Last year was mad real.
In 2019, I started the first half of the year coding. Building + Making: frontend languages (HTML, CSS, and I did a young bit of JS) which later turned into low-code tools This year, I find myself Designing and Making.
A few people have been asking me what tools I have been using and I wanted to quickly talk through some of them as it's something I will refer to myself. Just so you know, I am not a Designer, nor am I trying to be one.
I have just been fotunate enough to find a set of tools that help me clarify my thoughts and build quicker.
Pencil and paper
The more of these you do, the more you value the speed of clarifying what you are looking to build on paper.
I also feel like in a time where deep work is undervalued, taking some time away from notifations/Whatsapp, is valuable time.
Don't underestimate this step
Whimsical is such a magic wand when it comes to wireframing. I could be mid discussion, say "give me 5 mins" and I'll bring to life the bones of any idea I am working on.
I haven't seen this much in any designers lists, maybe because it's not as indepth as some of the others, but for me it gets the job done.
Oh sweet Adobe XD. This is definitely one of my favourite tools. After learning the basic principals of white-spacing, padding, margins and other basic principles, I began to realise why Adobe XD is sweet.
Sometimes even I get the urge to want to rush into building, but Adobe XD always helps me to clarify the look and feel and I love the Colour Palette, Character styles (Typography) and Components.
The slick thing is, you can even prototype in Adobe XD so everyone should definitely consider this tool if you want to build quickly - that's why I say it's kinda in the middle of wireframing and prototyping.
Design + Prototyping
Naughty Figma. You caused a ruckus to Designers who were too religious about Sketch. Luckily I never got to use Sketch like that so I have no ties.
I still haven't gone ham with Figma, but I am appreciating the image/photo editing capabilities as well as the prototyping animations you enable.
For anyone out there looking to get started building this is your time to shine. There are a number of ways to skin a cat - don't wait for anyone to give you your magic formula. If you know you ain't a designer/engineer, you can always learn the basics. YouTube is your friend and there are a lot of eLearning platforms out there.
Don't wait for perfection either - start building things for yourself or someone you care about. In the upcoming weeks I plan to launch something new.
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