91 comments

  • Daniel De LaneyDaniel De Laney, over 1 year ago

    Imagine a major automotive company running a TV ad about how their cars now have windshield wipers. Eli has a point here.

    68 points
    • Lucian MarinLucian Marin, over 1 year ago

      Exactly. The gradients feature should have been a mention on a release note.

      10 points
      • Josh Sanders, over 1 year ago

        it could have been... but it wasn't. Nobody here really has a say in what it 'should' have been. At the end of the day, the only people who have any influence are the folks at framer and their marketing team. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • yes, i also feel it was a bit ridiculous to have a launch video with so much fanfare regarding gradients -_- they're GRADIENTS!! nothing new... nothing ground shattering... but it was a feature that the framer community wanted it seems like.
        3 points
    • Weston VierreggerWeston Vierregger, over 1 year ago

      I think we could all take a sec and remember that Framer Design is a visual layer on top of Framer Code. Gradients have been available in Framer before Framer Design was even a thing... Framer Design is releasing polished controls that visually manipulate the features already available on the Code side. I think that's cool.

      & tbh people in general have already made a 10x larger fuss over this than Framer themselves did with their update announcement.

      I'm gonna mute Twitter for a day when they come out with a Line tool.

      12 points
    • Jon MooreJon Moore, over 1 year ago

      From my thread below:


      There was a BMW commercial years and years ago that was advertising the fact that the headlights actually turn with the vehicle. Obviously the commercial wasn't just zoomed in on the lights...I got to see the whole car, driving around mountain roads. I could see the headlights turning with the car. I could see how it handled the road. I could see the interior. I could see the whole brand of that BMW model.

      I'd never seen the vehicle before. But after that very specific feature commercial, I wanted it. Not because of the lights. The lights were just an excuse to show off the entire car.

      (disclaimer: I never did get that BMW...still rocking my 2008 Honda Accord!)

      11 points
      • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, over 1 year ago

        To be fair that is a feature most cars with headlights don't have. This is not a new way of implementing gradients.

        1 point
        • Jon MooreJon Moore, over 1 year ago

          Yes, of course! And that's a fair point.

          I guess my argument is that maybe this promo vid was just another way to market their product to users. The feature was just the vehicle for delivering the Framer brand.

          1 point
          • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, over 1 year ago

            Definitely, but I suppose the argument is use the time spent making the video to make a more unique feature instead (although a unique feature would take way more time).

            For example making gradients in Sketch sucks because there is no easy way to apply your existing solid-fill swatches into the gradient, or no easy way to simulate a much nicer looking LAB color gradient instead of RGB or HSV (http://davidjohnstone.net/pages/lch-lab-colour-gradient-picker).

            If Framer came out with a gradient tool that also introduced something new that doesn't exist in other design tools, then that would be far more worthy of a video.

            1 point
    • Nathan ManousosNathan Manousos, over 1 year ago

      And his point is more "Why is our industry in a position where this is news?" than "How could they run an ad about this?"

      5 points
    • Matt Ritter, over 1 year ago

      Does everyone other prototyping tool like this have gradient animation? If not, your point is moot.

      0 points
    • Nice ShoesNice Shoes, over 1 year ago

      Is that a fair comparison?

      A TV ad would cost thousands in terms of media buy.

      This is a simple video, on their website.

      It highlights that the software now has a vital tool in this age of gradient lovers.

      If said automotive company had existed for years without windshield wipers then they too would probably market this. Especially if it gives them a competitive edge or plays catch-up.

      2 points
  • Stefan TrkuljaStefan Trkulja, over 1 year ago

    Can someone tell me what's so problematic about this tweet? Our industry is the only one that I've seen that shies away from criticism, unless it's directed at a large company outside our little bubble (like a GAP rebrand or something).

    40 points
    • Dan Taplin, over 1 year ago

      Because, what's his actual problem and what is his point? Like literally who cares if Framer wanna make a 30sec promo for a feature? What is he criticising Framer for exactly?

      6 points
      • Stefan TrkuljaStefan Trkulja, over 1 year ago

        You're right, but look at the bigger picture. He's not ciricising Framer per se, just the state that the design "scene" is in, we glorify and create videos about basic features, like something out of a certain HBO parody TV show.

