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A process to follow that creates a common design language for every designer within a given team.
Shouldn’t that be provided with a style guide for the team? I don’t think reducing our tools to only work one way is ideal. I think this is more about process and standards than actual tool changes.
I guess there’s definitely a few ways design tools could assist helping teams work a certain way.
Unified type formatting across all platforms. That would be brilliant. But, there’s two possible solutions for this, and neither are likely.
Get all platform vendors to work on a standard. That would mean Apple and Google would need to adopt ClearType, and Microsoft would have to license it to them or open source it. Or, it would mean Microsoft and Google would need to adopt Quartz’s text rendering, and Apple would have to license it to them or open source it. Or, they could all adopt one of the many open source text rendering engines. Or… you get the idea. Possible, but highly unlikely.
Design tools would need to reverse engineer and include multiple text rendering engines and let the customer switch between them. That would be a lot of work and potentially draw the legal attention of Apple, Microsoft and Google. Also highly unlikely.
Better tools for collaboration.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
An easy way to take what we’ve designed and translate it to production ready code.
Try finding an engineer who’s happy with tool generated code for anything more complex than CoreGraphics path data. I see why this is desirable, but I think it’s unlikely to work in a wide variety of situations. If nothing else, it’s common to want or need to structure the running app in a vastly different way to the design in the design tool.
Thanks for the comments Marc!
Regarding the design > code. I don't think it's too much to ask for a tool to export artboards to xcode interface builder. Understandably there would be many engineers that cringe when they hear this, but it still would be insanely valuable to many app developers. Especially for getting ideas out in the wild quickly. Obviously a Dreamweaver for mobile wouldn't output the most beautiful/scalable code, but it would take us one step further towards bridging the gap. In my mind, design & frontend (meaning layout / interaction) development are nearly the same thing.
I certainly hope Apple would be willing to do this, but understandably this is probably insanely valuable to them. This is a dream that might not ever come true.
I can’t see why Apple or Microsoft or Google would be willing to change their text rendering. It’s not just about licensing — Microsoft likes ClearType, and their customers are used to it (and possibly consider it to be superiour). It has been a hot topic in the past, and I do not think there is a clear winner that everyone would be happy with on all platforms.
This is probably more likely than the former. I don't quite understand why this would be a legal issue but, yes, I understand this is also a dream scenario.
Text rendering is difficult. If you’re trying to emulate ClearType or Quartz, you’d likely have to reverse engineer what they’ve done. And in doing so, you’d get into murky legal water pretty fast. Not impossible, but a huge amount of work and it might be seen as kicking sand in the face of some pretty big companies. :)
I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a tool to export artboards to xcode interface builder.
Yep, it’d definitly be possible to build XIBs from a design file. It would likely only work in a waterfall-style development flow, but it could have value.
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