Files that have zero context and horrible organisation ; easy for you but a nightmare for those who work with you.

But after a lot of testing, I’ve finally found a better way to keep my files clean.

Firstly, you should make two instances of your main header component.

The first colour would be for the broader context and the second colour would be for specific context. Let me show you what that means:

These cool looking branches were made using the Autoflow Plugin

I’ll be using two different shades to convey different contexts.

There are two properties playing an important role here. Firstly, our base colour and gradient fills are on two separate rectangles.

Secondly, the “Bigger Picture Context” label that you see doesn’t have a specific colour. The fill is white at 15% opacity, so it blends with any colour placed below it.

Therefore, changing the colour of this header becomes really simple. All I have to do is switch one colour from the Selection Colours panel and voila! I have a good looking instance in a second 🚀

Change the colour styles without disturbing other elements

Here is how the final organisation would look like:

There is a reason why they are stacked left to right / horizontally and not vertically like this ❌

This is because of how we navigate frames in Figma.

You can navigate from frame to frame by pressing N on your keyboard. Shift + N would take you to the previous one.

This navigation is not dependent on how your frames are ordered in the layers panel. It is on the basis of their position on canvas. For Figma, the next frame is going to be the nearest frame on the right.

Organising your UI or Slides horizontally really helps. Because if you are presenting your flows in the way I just showed you, your Figma file would first show the context header (beginning from left) and then show the actual frames on the right, one by one and once that specific flow is over, it would lead to the next context header on the left.

In fact, just by pressing N and Shift + N, you can have a quick prototype without any extra effort. I use this technique for all my presentations and flow reviews at Zuddl.

By quickly hopping from one frame to another, you avoid that annoying scrolling most designers include in their pitches, when they use their cursors to drag through their files. That annoying dragging really breaks the flow 😪

Try to reduce your ‘mouse miles’ during flow demos / presentations

Quick Tip: Select any frame and press ‘2’ — it would zoom in to the selection.

yep, and that’s how I organise my frames on Figma and trust me, it has made my life much easier. Hope it helps you too!

Hi! My name is Ansh Mehra and I’m a UX Designer & Storyteller at, which is a virtual events hosting platform, backed by YCombinator. This article is a part of my Foundations for UX Design Series. You can watch the first episode here!

Yo, I’m telling you — my tutorials are actually pretty special.