        24 points
        • Sandro P, over 1 year ago

          Come on, we're designers. We like (and have the means) to design and create stuff like this. We like to share what we do in the flashiest way possible, it's in our blood and there's nothing wrong with that.

          Let people have fun and be proud of their work.

          7 points
          • Stefan TrkuljaStefan Trkulja, over 1 year ago

            OK, fair point.

            But please consider this: come on, he's a critic. He likes (and has the means) to comment on the things that are going on inside the design world. There is nothing wrong with that, etc.

            11 points
            • Sandro P, over 1 year ago

              I'd argue that there definitely is something wrong with what he's doing, and plenty of other people seem to agree.

              I believe the design community should be welcoming and helpful -- we all have a ton of stuff to learn from each other, and I'm sure none of us would be what we are today if it weren't for other people we drew inspiration from. Trying to tear down other people's work like he's been doing lately isn't helpful to anyone and just fosters negativity.

              I used to enjoy Eli's critiques, even if I didn't always agree with what he wrote. But now he's just acting like an old man complaining about stuff he doesn't like on Twitter. If you want to start a discussion on how to present new software features to your users, for instance, this is not the way to do it.

              8 points
              • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, over 1 year ago

                Sounds like you mean is that plenty of people agree with one another and don't like that he doesn't also agree.

                4 points
                • Sandro P, over 1 year ago

                  I've no idea where you got that idea.

                  I'm perfectly fine with opinions that differ from mine, and most people who seem to be on my side claim to be, too. The problem I (we) have with Eli's recent "critiques" (again, I used to enjoy his writing, back when it didn't have a 140 character limit, even when I didn't agree with most of it) is that their tone is very derogatory and disrespectful.

                  It's almost like he means to start a flame war instead of a meaningful discussion.

                  3 points
        • Matt Ritter, over 1 year ago

          This could be an important feature for their business that is requested by particular enterprise-level customers in order to close a deal. It could actually be lucrative feature for them. You just don't know.

          0 points
      • Stefan TrkuljaStefan Trkulja, over 1 year ago

        But, more than that, it's very showing to see this kind of outrage from the community for such a trivial tweet. You say "who cares if Framer does this", why not "who cares if Eli tweets this", if you see what I mean.

        11 points
        • Dan Taplin, over 1 year ago

          My problem and probably a lot of others is that he's being negative for being negative's sake and that's not cool. What is he actually being negative about? The marketing? It's a VERY small bit of marketing for a feature that a lot of people asked for. Framer could have introduced the feature without any fan fare, which would have been fine too, but they didn't, no harm either way. The point is, with a large audience of followers his criticism does nothing but tell people it's ok to hate on something for no reason. The feature looks to be executed well, the video is lovely, it's something their users wanted - what is there for him to critique?

          2 points
          • Stefan TrkuljaStefan Trkulja, over 1 year ago

            You must at least admit it's a bit overblown to create such an event for adding something as simple as UI gradients. I couldn't go anywhere yesterday without being served this movie and seeing designers cheering it along. We should sometimes be kept in check, and that's why I think Eli's tweet was useful and not hateful.

            That said, Framer creating a movie is one issue, and you might be right about that one. However, the outrage and blacklisting threats (holy cow) are something else.

            If something as benign as this tweet creates such a reaction, it makes me worry for the industry as a whole.

            9 points
            • Dan Taplin, over 1 year ago

              If a 30 second promo is "an event" then the industry does have a problem haha! I think what's happened is that a relatively small audience perhaps got annoyed about seeing a video shared repeatedly amongst this community.

              0 points
          • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, over 1 year ago

            1) Negativity isn't always a bad thing (imo). It prompts change, or at least, it has the potential to. If someone wrapped up a termination letter with a bow and a chocolate bar and gave it to you, you'd be pretty confused and mislead. The intent behind criticism means so much. Could Eli have been more constructive? Sure. But he can deliver his opinion however he wishes—after all, as a designer, he has a choice in how he wants to make an impact.

