The ability to update the Catalyst project when the original design changes is a workflow we've talked about, but decided not to implement in this version. It raises a lot of questions: what if you've also changed the design in Catalyst? What if you change the original file so that objects are deleted or moved to a different place in the hierarchy, after you've already created components and state in Catalyst? I'm interested to hear how you'd like this to work.
It sounds like you're actually trying to do something else...what's the overall thing you're trying to do? Maybe we can find another way to do it.
We are right now working on a project and ask ourselves who should
Designer or developer, Illustrator or Catalyst. So we thought to
some time and to have an efficient workflow it should be parallel.
Both, designer and developer should start at the same time. Means for
that if there is an illustrator file you import it should update
automatically. For example
the developer ads a rough design in to catalyst and he makes some
adding wireframe objects it should add them to the illustrator file,
a red line so i see there is a change. (maybe there is a panel with a
lis of all changes
so i can accept them or not, like a sync tool does.) The designer then
sees the new object in
illustrator and can redesign it, save it and catalyst replaces the
element with the new designed object. So it's a ping pong workflow
designer and developer. Would make life easier and increase the
between the involved people.
This is just a rough explanation, maybe you need more details but we
would catalyst really make outstanding.
Hope to hear from you soon and thank you for your answer.
Rafael & Pascal
Am 30.06.2009 um 02:11 schrieb Adam Cath:
The ability to update the Catalyst project when the original design
changes is a workflow we've talked about, but decided not to
implement in this version. It raises a lot of questions: what if
you've also changed the design in Catalyst? What if you change the
original file so that objects are deleted or moved to a different
place in the hierarchy, after you've already created components and
state in Catalyst? I'm interested to hear how you'd like this to work.
It sounds like you're actually trying to do something else...what's
the overall thing you're trying to do? Maybe we can find another way
to do it.
As the designer I think it's my job to do ALL layout, including scrollbars and other UI elements, and so should be doing the work between Illustrator and Catalyst. The developer has no need to be involved in that part of the process, and should be focused on the back end.
This is the point. It's about team work and not ego and
if the designer make everything first and then developer then we miss the process off
optimising. Mostly I work with creative developers. And they know what's
possible and what's not and if graphics fit animations or not etc.
But I'm not willing to sit behind Catalyst after designing and do all the animations
and functions. After the developer looks at it and says it's not possible or this
makes no sense. As I mentioned, if you work alone you don't even need catalyst, then
you can animate it somehow wherever. But in teamwork with complex projects,
our request makes sense. Thanks anyway.
I agree, ego has no place, particularly in a team effort. My comment was aimed towards clarifying responsibilities.
Our process involves the designers doing storyboards for an application, describing in a rough way the look and feel as well as implied functionality. We then (concurrently) meet with the developers, they review it, then any necessary changes are made.
Once the storyboard gains approval, then the first real designs are created in Illustrator. This includes scrollbars and any and all UI elements. In our previous workflow, we then handed off the design assets to the developer, and they implemented. Animations were described in Flash, so the developer could replicate. Needless to say, this was time-consuming and not ideal.
However, we are now working Catalyst into the process, and it allows our designers to work on what we consider our responsibilities; the entire look and feel of the application; transitions, layout, animations, etc.
A developer expects a designers experience with code to be minimal. And it should be, as we need to focus on visuals, and more time coding is less time designing.
A designer expects a developers experience with design to be minimal. I've found through direct experience that developers don't like to be bothered with the finer details of visual design; they are more focused on whether something just works.
Of course there are exceptions, designers with a fair amount of developer experience, and vice versa. But the two skills are highly specialized, and typically people are highly skilled one way or the other.
what we discuss is a workflow. maybe you like to do it each after each. but we have projects with tight deadlines or
ressources are free but the developer don't want to wait till the designer finally finished his chic. so our workflow we like
is different. anyway i would never use catalyst when it's not able to automatically update imported designs. then it means
more time and more work for just a "briefing" because i have to manually change whenever the design changes. no way.
for those who like it, they can do it the other way. for us it would be efficient. otherwise i better concentrate on my vector
or psd graphs. print it. go to the developer for a coffee and talk to him personally. anyway, we think it's should have that
possibility, like a smart-vector-object in photoshop. that's all. everything else is not usefull i think.
