Where the design community meets.
I’m Scott, one of the designers on Studio. I wanted to hop in on a few themes that have been popping up since we’ve ramped up access to Studio.
Performance We know it’s not there yet, and we’re actively working on it. Internally we have multiple initiatives going on right now to address animation speed in the preview window, better performance of desktop sized prototypes, faster panning and zooming in the editor, and quicker manipulation of layers on the canvas.
Sketch Import This is one of the trickiest pieces and we’re putting in a lot of effort to make sure all imports are 99% accurate. We have hundreds of complex Sketch files internally that we’re testing our imports against, and using to make the feature better and better. There are some feature gaps in the current version of Studio that don’t fully support everything you could have done in Sketch. For example: Flipped Layers, Image Fills, Background Blur. All of these items are things we’re tackling soon, which will result in much better imports.
Lack of features or being underwhelmed We’re obviously disappointed if we’re not meeting meeting or exceeding your expectations. We know they’re high, and we’re positive we have the right features coming which will make you happy. For the near future some things you have to look forward to are:
The one thing I want to make sure I get across is this: we’re building this for you. Tools like this are insanely complex and difficult to get right, we absolutely need your help along the way—which is the entire reason we’re rolling it out to batches of a few thousand people at a time. We’re not even at v1.0 yet! If you’re running into a bug, have a feature request, or any general feedback, please, please, please let us know. We’re listening!
Last thing! I live in Berlin, which means it’s getting pretty late for me. If there are any replies or questions, I’ll be answering them in the morning!
Thanks for the insight. Is there a open buglist or feature request list out there? Would love to write feedback but don't want to write redundant stuff.
Hey Jan- we don't have a publick buglist or feature request YET (though talking about that for future) but we do have a mainline feedback mechanism built into the app itself (look for the chat icon in app) which mainlines feedback to our team. This is actually directly linked into the dev team so they're reading and seeing everything that comes through. Doubling up on feedback is actually REALLY helpful because it reinforces the need and severity of a request, especially during early access where we're pivoting and evolving quickly week after week.
We'll also be opening a user community soon for all early access users so that folks can riff off of each other and interact with Studio in real-time for a more free-flow pace here.
Thanks man, I appreciate you taking the time to listen and respond to feedback. I think we can all agree we don't want a "No Mans Sky" scenario with the application.
I mentioned in my comment that the timeline is oddly structured. I hope that this layout can be edited in the future. The design pattern for animation / production timelines is top and bottom split, not vertical left and right split. I don't think re-inventing the UX on timelines is a wise choice. I can kinda see how this decision was made if all you cared about was mobile phones(the editor should work for all resolutions). My suggestion is to allow floating windows and/or an option to adjust layout.
The other thing I wanted to ask about was components. Right now they don't seem useful. Is the state update going to address overrides? And I cant say that I'm a huge fan of how the components don't update when editing the source component. Right now you have to manually tell components to update. Possible solutions would be to add UI to the edit component state to say "apply to all instances" instead of hiding that ui behind a button that is only accessible on the instance view. (edit) I do see now how overrides work, I guess what i want is more convenience UI like the competitor, like overriding text from within the inspector and not direct manipulation.
wishlist: pre-comps This might be what you are eluding to with "more advanced prototyping"or "containers" but being able to create an animated component would be a killer feature that would set aside studio from all the rest imo.
Good feedback here Parker!
The split vertical vs horizontal panel discussion is a good one. Vertical (like it is today) prioritizes more room for layers (anticipating having more layers stacked vertically in panel) and collapses on the time-based side of things (assuming interactions will typically be much shorter vs their video counterparts which prioritize based on length of clip vs amount of layers present). This was why this decision was made, however if you find yourself scripting longer animations where time-based component becomes a bigger focus I can see where ability to switch or toggle this behavior would be super helpful... nice insight!
Components are one area of intense focus as well right now. Overrides in some ways are so 'right there' that they can be easy to miss when you come to a more UI-driven approach to them. Really dig the 'apply to all instances' feedback, thats a nice timesaver. We've played with a few iterations of this here to link instances and such. Looking for the best balance of being immediately intuitive while having long-term power for users who are digging in deep over time.
Pre-comps you say? I haven't heard it referred to in this way but I like where your head is at. And without letting the cat out of the bag yet, you're VERY much thinking in the right direction. We have to nail down super tight some of these core preceding items, but once thats done we're going very deep with nested stuff like this (especially with timeline metadata as part of it)... it gets crazy helpful at that point and the stacking use cases are really fun. More to come here, have been playing with some internal experiments on that already that we can share more on soon.
This comment was super helpful- thx for the actionable feedback my friend- looping into the team now!
thanks for replying and passing along my feedback! P.S. the "pre-comp" term comes from After Effects its how you can create nested animations.
Thanks for your thoughts!
The reason we went with timeline on the left is we didn't want to duplicate the layers list just in a tiny window along the bottom of the screen, we also feel like this is a better workflow for when you many layers animating. Another consideration was that the width of the timeline only needs to accommodate for 2-3ish seconds, unlike something like AE where you'd be working with a very long timeline and multiple keyframes. All that being said, our assumptions could be wrong, and we might adjust the layout as we go. Agreed it's not the best for desktop designs, we need some way of resizing it at least.
I'm curious what's going on with components for you? Right now we allow: - Double clicking into a component instance to directly override the component - Editing Master and having those changes propagate back to component instances (while retaining any overrides) - Resetting size and overrides
Another area of improvement we're looking at for components is to automatically set the layout inside them once they're created. Right now if you wanted to make a resizable button for example, you need to set the background layer to 100% width and height, and pin your text center middle. Then when you resize the component instance everything repositions / resizes accordingly. Additionally—to your wishlist point—once we introduce component states, and state-to-state interactions, they'll become even better (I personally can't wait for this one).
Is there a timeline for when these features will be visible? Or is this going to be another Adobe XD two year long process to get a production ready app (if you consider Adobe XD usable for day to day work...)
Hey David- we're measuring progress in terms of weeks at this stage, not months or years. Not sure if you have access to the early access build yet or not but if you do / once you do, I hope you'll see what I mean. Dropping new builds regularly with full change notes stemming directly from user feedback coming out of this stage. General availability is def not a year way- looking to move much faster than that. That said we recognize that we can only do that with awesome feedback and partnership with the folks using it, hence the EA release first. Looking forward to hearing more of your insights.
That's good to know. I haven't gotten my invite yet, but it sounds like I'm going to hold off anyways until there's more there, there.
I have early release but will reserve judgement since I know the product is very alpha right now and going through lots of changes. Something worth mentioning was the sales push to get someone in the door to show us the tool. Demo by a non-designer and not able to answer most questions—maybe 10 min of the presentation was spent on Studio, the rest was up-selling Enterprise (which was of zero interest to us without the Studio piece). I mean, Enterprise features were demo'd in Sketch instead of Studio by an Invision person. Just passing on the feedback since the team as a whole was mutually not that impressed given that we want to see features which will help us build enterprise grade applications (not animate planets around in space).
Hey Thomas- sorry to hear that. These sort of team demos should be custom tailored to what your team wants to explore or would find valuable, not what we want to push. Can you email me at stephen[at]invisionapp.com here so I can find out more what happened here, make adjustments with the team, and ensure you're getting the a glimpse into the things that matter most for your workflow? Would def appreciate the opportunity to improve and do right by you and your team here.
Where the design community meets.
Designer News is a large, global community of people working or interested in design and technology.