Where the design community meets.
First off let me say I always appreciate your replies since you actually know your shit on a conceptual and technical level, however I think you put too much weight behind certain issues that are simply not as big of a deal in my experience in practice.
Thank you for the kind words. I also appreciate pushback where needed, and I welcome learning new things.
In my defence, I did say “depending on the goals of the tool, those may or may not be dealbreakers”. I think there’s room for design tools built on web tech, especially when the desired result is a web-based tech stack. I do think that’s more of a niche than a generalised software design tool though.
I don't see how this will impact UI design, most of the time changes are not at the sub-pixel level and are manually input into property fields, and you can just zoom in to get more detail.
I wasn’t aware of the mouse coordinates issue until another designer was wondering why he couldn’t use the eyedropper to sample a 1px thick line — the cursor was jumping over the line. Yep, zooming in helps, but I think having half the mouse cursor accuracy is a negative for web tech based design tools.
There’s 100s of small things like that. Electron apps can not have custom keyboard shorcuts on macOS (the kind you define in System Preferences). Everything has to be contained within one window with no floating panels. They can’t use the built-in NSDocument tab and tab overview feature. Drag and drop is far worse. Clipboard support is far worse, and missing lots of features. There’s no access to document auto-save or versions. There’s no way to support wide gamut colours, or high bit colour depth. macOS provides good mechanisms to make undo support easier. Those are just things I can think of now. The list is astonishingly huge, and many more wouldn’t be apparent until the project is underway.
It’s definitely a trade-off.
None of the things you bring up here seem like insurmountable or significant impediments to an HTML/CSS based UI tool being much superior to any of the tools we have today for interface design.
I’m all for people trying! There’s some new tools you’re proabbly aware of that are giving it a shot. My issue has always been that for web projects, I’ve usually just written code. I think that means web tech based tooling is in a strange place — they often require a lot of knownledge of CSS to be useful and used the right way, but those who have a firm grasp of CSS can often be more comfortable directly writing CSS. I suspect there is value in web tech based design tooling, but it’ll be niche. It’ll only be for when the final product is web based, and for people who already have a pretty good understanding of HTML/CSS/JS.
Developer handoff from existing tools is a nightmare. Try explaining a responsive vw or % based grid with content-order rearrangement at different screen sizes using Sketch or Figma to a developer.
I agree. I currently just write the HTML/CSS in a text editor for those. I’d like visual tools to help, but I haven’t yet seen something I’d prefer over writing code.
I can't make a button component with a centered text and icon! I should not have to rely on freaking plugins for that.
Yeah, that’s a great example of something that is very difficult in current tools.
Where the design community meets.
Designer News is a large, global community of people working or interested in design and technology.