19 thoughts on “Prototyping to Production: Bridging the Gap with a Common Tool (Google I/O ’17)”

  • Marc Panther says:

    Why burden the developer with code in the first place? How about Photoshop-to-code frameworks like Altia to bridge the gap?

  • louie solomon says:

    I'm still seeing a pretty big disconnect with this workflow, but now it's design to design rather than design to development. As a designer, I iterate on ideas quickly, duplicating artboards to try out new ideas, changing type on the fly, experimenting with layouts etc. For me, the absolute quickest way to do this is by using a visual design tool.

    Additionally, for any icon design or illustration, the designer is now left using their graphic design tool to create assets out of the context of the rest of the app. This tool seems to take some of the work away from developer, but proportionally adds that work back to designers.

    If a tool like this is going to be successful for both designers and developers, it needs to better take the needs of designers into consideration. Allow shapes to be drawn into the live space using tools designers are used to, and generate columns and rows intelligently, or at least visually.

  • (disclaimer: I'm on the Flutter team at Google)

    In response to Totoro Zhen and Louie Solomon about workflow disconnects — I'm a programmer who also does design work, but I had the same reaction as you concerning the need for a more visual tool to help with the design side. As you know, Flutter is new but is already getting a lot of attention. In addition, Flutter is an open source project and we are encouraging other developers to get involved. If someone is interested in building a more design-oriented tool (or adapting an existing one) to work with Flutter I'd be happy to talk to them and help in any way I can.

    Nevertheless, I was a little surprised after this talk at I/O when I talked to a few designers who were very excited about Flutter because it allowed them to build a non-static prototype quickly. They wanted to see interaction, animation, and other dynamic parts in their prototype. They didn't seem to mind the need for some simple code (one of them commented that it didn't look any more difficult than dealing with HTML and CSS). And they liked that it really helped the transition from design prototype to development.

    I think what would be really cool would be a visual tool that answers your concerns about making the design process easier, but which still generates Flutter code so that it creates a working prototype.

  • Alexandru Ionascu says:

    I like Flutter idea a lot, I just feel that you could try do something like JSX for that build method, it just feels more intuitive and clean in my opinion.

  • It seems to me like flutter needs something like JSX to make this really useful for designers. Expecting them to learn a language just seems like a waste of time. Like the desiger here said, it took her a while to learn it and it involved plenty of questions with the team and stackoverflow – just like learning a new programming language does!

  • Juan Carlos Alpízar says:

    I think this is a more complicated way to achieve the same than React Native or NativeScript does, and the hype is all about being promoted by Google. At least with React Native and NativeScript, you already have a CSS – HTML syntax alike, which is more of a common ground for designers than learning all of this from the ground up.

  • Microsoft did this 10 years ago with XAML and Blend. It so sad that the technology never took off because the idea was a game changer.

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