Lots of news just before summer hits ☀️! Sketch, Zeplin, and Figma are back at it again. Other than that this list highlights some lesser known tools, an icon set, and a book! Approaching the word tool in a broader context this time.
Big news from the Sketch camp! Traditionally the Layers Conference is organized alongside WWDC. And the folks from Sketch took this opportunity to sneak peek what they’re working on. Besides a revamped Components Panel for Symbols and Styles, improvements to Distributing layers, and Smart Layout (!), they also announced enabling real-time collaboration in the Mac app, a la Figma. This is big. I’m super excited for all these much needed improvements.
A new way to connect design systems to engineering. Linking styleguides together, and seeing correct names of colors and components popping up is a game changer for teams already invested in using Zeplin for their hand-off processes!
Attention all makers: Figma announced they’re soon enabling everyone to make plugins. With a bit if a different approach then Sketch, as it’s more controlled through their API. Which is a good sign for stability, but may be somewhat limiting. Anyway, it’s super cool and I think a step in the right direction. And I hear you thinking: “Will there be a Runner for Figma?” Who knows! I won’t say *no*, but at least for now there are no concrete plans for it.
Whimsical is a great flexible online tool for creating charts and wireframes. They released a big new feature: Mind Maps. If you’re familiar with MindNode or similar tools, this will look and feel familiar. It’s always good to have multiple tools to choose from! Give it a try.
A new iPad app by Adobe is currently in pre-release. Fresco offers the world’s largest digital brush collection to deliver an exceptional digital painting and drawing experience for stylus and touch devices. It looks and sounds pretty great. Will this beat Photoshop CC for iPad to market?
A book can be a tool, right? Marvel released a free eBook on Getting Started with Design Systems. It’s a good looking short guide with the basic principles, and tips on how to go about building a system.
A set of icons is a tool as well, right? The Shopify team made their collection of simple and informative icons available for public use. The icons draw on the visual language of the Polaris design system. You can use these icons in your projects or third-party apps to promote a consistent experience across the Shopify platform.
This new platform tries a different approach by only allowing to showcase content on projects that have shipped. So no more brushed up mockups of ideal scenarios that never saw the light of day. It’s interesting to see if this gets off the ground.