UX Tool: SubForm

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These two guys apparently set up a kickstarter to build a new design tool, named SubForm. I just watched a few videos. It’s not available for download yet, but rather than go “stealth” the two founders decided to build tool in broad daylight. I have alot of respect for that. It jives with my personal value of transparency. Of course, it means your competition can see your work, but I have always found that the benefits of being open outweigh the benefits of being secretive.

The videos are interesting. The SubForm folks have really taken responsive CSS strongly into the design tool itself. It is really easy to make components adapt to the screen. I was imagining making a complex grid and could see how you could resize the columns and it would adapt accordingly.

My Figma grid is much more finicky.

Additionally, SubForm does a nice job with component states. These two features are missing from Figma and would be greatly appreciated. The UI seems pretty well thought out considering how many options they are giving people.

However, in looking through the videos, I definitely saw some missing features including Concurrent editing and Prototyping. It looks therefore (imho) that SubForm is really a competitor for Sketch more than a competitor for Invision or Figma or Adobe XD. Having a windows version helps in that battle. This is yet another reason for Sketch to be freaking out.

I definitely like the innovations SubForm is bringing to the table, but the bar for design tools keeps going up and up. Obviously, They are going to need more than 2 guys.  If they don’t add prototyping, it would bar me for my use case.

Also, side note. Why do all design tool videos focus on mobile design? Is it really the majority of design projects?  Am I the only one who makes desktop apps? My prototype has 62 artboards at this point.

I am still waiting for Microsoft to get in this game. What the heck are they waiting for? They built their business on Tools. They could easily buy one of these design tools and add a bunch of resources. Oh well, I think I am fighting the tides on that one.

Anyway, good job SubForm on innovating. Keep it up.

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