The Future of User Interface Design: Next-generation UI Tools

UI tools for design have advanced from the very first version of Adobe Photoshop, a program designed to edit photos and not for creating interactive user interfaces. The newer technology, including Adobe XD, Figma as well as Sketch are making our work easier and more efficient.

However, inefficiencies in our daily routines are abounding and we’re wasting time and money when we could be creating products that people would like to make use of. Design programs that are available today are better than the programs we were using before but they don’t take advantage of the latest technological advances and hinder us from achieving our full capacity to be UI designers.

It’s time to introduce a modern technology generation for UI tools.

Integrating Design and Code

Future tools for user interfaces can bring code and design together to create an improved experience for both developers and designers. The tools we have today aren’t helping us develop web UIs; they’re assisting us in creating abstract representations of web-based user interfaces. The mock-ups created in Figma and Sketch aren’t linked to sources of code.

Nowadays, a lot of designers are familiar with the fundamentals that comprise HTML as well as CSS. Some designers are able to design using code, but it’s not efficient for large-scale projects Designers need to be able to examine a proof of idea quickly before they commit to it.

Software developers can use Visual Studio Code, a software that integrates editing and development. It lets engineers build tests, debug, and build code within the same platform. Designers also require an environment that allows visual development to provide all the design tools, yet produces code ready for production.

Here’s what the future has in store.

Parallel Creation Will Replace Designer/Developer Handoffs

There’s a lot of switching between developers and designers, particularly in the phase of handoff. In some instances, the handoff process is too long and tiring it’s a matter of quality and not quantity that work is harmed. With the next generation of design tools that interface with the codebase, designers won’t be the only ones responsible for creating UIs. Instead, they’ll be able to focus on the logic that connects a software’s interface to its backend and allows it to function correctly.

Designers will build the foundations of UIs using the code baked into the design, and developers will use this code to make products more dynamic. Designers will no longer have to pester developers with requests such as “Please add 16 pixels or padding rather than the 8 px as illustrated in this mockup.” Developers will no longer be forced to stop and inquire about design issues like “How do I make this component scale between desktop and tablet breaks?”

Instead, developers and designers collaborate on more important questions like the feasibility of a design idea feasible in the context of budget and time or whether all UI components’ states are resolved.

Design UI Tools and Developer Software Will Align


Modern tools rely on custom programming models to create design elements. They aren’t always enough as strong as CSS and don’t permit designers to view the auto-generated code behind their design files. This code must eventually be converted to HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. The process would become much more straightforward for us to make our tools use HTML or CSS natively.

For example, CSS uses the box model that calls for inserting all HTML elements on every page inside a box that is coded to determine its width, height borders, border, and padding. Figma offers this feature through its automatic layout feature. However, If Figma utilized the box model, which currently is the basis of most web UIs developers would have less translation and export.

The same applies to styles inheritance which regulates what happens when there is no style applied to a particular element–similar to the standard. CSS employs it, however, many design tools that weren’t designed specifically for web users don’t.

Our tools must deliver web-based views instead of sketches or static mockups. We don’t require HTML or CSS simulators. We require CSS and HTML.

Mock-ups Will Become Obsolete

Instead of throwing away mock-ups Let’s just release mock-ups.

Mock-ups leave too many questions unanswered. It’s not feasible to design one for each digital environment. Designers today design layouts that are designed for screen sizes of 320 pixels 834 pixels, 320 px, and 1440 pixels; but what happens when a part of the layout fails when viewing a viewport of 1220 pixels? Why not optimize it for 375 pixels, which is the standard size of bigger phones of today?

The artboard that you create for every situation is not feasible, particularly when considering all breakpoints as well as views, not to include dark themes. Making sure to design for all of these factors increases the number of artboards that you can point to.

Mock-ups can also be a waste of time and resources. They can be time-consuming to design and are less common in design for digital products. Webflow has eliminated mock-ups and instead promotes interactive, responsive prototypes. (Unfortunately, Webflow is limited to web-based applications and caters to basic websites). While throwaway deliverables may be useful during brainstorming however they’re useless in the phase of the solution.

All System States Will Be Accounted For

Every digital product has states that reflect what they’re doing at the moment, for example, the loading process stalls or shows errors.

Each state has to be taken into consideration However, the current UI instruments leave the responsibility to designers, which makes it difficult to develop multiple versions of the same component. The tools for development such as React as well as Vue.js allow developers to quickly adapt to all possible states of components. Design tools should follow suit and make designers feel more comfortable, nagging them to ensure that the states of a component are planned for.

Real Data Will Replace Placeholder Content

In the same way that designers design components that can be used in multiple states and states, they also design components to accommodate a range of information. UI designers must be capable of evaluate their components by using actual inputs, such as pictures, copy names, date titles, and so on–that are eventually used to be used to populate their designs. Designers can currently replicate data manually by copying and pasting it onto artboards. This is a very difficult task. The internet has plugins to help automate this process, however, they’re not very user-friendly.

The idea of asking developers to look at how their components handle data isn’t the solution also. Once components are subjected to testing, it’s a long to design them. If designers aren’t able to test and refine components using real data, how do they determine whether the card is compatible with a long title, or no title even? How can they determine if the font they’re using doesn’t work with Arabic characters, or that a website doesn’t support languages that read from left to right?

Edge-case Testing Will Become Easier

When UI tools are able to cater to all states and allow the testing of data in real-time developers will have the ability better anticipate the effects of edge cases. After a component has been created and tested by designers, they will the various states of the component and blast it with various information to determine what it does in various situations. In this manner the UI becomes the domain of the designer, allowing developers to focus on other tasks like fixing JavaScript or testing APIs.

A World of Developer Tools and Third-party Browser Extensions Will Open Up

After our work is in HTML and CSS there will be a variety that includes extensions will be available in the designing phase, including the essential Lighthouse for SEO, performance audits, and accessibility as well as the numerous browser tools for developers which simulate breakpoints on devices and slow speed networks. The tools for browsers are much superior for designing and testing production-ready user interfaces over any plugins included in Figma, Sketch, or Adobe XD.

Designers and Developers Will Work in Parallel

I would liken the current condition of the development of products to a kitchen, where the chef working in one kitchen is trying to prepare an item by telling another chef what they should do: It could work, but it’ll take much longer and will be less effective. There are companies working on software for designing with code. Hadron, Modulz, and Relate have beta versions of their products. The widespread adoption of these tools could mark an era of a new era in digital product creation.

It could also signify an abrupt shift in developer-designer partnership. When the two parties work in tandem, teams for product development are going to become more productive. Developers will be able to work on the intricate design of UI architecture, instead of spending time looking over mock-ups and getting overwhelmed by designers who want them to push pixels toward the perfect level. Designers will become more useful to their companies and teams when they are co-creators of digital products that are successful.


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