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Relate: A visual development environment for designing web interfaces. (preview release)

1 month ago from , Designer

Hello! I am Eden from Relate - A new kind of visual development environment for creating web interfaces.

For the last 20 month, we rethought "design-development." We didn't compromise, chose the hard paths by purpose, and now we think we're onto something that is a rock-solid foundation to support the following things to come.

Here's our preview release

Here's a video showing the core concepts in Relate

Will love to hear your thoughts, feedback, ideas and questions ❤️

23 comments

  • Benjamin ArnedoBenjamin Arnedo, 13 days ago

    I've been waiting a webflow alternative with not so many ties to the company (own server, own CMS, web-based editor). And the pricing is good!. The only problem I see first hand in the editor is the color of the icons...I would suggest more contrast. Plus, have you considered a night mode? That would be awesome.

    4 points
    • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, 13 days ago

      Same here, I'm also excited for the release of Modulz and Hadron as competitors.

      2 points
    • volkan cetin, 13 days ago

      Icons definitely need more contrast. On the beginning, I thought buttons are disabled. I totally agree, its a really good alternative for Webflow.

      3 points
    • Michael RurkaMichael Rurka, 12 days ago

      Ditto on contrast. My first thought. That whole right panel is tough to read.

      1 point
    • , 12 days ago

      Hey Benjamin! Thank you for trying Relate and for the feedback, we are surely going to fix the contrast issue.

      About the night model - We will probably do it down the road (so many essential things to focus on first).

      DM me your email and I'll send you an invite to explore it further!

      0 points
  • Dexter W, 25 days ago

    What's the difference between Relate and Hadron? I've been following Hadron for a while but they are also a 2 person team and iterate really slowly. It's not their fault or anything, as I'm sure they have day jobs.

    I feel like you all should team up.

    1 point
    • Nacho García , 24 days ago

      Hi Dexter! thanks for following Hadron :) We're working full-time on it since we started a little bit more than 2 years ago. You're right that we could be going faster, but we're not worried about timing. We want to make an impact in the industry. Because of that, we don't hesitate to change whatever it takes. Our last 0.13 release affected ~40% of the project (which is 110k lines of front code ATM)

      Also, consider that these tools take a tremendous amount of effort to be done right! Figma, for instance, took 3 years to release a preview version. We did that in 1.

      2 points
      • Dexter W, 23 days ago

        thanks for responding. That’s amazing. I’m sorry for misunderstanding your product cycle and didn’t realize how much effort you are putting in. :)

        0 points
  • Arnor SigurdssonArnor Sigurdsson, 8 hours ago

    looks super interesting. how does one try it out? is there an invite list?

    1 point
  • Jime JadonJime Jadon, 8 hours ago

    Relate approach is unique, not another design tool combination of design tool and code environment

    1 point
  • Nacho García , 23 days ago

    Congrats on the release Eden!

    1 point
  • R. KamushkenR. Kamushken, 27 days ago

    Damn! I can't move objects on the artboard as I want. Personally, this is a significant point stops me from using tools like this.

    PS: You need a better introduction video PPS: Looks like every object is locked and this is extremely confusing

    1 point
    • Michael RurkaMichael Rurka, 25 days ago

      I kinda feel the same. You can move things around using the "layers" panel but it isn't as intuitive as Webflow, for example, where you can click and drag.

      This is a hinderance for actually designing in this software. But if you're designing elsewhere, and you merely build/import your design into Relate, then the lack of click and drag may not be so bad.

      0 points
    • , 26 days ago

      Hey Roman, thanks for letting us know! We're working on a simple drag-and-drop for the stage (artboard) and it pushes us to get it faster.

      0 points
  • Ryan DeBeasi, 25 days ago

    This looks awesome! A few questions:

    • I noticed a GitHub link on your homepage. It goes to an organization with no repos. Are you planning to open-source part or all of Relate?
    • Tools like Alva and react-sketchapp treat code as the "source of truth" for a design system and pull it into design tools. (See Painting with Code for more context.) Is Relate intended to be the "source of truth" for a design system, or is there a two-way sync that can "push to" and "pull from" code?
    • Where do you think the "source of truth" for a design system should live? The design tool, the code, the docs - maybe someplace else entirely?

    There's so much innovation happening in design system tooling right now. Relate looks like a really cool addition, and I can't wait to see how it evolves!

    1 point
    • Eden Vidal, 19 days ago

      Hello Ryan! Thank you for the warm words! Some fair questions you got there.

      We're not sure if we'll offer Relate as a self-hosted solution. We do plan to open-source parts of Relate since we created some solutions that others might benefit from, like our design system.

      I think the current paradigm-shifting in design tools is that we now understand that the tools should get closer to the development environment and manipulate it directly. Unlike the existing tools, that built primarily for ideation, a new category of "production" tools is rising, because creating the actual living thing makes a lot more sense.

      Therefore, I believe the code is the source of truth for a design system since this is what eventually applied to the actual product.

      So yes, we do aim to become the tool that runs "the source of truth." Eventually, you will be able to sync your components library using GIT and use it as a dependency in another codebase. And yes, importing is something that we're working on and built the foundation to support it. We see this as two challenges: 1. The ability to export the code, and then, when it changes on the other side it syncs back in Relate (two-ways) 2. The ability to handle external code-component libraries and use them as a dependency in a Relate project. Imagine Storybook, with the ability to compose with the components in real-time. (like Framer, but in the browser). Will love to know your thoughts on this.

      Please DM me your email, and I'll send you an invite!

      1 point
  • Millan Millan Ta, 11 days ago

    As a designer/developer we need to update every day. Technology change so fast what we know that it is not enough as a designer-developer.

    Thanks for the share!

    0 points