            2) He isn't criticizing the video for "no reason". Knowing his trail of thoughts around the design community and the direction it's going in makes it very clear how he feels about it (tweets almost never offer enough clarity for its character limits). Gradients are a very basic feature in almost every design application—to him, Framer may as well have introduced a line tool with as much effort put into the video and marketing as they did. That's his reasoning, and I think his reflection on the industry—if you place this small snippet of feedback in context with the rest of his thoughts over the years—is valid.

            Should people agree with him? They can. Or maybe they won't. But the outrage expressed, as others have pointed out, is concerning and childish. I would consider it more negative than the tweet itself, if negativity is what we're now criticizing.

            11 points
  • Bradley TauntBradley Taunt, over 1 year ago

    What's wrong with voicing an opinion? Dangerous road to start muzzling designers/critics just because it seems "mean" to you. This industry needs thicker skin.

    31 points
    • Josiah TullisJosiah Tullis, over 1 year ago

      I totally agree. It's a simple opinion, not a decree from the heavens.

      9 points
      • Matt Ritter, over 1 year ago

        An opinion by a loud voice based off ignorance of a situation and no real data can be dangerous.

        0 points
        • Bradley TauntBradley Taunt, over 1 year ago

          So opinions have to be filtered through who? A committee who approve or disapprove them? This is getting out of hand. Let people speak their mind, they have the freedom to speak just like you have the freedom to ignore.

          5 points
        • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, over 1 year ago

          What more data does he need to make this judgement? UI/UX designers are sucking the life out of the design industry. The tools they slobber all over are homogenizing design and the design language and features like this highlighted in this manner are proof of this.

          3 points
  • Daniel Hudson, over 1 year ago

    I take Eli's point. I had a similar initial reaction to the Framer video. I never feel the need to voice these types of reactions in public personally, but its good that other people are different and there isn't anything inherently wrong with them expressing their negative reaction.

    I think with Eli, there is context here that is important. It feels to me that Jon and some other people in that thread are more or less responding to Eli's consistently shallow cynicism toward the design world. This tweet is only the latest example of that – "This is what we're reduced to." I'm fairly new to this world and I followed Eli for a bit after a funny tweet of his showed up on my feed one day. Eventually I unfollowed him, because boring, "what the world is coming to?" cynicism is a pretty accurate summary of his account.

    I hope I won't be misunderstood here – I really do believe that there are interesting and important reasons to be critical about the "design world," but what Eli does is smirk, quip, and occasionally insult in the way that I did online when I was around 16. His tweets are nearly all written in a "holier than thou" tone and he is constantly throwing around critical terms in a slightly off-key, cryptic, "first day we learned dialectics in Phil 1A" way.

    And just like 16-year-old me, once anyone asks the reasonable question of "Where precisely do you get off being so unpleasant?" he hides behind the idea that what he is offering is a form of valuable cultural or aesthetic "criticism" or "critique." What Eli offers (even when I don't take issue with his actual opinion, which is the case here and is often) is not vital cultural or aesthetic criticism. He isn't some Edward Said of design. He is almost never insightful, informative, or particularly studied – he's an edgelord whose discourse peaks at funny tweets and rarely escapes self-serious, "money is just paper, man" banality.

    It's obviously silly to imagine that critics have to also do the thing they critique, but criticism is an art and it's an important art only in so much as it discerns, clarifies, and illuminates its objects to add to the understanding of its reader. In that sense, asking what precisely Eli adds is, in my view, a very reasonable question.

    26 points
    • Tropical Hooch, over 1 year ago

      Well, dang.

      1 point
    • Tom CavillTom Cavill, over 1 year ago

      This is the best take I've read on Schiff.

      The commenters pointing out that Roger Ebert wasn't a great director; or Brian Sewell an artist of repute miss the point that critics have to have taste. The problem with Schiff is that he wants to live in a world where all UIs are skeuo — a misplaced nostalgia for a fleeting trend.

      It's like Ebert complaining that every film he reviews isn't Toy Story.

      1 point
      • Alex Bencz, over 1 year ago

        Actually it's more like the modern design community want's to keep making sequels to Transformers whereas some of us wish there were at least some movies that had nuance and detail :(

        a misplaced nostalgia for a fleeting trend.

