is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Robust programming environments for animation and prototyping like Origami are powerful, but it’s no accident that the player in this category that has so far captured the most mindshare among designers is Principle. Though it has its limitations—it’s perhaps too linear and it can be laborious to create large-scale prototypes—Principle is beautifully elegant and rewardingly easy to learn. It also demonstrates that for design tools, simplified interaction models and WYSIWYG is what wins nine times out of ten.
Kite Compositor, a new animation and prototyping app, seems to offer a similar promise. It claims to marry a focused layout toolset with the ability to create bespoke animation effects—all with the shallow learning curve of applications like Keynote. There is a code editor built into it, though, which perhaps belies its true nature. Coding and the ability for a user to default back to editing functions and variables in an editor can be such a powerful center of gravity within authoring applications that they can effectively cloud the WYSIWYG model. If it’s there, you’ll probably end up using it. Still, the Kite Compositor demonstration video is compelling. I’m looking forward to giving it a spin.
Kite Compositor is US$99 and available today. More info at kiteapp.co+