As always, we’re stoked to ship a new and improved version of Framer and are curious to hear your thoughts.
You know me, I am always complaining when people move my design tools around. But I will say that these changes make sense. Makes the intro learning curve much shorter.
I personally see Framer as Flash was - it has a canvas where you can play around and it's own version of js. Flash had ActionScript.
I think how this platform is to be approached is something like this:
designers build the product
designers & front-end devs iterate on the UX until it's perfect and ready to go to production
mobile devs build based on the latest iteration that was signed-off, without having to be the ones who iterate on UX. They just build this stuff.
Now the issue is having to involve front-end devs or designers with coding skills. The less friction, the better.
I agree, I haven't used Framer since its first iteration but it resembles Flash a lot.
I'm designer with a decent technical aptitude. From an interface perspective it totally makes sense to me and I don't think it would take me long to figure it out.
If it scares any designers, there's always Principle (for Mac).
Designers should be on a Mac anyway (Sketch, Principle, iOS, a million other reasons).
Designers should be on whatever platform they feel most productive on. I use both Windows and Mac and seeing that the framer guys are probably going to release a Windows version is very good news. Same with the tools from serif.com (Affinity apps).
Choice is good, otherwise we get companies (e.g. Apple, who don't care so much about a certain customer segment anymore - see their neglect in desktop hardware, which after pressure they are hopefully going to address. The recent macbook pros also only offered tiny iterations in my view.)
Any Framer evangelists out there? Every time I look at it I wonder why I wouldn't just learn Swift. If I have to learn a new language, why not just learn native code?
Build time, I think the question that you could raise more is React Native vs Framer. But now you can pretty much draw into Framer, not something you can do just by coding. Framer has come long ways when used to be a Github Project. I mean this is by far the best technology to prototype in, I just wish they would have a free version, so I can tell more kids to use that instead of other tools.
I think you skirt the question.
In order to use Framer to its full potential, you have to have some coding knowledge. For a designer who doesn't know "coding" Framer is practically useless.
Then again there is problem that code generated cannot be used in production.
Framer might be one of the most comprehensive prototyping tools out there but the entry level is quite high.. and as such inaccessible to a lot of designers.
I would disagree. I am a designer who doesn't know "coding" but I use Framer and it is my prototyping tool of choice.
I find that it is actually really easy to pickup if a bit intimidating at first. The time it takes to learn Framer is much less than Swift and is a great medium between Sketch and actually building production code.
I also find that unlike other prototyping tools Framer has taught me more about code, opening me up to look into learning other languages and making me more comfortable with it, and it has allowed me to discuss design and engineering problems with our dev team in their language.
First you said you don't know coding and then you go on to say it "taught you more about coding" which is a bit a self contradictory.
The question is, why spend hours (or days) building a prototype which cannot be used in production ? Sure you can share some of the "values" with your developers but that is just that! You can also use Facebook's Origami for pretty much everything Framer does without having to do deal with code.
It taught me the basic concepts of code, about parent layers and how developers build the UIs that I design. I still would not consider myself an engineer or someone who truly can code beyond some simple interactions.
I tried Origami, but found that if I was already going to spend so much time understanding the noodling system, I rather work on learning a skill that more translatable outside of just Origami.
Of course whatever allows you to knockout a prototype effectively and communicate your ideas is what matters most at the end of the day. For me that is still Framer.
I'm currently thinking about getting into Framer, but without any coding background I'm a little bit overwhelmed. Especially the necessary indentation of CoffeeScript feels strange at first. I already used Principle and Flinto, which both were far more accessible.
The reason, why I'm looking for something different is, that communicating interactions made in those application proved to be more difficult than expected: Our dev team runs on windows and they have no way to play around with the prototypes themselves. So I send them videos demonstrating the interaction, but for final implementation they of course also need detailed specs. In times where Zeplin/Invision almost got rid of this step, this feels a bit strange. In the end the whole workflow led to subpar implementations most of the time, time and effort put into building the prototypes could have been better used elsewhere.
So my hope for Framer would be, that devs can play around with the prototypes in their browser themselves and get a far better feeling for the interactions by this.
Whats your experience with animation/interaction handoffs?
I recently had the opportunity to use Framer's new handoff system and the devs really appreciated it. But I have also handed them straight up copfescript from Framer and they were able to translate it to production code quite easily.
I also find that using Framer has allowed me to read their code and tweak animations to my liking. I also find devs enjoy working with me more now b/c I communicate with them in a language they can understand and translate to code.
Hi Dustin, I used to feel the same way as you, but now I wholeheartedly endorse Framer. I jotted down some of my thoughts here: https://blog.uxtools.co/you-can-use-framer-whether-you-code-or-not-554d8e044738
Interesting. I'll have to look into it more. I've spent a lot of time in Origami lately and I'm not sure I need anything else.
Also, excellent to see other Utah-ers around these parts.
Because Framer can also prototype for Android, TV, watches, VR and just about any other canvas you can think of. And you're learning a subset of one language to cover all these bases, it's just good value.