Not another design tool!

Andrew Coyle
May 25 · 2 min read

I’ve noticed it is often engineers or product managers who embrace new design tools first. Designers reluctantly follow and eventually fully embrace and defend the app. Then another tool comes out, and the process repeats itself.

Design tools get more specific, break up bundled offerings, and then get more and more consolidated again until newer, more targeted offerings start the process all over again.

Organizations favor consolidated offerings because the review and approval process is straightforward. Organizations are often slow to adopt newer design tools. And the adoption process often is just the formal acknowledgment its employees are using a new app.

New tools get a foothold in large organizations by early adopters who try new things or address a specific problem.

These early adopters are often non-designers or new designers who start using an app because it’s easier or fits a specific need.

Design tools seem to have a 3-year cycle before fading and being replaced by something new. This cycle often lags behind the adoption of a new technology or form factor.

As an example, mobile and responsive design changed the way designers build for the web. It took a couple of years for new design tools to address this change and a couple more years before these new tools were widely accepted.

I decided to create a new design tool after noticing how many people without design in their title make design decisions. Most new tech startups don’t start with a designer on the team. Their early success or failure relies on their ability to iterate fast.

Founders and early employees hack together concepts to test at a rapid pace. They are often designing in the browser or even hard-coding as they go.

This process isn’t very pixel-perfect. It’s messy.

I’m building a tool to meet these creators where they are in this process and how they work. NextUX is an easy-to-use design platform that allows you to capture what you are working on, make alterations to it, add comments, and share with their team.

My goal is to make a design app that is as transactional as a chat application and as powerful as any design tool to make visual feedback faster and more accessible to more roles.

In the future, I hope designers embrace it, but for now, I’m focused on building for non-designers.

I’d appreciate it if you give it a try and let me know how to make it into something useful.