Show DN: Sketch2UI - Wireframe to UI Design Service

almost 8 years ago from , Olokuta

Hi DN,

I've been working on a little design service (Link: http://www.sketch2ui.com) that will turn your Paper Sketches and Wireframes into a complete UI Design.

It's still in a very early stage, but I'll really love to hear your thoughts. In particular, I'll love to know:

  • If you'll consider using this to outsource some of your work?
  • How the service could possibly fit into your current workflow?
  • Who you think this would be most useful for (Entrepreneurs, UX Designers or Developers)?

Thanks a lot DN.


  • n keylen keyle, almost 8 years ago

    I am dead set against design services that have no soul. This looks like it. You're better off building your brand and not some sort of franchise of fast food design. Do great work, charge like hell for it. Don't try to compete on speed and price. Just my 5c.

    7 points
    • Adam RasheedAdam Rasheed, almost 8 years ago

      Tell that to 99designs. There's always a market for both ends of the spectrum.

      1 point
    • , almost 8 years ago

      Thanks for your feedback Nicolas. We're trying to create a quick, efficient and easy way for entrepreneurs and developers to create beautiful apps even if they have a limited budget.

      Do you have any ideas on how we can productize our design service and push for efficiency and still retain our soul?

      Based on the feedback we've gotten, we're dropping the time element in V2. We have never tried to compete on price however because I know how bad that can turn out.

      Thanks Again.

      1 point
      • n keylen keyle, almost 8 years ago

        What I liked about your pitch is that you're approachable.

        Maybe play on that further. That's your pitch:

        We're trying to create a quick, efficient and easy way for entrepreneurs and developers to create beautiful apps even if they have a limited budget.

        0 points
  • Wentin ZWentin Z, almost 8 years ago

    befor the left image load, I almost thought: oh this is clever -- because i thought the right side is a lo-fi wireframe, and what is about to load on the left side is the UI design you did based on that wireframe. Of course I get disappointed and feel there might be a missing opportunity there.

    The ui design work you showed on the left side looks nice and I assume it is picked out from your best portfolio work, but because of it lacks context, it doesn't convey any meaning like how good your service is.

    I personally would never use such service especially when it says 5 days in bold without any context provided to you. If any scope of work can be done within 5 days, i doubt the quality of the job and whether it should even require 5 days to finish.

    7 points
    • , almost 8 years ago

      First of all, thank you for taking the time to give such honest and detailed feedback Wentin. It's been really helpful and we're definitely going to use your idea (low-fi wireframe on the right and ui design on the left) in the next iteration.

      The idea was to increase the amount of designers on each project so that once the style guide is finished, it's just a matter of assembling the UI based on the wireframe (Atomic Design for the win).

      That said, we wont be able to complete all projects in 5 days and the current plan was to let you know before-hand if we are unable to meet that deadline. To avoid any further confusion, we'll take the time element out in the next iteration.

      We just threw something up quickly to test the demand for such a service. Would you like to have a look at V2, after we have implemented some of the feedback you provided?

      Thanks Again.

      0 points
  • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, almost 8 years ago

    I'm personally not in favour of this as to me it seems to completely miss the point as to why mockups, wireframes, and sketches are created at all. Mockups aren't products of mass production one can simply outsource to some random person in who knows where.

    Sketches, wireframes, and mockups most importantly have to communicate ideas. While mockups more than often look close to the final product, what they're ultimately are meant to represent is the designer's vision of the product which the designer can use to collaborate with the engineer. More than often the actual product diverges from the mockup in some way.

    If the creation of mockups are outsourced, the ideas, brainstorming and critical design thinking involved in transforming a sketch into a mockup are lost. At least for me, the layout of my mockups tend to be completely different than the ones from my sketches. What remains consistent between those two mediums I used however are the ideas I had in mind, something which can't always be communicated effectively to a third party at this stage. Between sketching and creating the final mockups I spend a long time thinking of the best way to implement things based on the sketches. If I outsourced the work however, what I'll end up with is pretty vectorized images of my sketches, not an advancement of the design process.

    Even if your service did do the proper design process, the fact that I've outsourced the work means that I basically failed to properly design.

    I also find it a silly idea to measure a design based on the amount of screens it has. Some apps might have many different types of screens based on a consistent layout system while others could have few screens that are very complex.

    2 points
    • , almost 8 years ago

      Thanks for writing such detailed feedback Laurens.

      Your point about measuring the design based on screens is very valid. It's something we are looking to change in Version 2.

      We're a team of two designers (I'm in London and my Co-Founder is in LA) and we have a bunch of hand-picked freelancers that we supervise.

