Steve Schoeffel

Steve Schoeffel

Denver, CO Co-Founder at Whimsical ( Joined over 4 years ago

  • 6 stories
  • Posted to Why We Optimized Left-Handed Shortcuts in Whimsical Wireframes, Jul 05, 2018

    Hey all, I just wrote a new blog post about some of the tiny design decisions we made in Whimsical Wireframes. A lot of the larger, structural choices were covered in this initial post. This one zooms into the details of how we chose where to map our shortcuts in our wireframing app to make it as fast as possible.

    TL;DR When your right hand is on your mouse, you have most immediate access to the keyboard with your left hand, typically in the home position. So we mapped as many frequently-used shortcuts to that hand as possible.

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  • Posted to Why You Shouldn't Design Wireframes in Sketch, in reply to Yasen Dimov , Jun 15, 2018

    Appreciate the feedback here. I wrote a reply to a similar comment. TL;DR probably better to just stick to the positives on what we are building. You live and you learn :)

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  • Posted to Why You Shouldn't Design Wireframes in Sketch, in reply to Marc Olivier Lapierre , Jun 15, 2018

    Yeah, was going for more of the quick hitter / thought provoking type of thing (as in, wow, I never thought about how many low-level decisions I have to make just to put a button in my wireframes) but I see that fell pretty flat. I think the article you were probably expecting was this one: which focuses more on us but also touches on some of the shortcomings of the other wireframing solutions out there. At any rate, thanks for the feedback. Will probably stick to the more in-depth, thoughtful types of posts going forward :)

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  • Posted to Why You Shouldn't Design Wireframes in Sketch, in reply to Steven Cavins , Jun 14, 2018

    Eh, sure. It was more of an experiment. Perhaps the next blog post title will be more positively framed :)

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  • Posted to Why You Shouldn't Design Wireframes in Sketch, in reply to Scott Thomas , Jun 14, 2018

    Yep, I can empathize with getting the clients onboarded to additional tools. It's a legitimate pain point.

    That being said, wireframes PNGs from Whimsical can be exported into InVision (albeit manually at this point) if the desire is to do everything in there.

    Of course I'm biased but I think the wireframing process feels really fast in Whimsical compared to doing something similar in Sketch (pre-built elements, thousands of searchable icons, wireframe-specific shortcuts, etc). But time will tell how many others feel the same way and if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. As I mentioned in one of the other comments, we hope to build a unified workspace that's tailored to the ideation phases of building software.

    Would love for you to give Whimsical a spin and to hear your thoughts on the actual product experience, though of course no pressure. Cheers!

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  • Posted to Why You Shouldn't Design Wireframes in Sketch, in reply to Mitchell Knight , Jun 14, 2018

    Right, I hear you. I've worked with a very similar process before.

    Though one of the other things I've experienced is the pain of trying to do it all with a lot of remote teammates and stakeholders. Often times, it can be hard to get the whiteboard/paper sketches/sticky notes experience when that's the case. And that's actually one of the main reasons we're building Whimsical. It's a unified workspace that is tailored to the ideation phases of building software.

    Another thing that's a bit different than the Sketch/InVision setup is that you can have the entire team creating and collaborating inside Whimsical at the same time. It's tough in Sketch because only designers typically feel comfortable creating in there so the rest of the team (PMs, devs, etc) are left out. Also, stuff like flowcharts and sticky notes exercises aren't really a strength and so things can quickly get fragmented.

    At any rate, I'd still love for you to kick the tires on Whimsical if you're willing. Any and all feedback is helpful, especially as we're still building out the core experience.

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  • Posted to Why You Shouldn't Design Wireframes in Sketch, in reply to Matt C , Jun 14, 2018

    Hey Matt, appreciate your input here! No doubt that Sketch and Figma are powerful tools. I use them myself and they're great. But they are made primarily for high-fidelity design and for full-time designers.

    When it comes to wireframes, we are hoping to empower not just full-time designers but also product people, devs, marketers, entreprenuers, etc to wireframe the ideas they have. Even though Sketch/Figma are way more approachable than something like Photoshop was back in the day, they are still complex and hard to use for non-designers. Whimsical makes it possible for entire teams (including all the non-designers) to collaborate and design and make products together.

    But even for designers, not all teams have a fully built-out component library that does everything they need. That's a fairly significant investment and can be time consuming to manage. Even when it is built, it's still slower to design something like a table or just a simple radio list.

    And that's what I was getting at with the button example in the post. You have to worry yourself with far too many details and adjustments and pixels when you're in Sketch. This diverts your attention and time from exploring and working through the bigger ideas.

    We worked hard to define fairly rigid constraints in Whimsical so that it would remain semantic and fast and simple. Hopefully, as we continue to build more elements and features into it, it will demonstrate even more clearly its advantages and usefulness.

    Anyway, just wanted to explain a bit more. There's a more detailed write-up of some of these same points here:


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  • Posted to Why You Shouldn't Design Wireframes in Sketch, in reply to abe lincoln jr , Jun 14, 2018

    Glad you brought this up actually. It's a topic we've discussed a lot internally as we decide what we want for the future of our company.

    Our strong desire is to bootstrap Whimsical to profitability and keep building it independently for the next 10+ years.

    We too have seen the unfortunate cycle of new products getting launched only to get acquired and shut down 6 months later. Or the alternate path of raising VC money that requires a certain growth trajectory that's not always attainable and also leads to a shutdown.

    We have already put a lot of love and work into making Whimsical what it is today. Our dream is to continue to do that for a long time to come. In fact, our plan is to add a desktop app next year. Of course we can't control our fate entirely but hopefully we'll be around for the long haul as a dependable and delightful tool for visual collaboration.


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  • Posted to Why You Shouldn't Design Wireframes in Sketch, Jun 14, 2018

    Hey all, just wrote up a new blog post. It's a bit cheeky I suppose. But the core premise is that wireframes are meant to show the general layout, content, and functionality of an interface, not the style and aesthetics. It's so easy to get sucked into messing with trivial details (like what the buttons look like and whether the alignment is correct) when that time would be better spent on the bigger ideas.

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