Technology

Today

Technology supports technology. We enhance our lifestyles by offloading less important tasks to make way for more important ones. We often think of artificial intelligence helping us in this area and there are already a few projects supporting the designer workflow.

One of the most promising companies in this space is Uizard; the Design Assistant is a product that came from research done at AirBnB where a wireframe can inform a high-fidelity mockup based on design system guidelines. This truly separates the UX from the UI. A designer could sketch a wireframe for enhancement in this tool; removing the need for meticulously choosing the right components, colors, or images.

Another product in this space is html.to.design powered by code.to.design. What makes this tool interesting is the ability to create design assets from coded components.

Tomorrow

There will be a workflow that leverages both Uizard and code.to.design together. In a world where handoff is collaborative and designers are no longer tasked with specifications, a designer would work alongside a developer to create a component. That coded component would be the source of truth for the system. Using code.to.design, a process would convert this source of truth to a design asset; or better yet a collection of rules for Uizard to understand. Downstream designers would then only need to provide wireframes of their experiences to Uizard which is informed by previously coded sources of truth. In this way, you can always have an up-to-date high-fidelity mockup of the experience as needed.

One of the criticisms of this approach will be the ability for exploration; especially in the case of designers working with developers for handoff. However, it should be recognized that the designer in charge of the design system (UI) has different responsibilities from the designer in charge of the downstream products (UX). In a perfect system, governance would help design system designers conclude UI decisions. The best design systems aren’t the result of internal exploration within the design system’s team, but from explorations found outside of the system informed through data, promoted as a sharable platform resource.