Design Tools News No. 5

Design Tools News No. 5

A quiet week or so in design tools news, but still plenty to note, including the beta of a new UI design app for iPad. See, that’s how far this market has come—we’re so spoiled by new contenders in this space that we find it unremarkable that “only one” new app was announced!

  • ProtoSketch is a new vector graphics application for iPad (an OS X version is also in the works). It classifies itself among full-fledged drawing apps like Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw, claims to be suitable for web and app design, icon design, print design and vector illustrations, but specializes in user interface and user experience design. You can see a working prototype in action in the video below. If the team can pull this off on an iPad, I’ll be very impressed; creativity software on tablets and phones is of particular interest to me. The app is currently in private beta; I haven’t been able to get my hands on it yet.
  • Amber Bravo of Google Design moderated a fascinating roundtable with Matias Duarte, Paul Colton (Pixate) and Max Wiesel (Relative Wave, makers of Form) on “How a new generation of prototyping tools at Google will help designers build better software.” Bravo has also posted this appendix of sorts to the conversation. The big takeaway here is that Google is gearing up to make a splash in the design tools space.
  • Sketch is in public beta with its next major release, version 3.4. Brave souls can grab it via HockeyApp.
  • Magic Mirror is a Sketch 3 Plugin that can create a perspective-transformed image from an artboard and apply it to a shape.
  • I always hesitate to include tutorials in these news roundups because there are so many, but this is a good one on how to “Design in Sketch, Then Animate in Keynote.” It was written by designer Joshua Miller and posted over at
  • Prototyp is a browser-based app that lets you create interactive prototypes quickly. It’s built on Framer.js, so knowledge of JavaScript or CoffeeScript is required.
  • Speaking of which, Prototyping with Framer is a blog about, well, prototyping with Framer. It’s from designer Kenny Chen, creator of a video course on “Rapid Prototyping with Framer.”
  • Want more Framer? The team wrote about designing a better launch experience for Framer Studio at
  • Photoshop Extensions for Front-end Developers is a great inventory of add-ons to bridge the gap between pixel comps and live code. It was published by Ronalds Vilcins over at

And here’s a pre-release build of ProtoSketch in action:

Read the last installment in this series here, and send me any tips and recommendations via the form below.


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