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isl.co Joined over 8 years ago
This is my first exposure to your product, and I must say, kudos all around.
Your product is very simple, clear, and well designed. At first, I thought it looked like a helpful tool, maybe a side project or something. Then I discovered your pro & institutional offerings. This is a clever business model — transparent and very reasonable pricing for features that are actually valuable, with one flat annual fee that aligns with the $ resources of students. You've really taken a trust-building approach to your business and I bet it's been financially rewarding in addition to being highly ethical. Is the team just you? For some reason, I get the vibe you designed and built this independently as an ex-grad or PHD student?
As a UX designer, I think you've made some real intuitive design decisions and the 2-min walkthrough sold me
Keep up good work
We give folks a 'design challenge' -- its a great equalizer to see each candidate prep a comp and then present it based on the same brief/design direction.
I think you are misdirecting your frustrations. Instead of struggling with "front-end development", you might actually have a non-technical problem.
A couple points to consider --
(1) I question your assertion that front-end engineers get in your way. If what you're looking for is more rapid user feedback or quicker validation w/o going through a rigorous engineering process than Weblow and AnimaApp are you're asking for (total creative freedom & no engineers necessary!). PS -- why does even have to be coded? Principal is a very quick tool and feels totally real.
However, there's a difference between validating your solutions and deploying them to production. When it comes to the actual building part, engineering partners are critical stakeholders and will make your work better. This is especially true if your apps have any user-driven functionality. If you're thinking of them as adversaries and not partners than something else is wrong (and its possible you're contributing to the problem)
(2) You cannot fully automate the design of responsive apps without sacrificing quality. Its hard to tell from your post, but its possible you want to design a single state and have the mobile, tablet, and/or desktop versions automatically generated for you. It doesn't work that way -- responsive design is not only about choreography (how to make your designs stack/scale). Note: The simpler your site is, the less true this is....and machines will make this less true over time. eg: Framer X looks like its going make good progress. That said, I'm skeptical overall -- machines must make assumptions that are not informed by your specific needs, whether they're driven by business goals or user-related insights). If you are frustrated with the additional effort of designing responsive states, its more likely an issue with your level of experience and/or efficiency as a designer. This will get better over time! Just keep working
Obviously, I don't know you...so this could be way off. Just reading between the lines of your original phrasing
Washington Project for the Arts: https://www.wpadc.org/
I wonder if they still use Illustrator for UI design
Hadn't actually played with it yet. Ya, that is a much better way to test.
This was initially envisioned as a showcase tool to create screenshots for our portfolio, and then we saw the potential in showing off sites to clients or presenting coded designs with this tool. The testing usecase was just a happy accident. Thanks for pointing out the chrome tools!
clever idea!! we'll look into that for our roadmap
In our experience, it's useful as a secondary testing tool to validate the responsive system and prioritize small visual glitches.
Because it lets you toggle the site in context between devices w/o using more accurate but cumbersome tools (ie iOS simulator), you can verify that the system works well at key inflection points (aka popular devices). With limited testing time available on client projects, it's a useful barometer.
However, we'd agree that it's not able to replace other testing tools. The Brad Frost thing is awesome (as most of his solutions are)
We're currently looking into html2canvas. This feature is definitely in the roadmap!
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