My Adventures at Config 2023

Lea city background

Lea Balcerzak

Outside Config event

Being a part of Savas comes with a host of perks, but one of my favorites is the emphasis on continuous learning and exploration within our respective fields. The commitment to our personal and professional growth recently paved the way for an extraordinary opportunity – I had the privilege to travel to the bustling city of San Francisco to attend Figma’s Config conference in person.

Attending Config was a whirlwind of absorbing new knowledge, forging meaningful connections, and gaining invaluable insights, one of the most exciting I’ve gotten the opportunity to do in my professional development in the past few years. In light of this, I wanted to share more about my time at the conference.

Lea at Config
Sculpture of Figma's logo at the conference

Why I wanted to attend Config

I have been attending Config virtually for a couple of years now. Each time, Figma always brings in an impressive lineup of speakers, and they always reserve their most exciting product drops for this conference specifically.

So, when Figma announced that they would be hosting the conference in person for the first time in two years, and I had the chance to attend, I couldn't pass it up. The idea of being right in "the center of the action" was just too exciting. And to top it all off, it offered me a wonderful opportunity to catch up with some of my good friends and colleagues.

My favorite speaker

Figma brought together over 75 speakers from companies around the globe to share innovations, insights, and best practices. However, the one who left a lasting impression on me was Haraldur Thorleifsson, one of the event's keynote speakers. During his presentation, he opened up about his life as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and overall tech renaissance man. One thing he said that resonated deeply with me was his challenging proposition to the audience – “Don’t let the things you can’t do, stop you from the things you want to do.”

Haraldur Thorleifsson presenting at Config '23

My favorite session

I attended quite a few of the breakout sessions. One of my favorites was titled “Transparency Always Wins: How Ethical Design Led to 23% Growth,” where speaker Jaycee Day walked us through the process of creating a more transparent user experience for Blinkist, specifically regarding free trial cancellations. The impact of this approach to design generated an overwhelmingly positive outcome, including a significant decrease in customer complaints and an increase in conversion.

A key takeaway

During the conference, I attended many enriching sessions. However, Kateryna Porshnieva's in-depth discussion on designing accessible forms was notably impactful due to its direct relevance to my work at Savas. Currently, my team and I are creating an onboarding flow for one of our client projects, a task that involves numerous form fields.

Kateryna's profound insights on crafting more accessible experiences, especially concerning error states, text, and disabled button states, provided a valuable perspective that I was excited to share with my team.


Kateryna Porshnieva presenting at Config

My latest Figma obsession

Figma unveiled several innovative features to their platform, including DevMode and variables, offering designers a more seamless way to develop and refine dynamic prototypes. However, the one at the top of the list for me was the long-anticipated font preview feature, which was initially announced at their conference 2.5 years ago.

Can’t forget the food

Although not directly related to the conference, it's worth noting one of my absolute favorite ways to experience a new place is through its food scene.

As a soup dumpling aficionado, my visit to Dumpling Home was a culinary highlight of the trip. The soup dumplings were so tender and flavorful and full of delicious broth. I would also highly recommend the dan dan noodles. They had a great nutty-to-spicy balance that is usually difficult to achieve in the dish.

Dumplings from Dumpling Home

Never stop learning

The unity and collaborative spirit of the design community were truly on display at the conference as we all came together to learn about and celebrate the advances in our field. 

In reflecting on the overall experience, I realize that while a single event might not have the capacity to reinvent me as a designer, it certainly has the power to inspire. Attending Config reminded me of the breadth of my profession and how much I love talking about design.


Config 2023 attendees board of names
Conference attendees adding their names to the wall


I invite you to watch the video above to hear more about my experience at Config 2023, where I share exclusive moments from the conference that I didn't discuss in the blog post above! 

Join our team!

If you're looking for an organization that supports your professional growth, you've come to the right place.