Hi, I'm one of the (two) founders of finesse.io. We built this tool because, as designers, we wanted to be able to contribute our design changes directly, but had to resort to either drawing mockups, sitting with developers and pixel-pushing, or installing the whole back-end on our computers. With finesse, you just open the browser, make the changes directly, and get your version of the website. We've been using this technique for a while on some big and small projects, and now want to bring it to everyone. We've built version 1 and are inviting those who signup as quick as we can.
The debate around designers coding has been overdone but the result is that there are plenty of designers enjoying the empowerment that code brings to their workflow. Finesse.io lets you make small tweaks to existing code, or sweeping re-designs - we wanted it to be both a tool for experienced designers, and those just getting started with CSS / SCSS / ...
As a bonus added extra we took the opportunity to make the tool a code editor that's focused on the front-end - so it includes an inspector, remote live-reloading of styles on all preview devices whenever you make changes, and an easy-to-use code commit tool, so designers can participate with developers straight to github, etc if they want to.
Thanks for taking a look and appreciate any feedback you may have.
Hi Pete! This looks absolutely amazing and is totally relevant this week because a coworker and I are spending some time documenting our process of working with our developers and doing design audits with them. What we've been doing is opening the ol' inspector, changing a few things, and noting down those changes in a Google Sheet that our developers can use to track and reference the tweaks that need made.
After reading this, this is exactly what we need to make that process better I think. The only caveat is, our company can't use any cloud-based services for the most part. I'm sure there are many other companies with the same security constraints.
I figure it's a bit much to ask, but are there any prospects of offering a self-hosted edition so that our clients' content isn't outside our walls?
You've absolutely hit the nail on the head in terms of describing the need. I've been in teams with that frustrating workflow and that's exactly the problem we're trying to solve.
Right now we're focused on sites that are comfortable with securing their code with an (authenticated) cloud provider, a la github. For the simple reason that we're proxying websites, and (optionally) pulling and pushing your code from somewhere, so they need to be accessible to our servers. You can provide authentication details in a couple of different ways according to how secure you want to be (we can do ssh keys even) and we have security and IP rights principles laid out in our terms. However, I'm fully aware relying on a SaaS isn't for every company, and I can't rule out a standalone product in our future if there's the demand, and we can still provide the value in that scenario.
Thanks for your feedback Andy, and please stay in touch!