Platforms that promised to bring convenience to a process or intimacy to a relationship now wedge themselves into the transaction as new middlemen. Then, we’re left to trust in the benevolence of those who have the power to mold our dependencies. Citing a lot of the concerns I mentioned earlier, those people are less responsible and compassionate than we had hoped. In pursuit of convenience, we have opened the door to unscrupulous influence.
The Tumult team has done some great work on the upcoming Hype Pro. If you are a designer who wants to move beyond static mockups and tools that limit you to canned animations, you’ll want to check it out.
It’s a hopeful time for design tools on the Mac.
- Adobe having killed Fireworks, I’ve moved over to Boheman Coding’s Sketch. The addition of symbols in v3 made it practical to use for larger projects. I still miss shared layers from Fireworks, but not the crashes.
- Affinity Designer has great performance, a customizable UI, and a good balance of vector and bitmap tools. It’s not geared toward mocking up numerous screen views, but it seems like a good option for individual illustrations and icons.
- Flying Meat’s Acorn is a great alternative to Photoshop if you need bitmap editing capabilities.
- Quasado’s Gravit provides a good deal of Fireworks’ functionality in an open source, web technologies-based package. It’s still very much a work in progress (no Boolean ops on vectors, no vector export, bugs, etc.), but it already surpasses Fireworks in some ways. The multiple master pages would have been great in Fireworks.
- Not having been released, I have not used it, but there is good reason to believe that Bjango’s Skala will be a quality visual design app.
- Relative Wave’s Form looks like a way to build iOS prototypes without all the complexity of Quartz Composer.
- Along similar lines, there is Facebook’s Origami.
- Tumult’s Hype is a good way to build interactive prototypes without coding. I’ve built fairly extensive prototypes using the combination of Sketch and Hype. Unlike Form and Origami, Hype’s output can run on anything with a decent browser.
Most designers for screens could be well served by some combination of the above. My workflow these days is mostly doing graphics and some layout in Sketch, then prototyping in the browser using jQuery with Velocity.js or Snap.svg for animation.
A UI detail for Sketch 3 that would help when working on a file you haven’t touched in a while or one you didn’t create like an inherited project or a downloaded template.
In the move to digital 1, and particularly with streaming, the musicians who play on recordings are rarely given credit outside of AllMusic or Wikipedia. A PDF of the liner notes might mention personnel, but I don’t know of any download or streaming service that embeds such information in tracks. For MP3, there is a standard in place for such metadata — ID3 has the TMCL and TIPL for tagging files with personnel credits. There are Apple namespaced equivalents for MP4 (AAC) files. I’ve long used the Comments field for this purpose, but it suffers from limited character length and lack of structure. The only software I’ve found that supports TMCL and TIPL with an interface designed for their input is a Windows application called ID3TagIt. Not wanting to fire up a virtual machine to use an app which has not been updated since 2006, it would be great to see support in Metadatics 2. Currently, it handles musician credits only as raw text:
I’d like to see a UI for inputting credits:
The menu button at the right of the name field would give you access to commands to remove the person, the instrument or role, or add another person with the same instrument or role.
Providing a field for the Lyricist would also be nice:
Of course, this is pointless if playback software doesn’t provide some way to use this metadata. I want to be able to start a stream of songs with lyrics by Stevie Wonder, or create a Smart Playlist with all recordings of Pino Palladino on bass. Unfortunately, Apple seems to have lost interest in expanding iTunes’ metadata support and Spotify and Rdio have only the most basic track metadata.
- Note that I am not a retro-tech nostalgist. Not every LP sounds amazing, they wear out, and they are not the least bit portable.
- Licensed! It’s only $10.00.
- Some of which are similar to Last.fm.
The persistent alignment controls in Sketch could double as a way to add guides around canvas selections. The basic idea is that depressing a modifier key would switch the toolbar into a guide placement quasi-mode, with the icons and tooltips updating to reflect the change. Ideally, the icons in the toolbar would reflect the guide color set in Sketch’s preferences (red being the default).
Built using the recently released Tumult Hype 2.
A few ideas to improve the alignment guides in Bohemian Coding’s Sketch, which I’ve been using more and more since Adobe announced that they pulled the plug on Fireworks — just like Obama will do to your sweet old granny.
In the current version (2.3.1), guide positions are hard to read and you can’t easily space them from each other and the edge of the artboard.
There is also currently no way to position them by numeric input, a feature I found very useful in Fireworks.
Say you’ve decided to change the height (or width) of an element in your design, a change that must propagate. It would be great to be able to move all of the guides on one axis in one pass.
The input boxes for individual and batch position adjustment would of course let you increment their values using the arrow keys and change them using mathematical operations, two features I’ve found really useful in Sketch.
There are a number of placeholder data generators out there, but I’d rather have something in my design app.
Using individual objects would make it easy to then arrange them in a table using John Dunning’s Tables extension.