What’s News in Design Tools

So much interesting stuff is happening in design tools that I’m going to start aggregating links here on a weekly basis. This is as much for my benefit as anybody’s, as I find the act of collecting and reposting the news helps me actually better understand the new developments. Here are a few to start.

  • InVision, the wildly popular prototyping app, shipped support for direct posting to design sharing site Dribbble with just a few clicks. blog.invisionapp.com.
  • Github’s Atom, a modern, hackable text editor, is now out of beta. The promo video, which is a spoof of short industrial films from the late 1960s and 1970s, is pretty amusing (see below). blog.atom.io
  • Prototyping tool Framer has released Layer Inspector, a new feature that allows closer examination of a Framer prototype’s components. blog.framerjs.com.
  • Webydo is a new browser-based application for creating “pixel-perfect, responsive web sites…without code.” A cursory look shows that it’s beautifully designed, with slick demonstration videos. webydo.com
  • Sketch Data Populator is a new plugin for Sketch that automatically, er, populates data inside your Sketch mockups. Unfortunately, if you have say a hundred rows in your database that you want to visualize then you’ll need to manually create one hundred copies of your interface in order for that to work. Still, when I tweeted about this plugin, the response was pretty enthusiastic. Grab it at github.com, and read about how the team at Depop used it in this Medium post.
  • Macworld has a review of the image editor-like web design application Macaw (version 1.5.15). From the review: “I intended to test Macaw by building a small site with it. But after tearing down and rebuilding the same page four times, I threw in the towel.” Still, they awarded it 3-1/2 “mice”—my impression is that they rarely award less than three, so take that for what it’s worth. macworld.com.
  • Meanwhile, the Macaw team seems to be rebooting its efforts. They’ve just announced their next project, “Scarlet,” which they refer to as a “The live design environment.” Sign up for news about its pending beta release at scarlet.macaw.co.

And here’s that Atom video that will surely make you feel proud of yourself for living in the year 2015.

If I missed something, or you have some thoughts on how I can do this better, please let me know via the comment form below.


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