Matt K

Matt K

London Head of Design Joined about 5 years ago

  • 5 stories
  • 1 upvote
  • Posted to Affinity Publisher has finally launched, in reply to Paul Bunyar , Jun 21, 2019

    Managed to get Affinity Photo for the whole organisation. Lots of people needed image editing tools, but the company couldn't afford to spend thousands a month on CC subscriptions.

    When I told them volume licenses were about £12/year, they were like "Why are we even having this conversation? Just buy it for everyone!"

    1 point
  • Posted to Affinity Publisher has finally launched, Jun 21, 2019

    StudioLink is a game-changer.

    Back in the day I had to use Quark 4.2, which didn't support transparency in any way. To do a drop-shadow or an overlay you had to edit the image in Photoshop, save it out as a flattened TIFF and import into Quark. Tweaking the layout meant long round-trips, especially as being the most junior designer in the studio I had the ropiest old Mac imaginable.

    After this, switching to InDesign was like a gift from the Design Gods – it was possible to add transparency and shadows directly in the document! And import PSDs!

    StudioLink is the next step in this evolution. Being able to edit images and vectors directly on the page will both save time and concentration, leading to a much more fluid workflow.

    6 points
  • Posted to Adobe XD Release May 2019: Design systems, components, and so much more, May 15, 2019

    Used XD for the first time in depth recently, and there's a number of things which make it absolutely maddening to use.

    Why have different sharing links for review/development etc? It's confusing. Why not just stick the handoff features in a tab and have one link for everything?

    The share for review option scales the designs to fit the window with no option to view at 100%. Why? This is utterly baffling. It's not possible to see actually how big something is. Why would I ever want to see the design scaled? Surely the point of review is to see the design 1:1 in a browser. Until I realised what was happening, most of the design feedback from clients was about sizing.

    Event the developer review link is set to fit by default. It's possible to change it to a custom zoom level, but it's not obvious. This is insane: developers need to see how big things are!

    Frankly XD is amateur hour.

    The team seem so focused on adding features like voice or gamepad support, they're ignoring the fundamentals of actually delivering solid design software.

    5 points
  • Posted to Polypane: a browser for designers and developers, in reply to Kilian Valkhof , May 14, 2019

    Hi Kilian, thanks for your reply.

    I don't want to dump on your idea because fundamentally it's a good one – being able to preview all breakpoints at once would be really handy.

    However it's just that: handy.

    In comparison, Sketch only costs $8.25 per month, and Marvel $12. These are my essential design tools, and your product is more expensive than them.

    I do understand a lot of work has gone into it and you want to make a viable business, but those prices, even with a free trial are offputting.

    About the trial: 7 days is very short – even Sketch and Marvel offer at least 14 days. It needs to be enough time for the product to be fully embedded into people's workflows, so doing without would be difficult – and therefore find the motivation to put together a business case and get the spend authorised.

    More thought on pricing: The features for team and enterprise plans, which are more expensive than the single user plans, seem to be solely around billing or licence management. There doesn't seem to be any features that would make me or my team's lives better, for example collaboration or cloud sync.

    For desktop software, which this is, rather than a cloud-based SaaS, which the pricing structure is emulating, I'd expect a volume licensing programme, where the cost is reduced depending on the number of licences bought.

    4 points
  • Posted to Polypane: a browser for designers and developers, May 14, 2019

    Nice idea, but blimey that's expensive for a skinned version of Chrome. If it was a brand-new rendering engine or something, that pricing might make sense.

    Think I can continue pressing ctrl-apple-r to enter responsive design mode for $12-$19+ per month.

    3 points
  • Posted to The Evolution of DN , May 07, 2019

    There should be a commitment to surfacing new, quality, interesting content. Stuff is allowed to linger for days, meaning there's no need to check back regularly as little changes day-to-day. Compared with Hacker News, the difference is stark.

    Content seems to be mostly brand content strategy, rather than user-generated. While fine in short amounts, a whole page of links that go to figma/sketch/adobe etc is pretty dull.

    Plus commenting is basically shouting down a hole – why bother writing a thoughtful response if there's no discussion?

    0 points
  • Posted to Exploding 3D Objects with Three.js, Mar 26, 2019

    That website is amazing. The animations spun up the fan on my MacBook Pro so hard I thought it would take off, but still, seriously good work. Must have taken ages.

    0 points
  • Posted to Best Monitor under 500 dollars, in reply to Dhanish Chhajer , Mar 26, 2019

    Got a 21" Dell Ultrasharp a couple of years ago and I'm still very happy with it. Was and probably still is the best monitor for design under £200 ($265).

    0 points
  • Posted to Does anyone have experience, good or bad, buying Refurbished Apple products?, Mar 25, 2019

    All of my Apple products for the last 20 years have been refurbished or second hand. Would recommend it to anyone. The only difference, as far as I can see, is that the box it comes in is a little less fancy.

    Most recently I bought an Apple refurbished top-of-the-range 2015 MacBook Pro at almost half the price than the newest version would have been. And it's got a good keyboard.

    0 points
  • Posted to Show DN: Live visitor stats for all your websites on a single screen, Mar 06, 2019

    Nice idea, but that forced newsletter signup is obnoxious.

    By connecting your GA account you agree to join our newsletter. But no worries, you can opt out anytime :)

    I'd rather not be opted in at all thanks.

    It's probably not GDPR compliant either, as opt-in consent has to be unbundled from other terms and conditions.

    1 point
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