Design Tools News No. 2

After I wrote my first design tools news roundup last week I had a momentary bout of panic. Even though it seems like there’s a lot of news in this arena, maybe in truth there isn’t really all that much happening each week? As it turns out, there was no reason to worry. As I suspected, lots of impassioned teams out there are doing lots of interesting things, enough to generate plenty of news. Here are just the items that crossed my desk this past week.

  • Pixel Winch is a screen measurement app that combines aspects of an image editor with a modal interface, for quick access and high precision.
  • Blocs, the elegant website design app for OS X, has just released its version 1.4.0. Improvements include “a complete redesign to colour management, access to the native Mac colour picker tool, bootstrap panels, HTML lists, icons in buttons, nested layouts, preview in browser support”—color features sound so much more exciting with those extra u’s. The full changelog is at
  • Last week I wrote about Sketch Data Populator. The creators of the plugin, Precious Forever, shared this video with me, which previews some of the improvements they’re working on. It shows the plugin cycling through data in a single artboard with just a command-key shortcut, as well as populating many individual artboards with data all at once, instantly. Pretty exciting stuff and definitely worth a look.
  • Prott, the mobile rapid prototyping app, has just launched an Android version. More at
  • Atomic, the browser-based interaction prototyping tool, dropped a sneak peek of a new timeline animation feature at
  • PaintCode, a vector drawing app that turns your drawings into Objective-C, Swift or C# drawing code in real time, has just released a beta of its new Telekinesis utility. Telekinesis (great name) allows you to change the design of your app in PaintCode while the app is running on a real device. More at
  • Icons8, the web-hosted icon pack featuring over 14,000 icons, has just added icons in the Windows 10 style. They’ve also written this “Unofficial Style Guide to Windows 10 Icons,” which I’m sure most people reading this will find handy if they ever need to design for Windows 10. Hey, it might happen!
  • Finally, the 2015 Net Awards are open for voting through 13 July. The nominees for App of the Year read like a roll call for some of the most exciting new design tools out there. Go for your favorite—especially if it’s the one I worked on: Adobe Comp CC!

Catch up on last week’s roundup here, and let me know if I missed anything—or what you think about these news roundups—in the form at the bottom of this post.


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