For our Tooling editorial, designer and illustrator Derek Kim humorously visualized the trials and tribulations of the modern designer.

See Also: (More) Thoughts on Design Tools

Amber Bravo
Jul 29, 2015 · 4 min read

This week on Google Design, we published a roundtable discussion with Matias Duarte and the founders of Pixate and RelativeWave, Paul Colton and Max Wiesel. To prepare for the interview, I turned to my design brethren on Medium (and beyond!) to learn more about their experiences working with some of the more popular prototyping tools available today, as well as their hopes and dreams for the next generation of design software. Here are a few of the stories I found helpful for framing the discussion.

Step-by-step tutorials

Image c/o Ces Cortez

Prototyping with Form for the first time by Ces Cortez

A thorough account of using Form (pre 1.3) for the first time, from the perspective of a designer who is less familiar with Quarz Composer, with built prototypes to help synthesize the material covered in each section. Also worth reading: Ces’ great tutorial exploring material design in Origami.

Case Studies

Images c/o Julius Tarng

Designing Search For Rooms by Julius Tarng

Julius Tarng (Facebook) walks readers through the design process for creating the company’s Room app. In addition to discussing his experience prototyping with Quartz Composer & Origami, he writes convincingly about the importance of iterating and using real data in design sketches. The WIP imagery is compelling, and gives readers a sense for how the team arrived at specific design decisions.

Designing Twitter Video by Paul Stamatiou

Image c/o Paul Stamatiou

Paul Stamatiou (Twitter) provides a well documented account of how prototyping tools (in this case, Framer) improved communication during the development of Twitter’s video feature. It’s thorough without getting too bogged down with a bunch of code samples. As a tireless champion of prototyping tools, I appreciate Paul’s approach to using tools judiciously. It’s about knowing when the tool helps and when it becomes a hindrance.

“I only went to prototyping if I needed to answer some big questions about how it might feel; things I couldn’t figure out in ‘my mind’s eye’”


Modern Design Tools: Using Real Data &
Modern Design Tools: Adaptive Layouts by Josh Puckett

In his “Modern Design Tools” series, Josh Puckett (Dropbox) makes a case for using real data and adaptive layouts with thought provoking, hypothetical sketches.

“The age of pixel perfect design for a fixed size is over. The number of devices and sizes our designs will live on will continue to expand, and so too should our tools.”

The State of Interaction Design Tools &
We Should Clone Game Interaction Design Tools by Pasquale D’Silva

Image c/o Pasquale D’Silva

Pasquale D’Silva (Keezy) has been penning “endless pages of tool ideas over the years” — here are two of his more recent pieces. Both are excellent conversation starters and provide optimistic, future-facing propositions about where modern design tools should go. His argument for modeling design prototyping tools after gaming design tools (like Maya), is particularly strong, especially in terms of collaborative capability.

The State of Design Tools: An Unscientific Survey by Khoi Vinh

Image c/o Khoi Vinh

For the past several months, designer Khoi Vinh has been working on a design tooling series for his blog, Subtraction, in support of a larger collaboration with Adobe. Khoi employs some non-scientific and largely qualitative field research to draw conclusions about the current state of design tools, and how they need to evolve to meet designers needs. Follow his journey starting with the link above and the follow up entries below:

Reader Comments On The State of Design Tools
Design Tools Survey: Preliminary Findings
What’s News In Design Tools
Design Tools News No. 2
Design Tools News No. 3
Design Tools News No. 4

“I’ve repeatedly stated my belief that this is a golden age for innovative new software and services geared towards the needs of working designers. What the Adobe team and I wanted to learn firsthand was how this change is being experienced by some of the best shops around town.”

Google Design

Stories by Googlers on the people, product, and practice of UX at Google

Google Design

Stories by Googlers on the people, product, and practice of UX at Google. For editorial content and more visit

Amber Bravo

Written by


Google Design

Stories by Googlers on the people, product, and practice of UX at Google. For editorial content and more visit