        Yes, if you call 1984-2013 fleeting.

        1 point
      • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, over 1 year ago

        What's wrong with skeuomorphic design? Or are you one of the ignorant designers who believe the opposite of skeuomorphic design is flat design?

        1 point
  • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, over 1 year ago

    The more I read the Tweets hating on Eli Schiff, the more disturbed I get by the state of designer egos.

    How are such well respected designers this sensitive over a Tweet like this, and how can they seriously say things like this about criticism? Criticism should be done in private? You have to create at the highest level to be allowed to critique? The absolute line for criticism is being polite and respectful?

    What has happened to us?

    26 points
    • Stefan TrkuljaStefan Trkulja, over 1 year ago

      YES. Exactly.

      5 points
    • Andrew CiobanasiuAndrew Ciobanasiu, over 1 year ago

      Agreed.

      Not everything is rainbows and magic and happy pat on the back. Should you directly hurt someone's feelings? No. Should you be able to take a scathing review? Yes. That's how it works.

      On one end of the critique spectrum we have the overly positive, centimeter deep, meager little comments on sites like dribbble. Nothing is actually said. Ego stroking is rampant. Look at any of the top shots. It's not design as much as it is art appreciation in a lot of cases. (also we're all guilty of this, ily dribbble)

      On the other end: harsh, sharp, angry critique. Just take a look at the comments in any given BrandNew article. What did that poor little pattern ever do to you? Did that logotype murder your pet? How did the color yellow become hitler all of a sudden? Honestly? (also guilty)

      Though, I wonder how much of it is even a "problem" as much as it just is the nature of the industry.

      We have all been cultivating acute senses of taste and preference for years and years. Some of us lifetimes. The result is a bunch of deeply opinionated people. I'd even say INSANELY optionated at times.

      Something something opinions are like assholes. You put two or more together and it gets pretty pungent In a hurry.

      2 points
  • Ryan -Ryan -, over 1 year ago

    Can we just ban Eli Schiff posts on DN already?

    23 points
    • Avery Magnotti, over 1 year ago

      No.

      58 points
    • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, over 1 year ago

      Can you explain why his argument is wrong here? If not then kindly refrain from commenting at all.

      13 points
    • Sam SolomonSam Solomon, over 1 year ago

      Suggesting that someone be banned for having an opinion—about design—is shortsighted and absurd.

      I often disagree with Eli's opinions, but appreciate that someone is questioning things.

      37 points
      • Dan Taplin, over 1 year ago

        What point has he actually made? What's his critique here? He's unhappy about a marketing video? I hardly think a 30 sec promo for a highly requested feature is "glorification" or any kind of reflection of the "design scene". The guy is being negative for no reason because it get's people talking - and here I am wasting time being annoyed about him

        5 points
        • Victor ErixonVictor Erixon, over 1 year ago

          Does he have to make a point? Do we have to care?

          6 points
          • Dan Taplin, over 1 year ago

            Do we have to care - you're absolutely right, I'm annoyed that I'm annoyed. But I do care, I care because he isn't critiquing anything, I don't think anyone should just be negative for being negatives sake without a real point and that's frustrating. It's not cool, like why be that guy? Not everything requires an opinion, or warrants one - especially a pointless, negative one which only further demonstrates the problems in the industry - people like him.

            1 point
            • Liam ForsythLiam Forsyth, over 1 year ago

              Welcome to social media? It happens everywhere.

              3 points
              • Dan Taplin, over 1 year ago

                ...and it's just as irritating everywhere else too. I don't think his tweet should have been as reductive or carelessly explained. If his problem was with just the promo video then maybe he should have been sure to say that, and don't just lump all of the hard well executed work under the negativity.

                0 points
                • Steven NgSteven Ng, over 1 year ago

                  I don't think his tweet should have been as reductive or carelessly explained.

                  I would think that a platform like Twitter, which restricts you to 140 character thoughts, is reductive by design.

                  1 point
        • Todd SielingTodd Sieling, over 1 year ago

          I think his point is that if a big announcement is made for even the smallest things, then nothing is noticeable, and there's no place to go when you do have something bigger to say.

