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.
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.
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.
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’”
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.”
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.
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:
“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.”