      We're really aiming this at Developers and Entrepreneurs who have a good idea of what they want (vision for their project), but lack the skill to translate that into an efficient UI/UX. We do an extensive consultation over skype and use that to refine your sketches/wireframes before we start any design work.

      It's also aimed at early stage products, mostly at people looking to get V1/V2 of their product out.

      0 points
  • Some DesignerSome Designer, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    Why would...

    Who would...

    I mean how...

    ok ok, I'll pick the most shallow question among the whole others.

    Why would anyone pay a random web page to draw what they drew before for that price?

    I wish there was a downvote button on DN.

    1 point
    • , almost 8 years ago

      Thanks for your feedback Bororo.

      We don't draw what you drew before. There is a lot of design work between a Wireframe and a Complete UI. Many people seem to think price is very low as is and we'll increase it significantly once we reach Product Market Fit.

      0 points
  • Brian A.Brian A., almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    My concern is that you're seriously devaluing professional design and creating—as Nicolas put it—"fast food" design to make a quick buck. Part of our job as designers is to educate our clients and get them to adopt a good design process so they can deliver the best possible products to their users. Something like this shifts the focus to cost ("Why would we pay your team $15,000 for this when I could pay this guy here $1,000 to put my doodles into Photoshop?"). I don't personally think it's healthy for our industry.

    That said, I think that this could be useful for certain organizations, especially ones with tight budgets that need ideas fleshed out on the cheap. If you're planning to go forward with this, I have a few suggestions:

    1. Provide more details about your process and be more transparent (e.g., what happens on each day, what tools you use, how you're delivering the files, etc.).
    2. Move your work samples out of the zip file and onto the website so people can see your previous work more easily.
    3. Add some information about you or the team. Right now it feels like some faceless offshore operation with questionably quality; I'd like to be able to put faces to the product for reassurance.
    0 points
    • , almost 8 years ago

      Thanks Brian,

      We just threw something up quickly so we can get some feedback and we have all these things on our to do list for V2. Would you like to have a look at V2 when it's live?

      Thanks Again.

      0 points
  • justin ziccardijustin ziccardi, almost 8 years ago

    I'm a little bummed at the negative comments so far, because I believe the idea could be valuable to entrepreneurs, designer-less startups, "MVP" products, or anyone who can't afford a full blown design project. I'd encourage you to see them as feedback on how you communicated the idea vs the idea itself.

    Sure, the landing page (with portfolio issues already mentioned) don't inspire much confidence, and I wouldn't hire this particular iteration of the service either...BUT, If I'm a mobile app developer or something and have an idea for 3-5 screen mobile app, what are my options?

    What's between the $X,000 decision to recruit and hire a contract designer and the $X0 option of buying a template / or learning a UI framework. Maybe a variant of your service sits between.

    So, a few random ideas/comments:

    • If you're focusing on Web and Mobile UI, is "per screen" the way to charge? How do flows (registration, login) work with multiple states and combinations?
    • What do you do when you receive bad or contradictory wireframes? Will these customers be happy when you deliver inadequate screens?
    • What about further productizing the service, so a customer provides a design brief and a few wireframes, you'll create a style guide or style tiles?
    • Maybe look at a few designer job posts on Upwork.com or similar for inspiration in how to position your service, and who the customers could be.
    0 points
    • , almost 8 years ago

      Thanks for your feedback Justin.

      • We're moving a way from the per screen pricing, but registration and login are two states of the same page so we only charge that as one screen (each screen can include 3 stated in our current pricing model)
      • We do an hour long skype consultation with a client before we start work and refine their wireframes based on this.
      • We'll look into that for v2, thank you and im gong to open up Upwork now and look at a few briefs.

      Thanks Again for the Feedback,

      0 points
  • Vasiliy LeytmanVasiliy Leytman, almost 8 years ago

    Well at least you should try spending those 5 days to present the portfolio online instead of downloading ZIP (!) with images (!) inside.

    0 points
    • , almost 8 years ago

      Thanks Vasiliy.

      We just threw something online real quick to test demand for the core idea. Our next iteration V2 will communicate the idea better (yes V2 will have an online portfolio).

      0 points
  • Justin WJustin W, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    I think people will have a lot more questions than answers from what you show currently and I think you need to show your work in a way that doesn't involve downloading a zip file.

    0 points
    • , almost 8 years ago

      Thanks Justin.

      We're working on that for v2. I just threw this up to test the demand for the idea and to find out who would find this service most valuable, so we can target v2 towards them.

      0 points