vince.menanno

Design Is Vital to Our Roadmap

Discussion created by vince.menanno on Aug 24, 2018
Latest reply on Aug 31, 2018 by beverly

The FileMaker Roadmap focuses on seven key areas:

 

  • Development
  • Deployment
  • Cloud
  • Mobility
  • Integration
  • Security
  • Performance and Scalability

 

I propose we add another, crucial one: Design

 

How could we have overlooked this? So much of what we do is about design, how best to display stuff. Database architecture, scripting, deployment, etc. — all critical pieces, too. But look at the list above and ask yourself: Do clients use these terms? Not really. Like everyone else, they want something that “just works.” And that’s the job of design: to create interactions that feel fluid, intuitive and rewarding. These aren’t quantifiable and easily testable targets; design is squishy. But we ignore it at our peril. At the heart of every solution, every product we build, is how the thing looks and feels.

 

FileMaker 12 was a huge leap in UI offerings, like going from black-and-white to color. The refinement of UI elements since then has been fantastic (SVG icons!), culminating with the recent Layout Mode enhancements of FileMaker 17. But there is so much more to do. The conversation about design evolves more rapidly than ever, and clients are getting savvier in their baseline expectations.

 

Here’s a simple application:

app_example.png

 

Our clients want modern-looking applications like this — and thus developers need control of the entire application surface.

 

At DevCon this year there was serious interest in supporting Javascript. This would be another huge UI leap (from color to 4K), that’d make all kinds of things possible.

 

DevCon attendees were also talking about improving layout capabilities, especially Layout Parts:

 

• re-thinking Layout Parts' vertical paradigm

• Dynamically changing the size of certain parts

• Disclosure of individual sub-summary parts

Frames so you can embed a layout from another layout (a huge help for navigation)

• more CSS animations and transitions

• Horizontal Portals

• Progress Dialogs

• Progress Dialogs

• Flash Dialogs ( show and then fade out )

• Responsive Design

• and more…

 

We need to add Design to the FileMaker Roadmap, not just to highlight its importance to our work but to provide a picture of investments being made. And this Design Roadmap would include both user- and developer-centric tools.

 

Adding Design will bring more attention to the role of interaction in general. It will sharpen the conversation about what we want next. And that will result in better tools for us and our clients. Design is nothing if not about improving our environment, and thus our lives. We must see it as a key area of our work.

 

Vince

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