          1 point
    • Lucian MarinLucian Marin, over 1 year ago

      Let’s go with Inquisition for now. Obviously, 90% of today’s designers don’t get sarcasm or criticism.

      3 points
    • Josiah TullisJosiah Tullis, over 1 year ago

      What value would this add?

      1 point
    • Matthew BlodeMatthew Blode, over 1 year ago

      -1

      0 points
  • Jonathon HalliwellJonathon Halliwell, over 1 year ago

    Love how all the people who argue with him make him more relevant, there's some high profile ones too

    15 points
    • Nelson TarucNelson Taruc, over 1 year ago

      lol I never heard of him until now ... seems like he's just injecting himself into the conversation to boost his own relevance.

      If Framer's users and potential users like the video, that's all that should matter.

      5 points
  • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, over 1 year ago

    Can I both like Framer's gradient video AND Eli's point?

    It's kind of disappointing to see how harshly even well known and celebrated designers take Tweets like this.

    13 points
  • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, over 1 year ago

    It was not his intention to give design advice. And I agree with him on this one.

    12 points
    • Andrew C, over 1 year ago

      The backlash is confusing. What's the end game here for the angry mob, to give someone they disagree with more notoriety? The demands for citations and proof to back up an opinion are kind of silly. More so when the discussion is held at 140 chars or less.

      The Framer marketing site is nice looking, though :P

      3 points
  • Jon MooreJon Moore, over 1 year ago

    Are gradients in an app be a big deal?

    Not really.

    Is there anything wrong with making a promo vid for it?

    Not really.


    Marketing is all about getting more eyes on your product. As a small business owner, I fully support and understand what Framer was doing with this promo vid. I have personally made it a big deal on social media when I made very small changes to my product. Those announcements will be seen by existing customers, but they might also be the very first time someone has seen my brand and interacted with my content. Seeing Framer put so much effort into a cool product video made a very positive brand impression on me. The video was great! Really well done! And my trust in them as a business is better because of it.

    Do they really think gradients are that big of a deal?

    Honestly, probably not.

    But that's not the point. This is video isn't really about gradients. It's about being another brand touchpoint to establish credibility and trust in the market. Every tweet, every post, every article, every video, and every interaction with your customer base reflects back on your brand.

    In my personal opinion, their gradient video left a very positive brand impression.

    10 points
    • Darrell HanleyDarrell Hanley, over 1 year ago

      I came away impressed as well. The video made me want to try the product at least. Am I going to animate gradients on buttons? Probably not. Still, the video gives a larger insight into what the tool can do vs most of its prototyping competitors can do, and to me that's good enough.

      1 point
      • Jon MooreJon Moore, over 1 year ago

        Totally agree, Darrell!

        There was a BMW commercial years and years ago that was advertising the fact that the headlights actually turn with the vehicle. Obviously the commercial wasn't just zoomed in on the lights...I got to see the whole car, driving around mountain roads. I could see the headlights turning with the car. I could see how it handled the road. I could see the interior. I could see the whole brand of that BMW model.

        I'd never seen the vehicle before. But after that very specific feature commercial, I wanted it. Not because of the lights. The lights were just an excuse to show off the entire car.

        (disclaimer: I never did get that BMW...still rocking my 2008 Honda Accord!)

        0 points
  • Tropical Hooch, over 1 year ago

    bahahaha I love how worked up everyone gets about this. On both sides. Laughing

    Eli Says something. Backlash ensues:

    rage

    Backlash to the backlash

    table

    8 points
  • Tom WoodTom Wood, over 1 year ago

    The barrier to entry to being a designer is so low, that the industry is jam packed with people who can't take criticism and take themselves too seriously. I almost wish it was harder to become a "designer".

    8 points
    • Liam ForsythLiam Forsyth, over 1 year ago

      I remember in college there was a "mean" lecturer that always asked for changes and never liked first drafts. Some of us took it in our stride, others just freak out. I think some tough love is needed, but thats how I work, others may not like it which is why I think they go up in arms about guys like Eli.

