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Discussion on: What do you think of static design tools?

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joestrouth1 profile image
Joe Strouth

It's rare that my first design concept is the final design. As a result, I have to iterate and explore to improve it. This is a lot easier to do by dragging rectangles around than it is to code new components. Writing code first constrains how far I can diverge from my initial design, due to the work required to refactor, which constrains the possibilities.

If your content is coming from an API, then changing the design might mean altering endpoints, http requests, templates, and more. I look at it as 'measure twice, cut once' - but with design as measuring the lay of the land and the implementation as the final cut.

I have nothing against throwing together a sketch in the browser, but if your design is meant to last, I think it's worth it to spend time in a medium unhindered by code.

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dandevri profile image
Danny de Vries Author

At what point is 'dragging rectangles' around enough? When is it time to go to code? Whenever I feel like I have my main idea in a design tool I iterate further in the browser. And where do sketching and wireframes fit in your workflow?

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joestrouth1 profile image
Joe Strouth

When is it time to go to code?

When the design is approved by the people who need it - through user research and/or conversations with stakeholders. As soon as I'm getting signals that it's likely to meet the project goals.

where do sketching and wireframes fit in your workflow?

I almost always do rounds of sketching with pen and paper before jumping into Figma. Certain things need to be ironed out before drawing rectangles

  • prioritized list of tasks that this screen needs to enable
  • prioritized list of the on-screen elements needed to enable each of those

Sketching helps me figure out selection, placement, and order without the complexity of colors, typesetting, etc. Figuring it out one layer at a time, rather than needing to manage and rework everything with each iteration