I don't know, do we need more tools? I would not switch to something like this easily.
Competition is always welcome. I get the argument that more tools means more fragmentation, more difficulty finding a good match for your team, etc. but if that's the case, it just means the new tools are doing something right.
I guess this is more of an "interface builder" than a "design tool" since you can't really make any components on your own but instead have to rely on whatever you're given. They have some dynamic support so you can add data or change some things like change colours, size etc. It's an interesting concept but I think it's targeted for people who don't know, or want, to build everything from scratch but instead want to build an app/site with a simple drag and drop. It looks rather polished though but I don't see me leaving sketch for this any time soon.
I think competition is always welcome because it will help push our tools forward. This tool seems to be entirely browser-based so it should put added pressure on Sketch and Adobe to catch up to the cloud-based likes of Figma and now STUDIO.
What do you see as the benefit to browser-based design tools as opposed to traditional applications? I honestly see none, with the major drawback being browser bloat always slowing down your best efforts at performance.
Can be used on any operating system, easily adapts to live collaboration, don't have to download and install anything, can open it on your machine at home, isn't license-dependent, etc. etc.
But, for most things, native apps are the best.
Can be used on any operating system
this was an issue in the 90's and early 00's, not so much any more I don't believe... Unless you're a linux user.
easily adapts to live collaboration
Honestly I feel this is questionably necessary in design, but that's just my agency experience talking.
can open it on your machine at home
See this as a negligible point too.. A lot of designers operate with the same equipment at home and at work.
Some are, some aren't... Not a browser-specific advantage :P
Not having a go at you though... I just don't see any benefit to loading excessive application work onto a web browser, which is already generally not the most efficient tool in the toolkit.
I'm saying this as I'm writing large-scale documentation using LucidChart on Chrome, which becomes a mongrel when you're over 10 or so pages in a document. Everything in a web browser is a compromise of some variety or another, and I can't see them replacing traditional apps for anyone other than the 'trendy' crowd :P
The irony here is that I'm a designer for Lucidchart, and we've built our entire business on the ability to be cross-platform. It's true though, what you gain in compatibility you lose in performance.
Yet that's why 6+ million people have defected from Visio. No more downloading, emailing, changing, emailing back, storing on Dropbox, and losing conflicting versions. Instead, you work online and work from anywhere. People really love that aspect of it.
You're right, though, that might be different for design tools. I can introduce you to a lot of Windows designers who wish they had Sketch, though...
you don't think operating system is an issue anymore when all ux designers are literally forced into premium electronics (Apple) that severely have a higher cost for performance than custom built PCS, because Sketch became a standard?
Sketch is widely popular, but it's far from a standard.
For UI work it is the standard.
If anything, I think we need to see more commitment to true native apps. Serif are building Native Mac and Windows apps not cross platform code, and I think it shows when you compare app performance to Adobes apps in the same area.
IMO cloud software solves a range of problems but creates a set of new ones.
i agree with your points. I'm the creative director in an in-house dept, and we have to work quite regularly with our dev team. none of which has photoshop, illustrator, sketch, etc etc. or know how to use them. We've recently switched over to Figma for quite a bit of our work. It's been a god-send. the handover now is seamless. they instinctively 'get-it'. the code it spits out works great, and both teams work much faster....I'm a big believer in things going in this direction. I LOVE Photoshop, and I still use it quite a bit, but for UI/UX work?....nope....from now on it's Figma. And anything that drives forward that paradigm, i'm down with....
My team has had our on Figma for a while now. There are a lot of benefits, but the only thing that scares us is now having control over our files (all stored in the cloud). At the end of the day, though, we never do anything with our Sketch files anyway
Thanks for the response Taylor. yeah...that was kinda the thing about Sketch for me. At first, I just didn't see the point...why learn a new tool like that, when I was blazing fast at Illustator and Photoshop. Then...suddenly it seemed as if it was the second coming of christ. Everyone was switching over to it. By the time I figured 'ok, well...better figure this thing out' it seemed too late. There seemed to be dozens of 'you must have this plugin for it to work' or 'oh shit, they updated, now my plugins dont' work' etc... so...it felt like not only was I being left behind skills-wise, it looked like a damn mine-field to figure out. Then a project came down the pike here at the office where the Dev team I'd be working with was at another location entirely. I'd need a tool to design with, and be able to share with them remotely etc... and NONE of them were likely to have photoshop or understand PSD's etc.... luckily for me, I'd just discovered Figma. Was able to create all the elements for their UI/UX, and share them with the team...who LOVED it. we rocked that project, and picked up a few more because of that. At this point, I'm kinda glad I never jumped on the Sketch bandwagon.
As for 'not having the files - it's in the cloud' thing....the SVG export seems to be pretty good...can just open it up in illustrator if i need to....
If web technology was on par with native, there would be advantages. Think of Google Docs vs Office. Think of how easy it is to access your documents from any computer, share them with anyone without having to get them to install any software or use a third party hosting service, then having everyone always have the latest version with all the comments and attachments synced. Not to mention there are no compatibility issues like 'oh no you saved that file in Sketch 41? I have Sketch 40 and my license expired, so I'm fucked.'
I do however agree that web based design tools suck (looking at you Figma), we can barely get text processing and spreadsheets right in a browser. Web based tools are slow, make it harder for you to use stuff in your computer and take up a ton of screen real estate because of the browser's controls.