      3 points
  • Tom CTom C, over 1 year ago

    hey, Tropical Hooch, please be fair with the DN community and next time use #elischliff tag in the title...

    7 points
  • Ken Em, over 1 year ago

    What a dick.

    3 points
  • perfume lperfume l, over 1 year ago

    Don't know why some people praise what he said as if he is some kind of brave hero in dark time that dare to speak the truth, so deep, constructive and insightful while the other feared to voice it out — he's just a man that have no manner. That's what he is. I think straightforward opinion and rudeness is not the same thing. You can be constructive without demeaning other people's work.

    What he did is insult people's hard work with his own opinion that created in a vacuum. I mean, I'm sure he didn't give a damn about talking to the Framer team about the strategic reason behind the gradient video decision. He just don't like it and want to rant,

    and we all to blame to give him the attention.

    3 points
  • Bryant ChouBryant Chou, over 1 year ago

    This was brilliant marketing. Got nearly the entire design industry talking about Framer's features now.

    3 points
    • Tropical Hooch, over 1 year ago

      Absolutely, I bet all the other design companies are hoping Eli makes fun of their product releases from now on

      2 points
  • Greg RaizGreg Raiz, over 1 year ago

    Design should be about the user. The user, in this case, is a designer so the notion of a feature video highlighting a design feature isn't a bad thing. The video itself is nice and will likely convince many designers to try the tool. That's the point of a promo video. I think the headline could articulate the more of the breadth of the design tool. A headline about gradients doesn't highlight the product benefits around simplicity, animations, and dynamic expression.

    As a design community, we should invite skeptics, critics, and naysayers with open arms. If you can't articulate your design decisions, how do you know they are any good? At the same time, we should encourage critics to explain their critique and offer alternatives. That's the only way that new designers can get better and experienced designers can hone their craft.

    3 points
    • Connor NorvellConnor Norvell, over 1 year ago

      Criticism is important, 100%. But in this instance, framers user data might suggest that enough users wanted the gradient feature so badly, that it deserved a big reveal, instead of a hidden addition.

      Criticism generally cannot account for internal data, and the conclusions the team draws because of them. irrelevant crits should be welcomed, but there are more details than just aesthetics

      3 points
  • Ian ClarkeIan Clarke, over 1 year ago

    Just a little reminder that we are in the "business" of critique. If you can't handle it, then you chose the wrong profession. Your colleagues will critique your work, your clients will critique your work, and users will critique your work. You won't always like it – but it's going to happen anyway. Learn how to handle feedback and argue your point respectfully.

    What Eli is criticizing here isn't Framer, it a whole industry. He just focused on this as a means to argue his point. I've yet to see a solid rational argument in the other direction (not about Framers gradients, but about the Industry's penchant for promoting minor upgrades as ground-breaking). Seems like people saw who wrote the article and formed opinions without diving into the actual substance of the piece.

    2 points
  • Christopher DavisChristopher Davis, over 1 year ago

    How many people in this thread are building a product that is heavily relied upon by many talented creators within the digital world and are quickly iterating on it in an agile fashion? It would be interesting to hear those people's opinion's too.

    I'd wager that much of the criticism here is from people who do not or have not found themselves in that situation.

    2 points
  • D. M., over 1 year ago

    When every small thing is emphasized as breathtaking, then the genuinely important things are no longer.

    When every small thing triggers the design community, then the genuinely important things are no longer significant.

    2 points
  • Steve O'ConnorSteve O'Connor, over 1 year ago

    I may have missed a comment, but no one seems to have pointed out that the big fuss and coverage around Eli's tweet came from those who didn't like it, not Eli himself.

    Why didn't Jon Gold just let it go? Eli is entitled to his opinion, and I can see why Jon disagrees, but it was no big deal really until Eli's critics made it a big deal.

    They both have good points about design critique, the fragility of designers, and where the community is at right now. And I'm sure they both agree on many points.

    2 points
  • Perttu Talasniemi, over 1 year ago

    Wow, this is a hot potato.

    2 points
  • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, over 1 year ago

    take eyes out of head to then roll them across the floor because normal rolling of eyes isn't enough.

    1 point