I agree that we have too many design tools, which is why I've started work on a new, better design tool that will replace all the ones we have today.
Was hoping for that to be a link to a joke. (Hoping, praying, same thing.)
And also: it's fine. Don't worry about it.
Each tool has its purpose, its niche, its use-case.
We live in the age of Google. Get good at that, because it'll help you make an informed decision on what the best tool is for your particular case!
…utterly ridiculous and crowded the design tool space is getting.
There’s barely 4 tools mature enough for visual design competing in the space. Of those, all are missing some significant features their competitors offer. There are a few more good prototyping tools, but they take very different approaches, and in many ways they don’t compete for the same tasks. I think we would be worse off without them.
We’re lucky there’s this many to choose from. Remember when the choices were Photoshop or Fireworks? Was that better?
…there haven’t been that many big consolidations.
I haven’t been keeping a close eye on this, but Pixate, Form, Plexi, Macaw, Silver Flows, and POP have all been sold to bigger companies (Google, Facebook, InVision, and Marvel). Things are definitely getting consolidated, especially in the prototyping space.
The prototyping space is a particularly good example of this. There’s basically zero agreement on the best way to create prototypes: nodes, timelines, code, hotspots, etc.
I honestly see value in all those approaches, and I’m not sure I’d want to be restricted to one method.
Compare and contrast to the developer space: There’s more programming languages than design tools. There’s more IDEs than design tools.
Disclaimer: I’m building a design tool. :D
Compare and contrast to the developer space
We don't even need to do that, compare it to the 3D design space. The variety in CAD tools alone blows 2D out of the water. That's even before we include other 3D software with more and less specific roles.
Can't understand why people can think this is at all a bad thing.
Yep, that’s a great comparison. Another great thing about the 3D space is file format interoperability.
Good points. I'll admit to some hyperbole.
Is your conclusion about design tools because you’re learning now, and find the choices difficult?
Glad to see many other designers agree on this topic. Companies are creating tools which don't improve our workflow, just add up to out subscription bucket. Maybe they will do something about it, who knows...
When it comes to tools, choice is a luxury, not a curse. The belief that there is a best tool hurts us. Don't spend as much time evaluating new tools; invest in the tools you use.
Agreed. Most have free trials and have minimal learning curve. Find the one that works for you and don't buy the rest. "Problem" solved!