Wow, this is an interesting discussion. I have some questions to understand your workflow better...
1) Pascal...do you work with Rafael, or is it just a coincidence that you guys have the same workflow?
2) How can your developer create the project in parallel if he doesn't know how it's going to be organized/what it's going to look like? How do you do things now?
yes, I work with rafael very close and we have an idea for a air application.
we already talked about functions, look and usability. So we already decided
together what it should be alike. the point is, i can start with the design slow
because I have other things to finish. Rafael has time to start already. that
was the beginning so we discussed if
1) he should wait till I made the design and everything in illustrator and catalyst
but then we loose time and he has to wait and he's motivated NOW
2) he does the main structure in catalyst as we talked about in the meeting. here starts
the problem. this way makes more sense because we don't loose time. that means
that i would take the catalyst file and redesign the elements but in illustrator. so if we can
replace the file or add a illustrator file as a integradted reference file, we would even
save more time. otherwise we only work in catalyst busy updating the graphs. and this
way is useless. but we want to use catalyst because it's a really great tool for a prototype.
what do you think?
This is a very interesting and complex issue. I have to admit, I did expect that changes I make in Illustrator would be updated in the corresponding Catalyst file (for some reason, I almost expected it to work in the way a placed .psd file works in Illustrator), and was pretty disappointed that it wasn't an option (yet?). From what Adam said, I can see now how complicated this would be. But, I really like some of Rafael's ideas on the possibility of a sync option, where the changes would be shown (highlighted in red?) and you'd have the option to accept them or not.
It seems that some of the posts are debating whether such an option is really necessary or useful; designer/developer relationship, what each should be doing, and why they would be working on the same project at the same time, etc. I'd like to bring out another point: what about the small company or business, where one person is required to be both the designer and developer? (Whether or not this is a good idea or produces good results is a separate issue. I'm talking about when money is tight and it's a necessity.) This would likely require much going back-and-forth between programs.
I work for a school district and am in such a situation (not that I'm much of a developer, but I'm all there is). As I'm working on a project, I'll think of something I wish I had added and then want to update my files (or someone higher-up will have a "neat idea" which I must use, regardless of whether it's good). I can create something in a new file and import it, of course, but I would rather have everything together, so I won't have to go hunting around for files later, wondering which file had that scroll bar I want to tweak. I don't have the luxury of having an approved design before I start working in Catalyst. They may approve the design, but after I'm done someone usually thinks of some major changes that they want me to make. So if I go back and make all the changes in Illustrator, do I really have to start a new catalyst file, and make all those buttons again (and go through each one and click "Smooth Transition")?
What if there was a way to just update specific objects or layers? Maybe select the object or folder and choose and update option (maybe requiring that the object/layer must be named the same in both files?), and then the updated image/object/layer is brought in from Illustrator/Photoshop and replaces the old one. Might that be more feasible than updating the entire file?
that's a very good input i think. the discussion shouldn't be about if the option should
be implemented or not. it's a choice to use it or not. but i like how you describe your workflow
and it makes sense. it's exactly the same problem we have to do it more than once is
not an option. rafael and me discussed alot about how to organize the syncing and it's
with that red color or flashy color and accept item by item, all or nothing. new layers will be
added with red as well. or we do it apple style, every item has a change shows a little icon.
like on the iPhone when you wanna delete a downloaded app, there is a circle with an x inside.
see pic. something like this but with a danger sign or similar. when you click it it gives a preview
of the new graphic and a deny or accept button. but a red box and a panel with further information
is maybe more user friendly...
cool, i'm curious about adams answer.
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First, a disclaimer: I'm not the product manager or any other such Important Person on the Catalyst team - I'm just one developer. So I can't promise any new features...I'm just trying to help understand your needs.
Jessica: I think the single designer/developer workflow is achievable in Catalyst/Builder. In fact, it seems to me that many of the people on this forum have both skill sets. It sounds like the "Edit in Illustrator" feature would help you (if you're using Illustrator). It's really helpful for making tweaks, adding new elements to a project that you've already started working on, and swapping custom design assets into a wireframe. Try this: right click on any component in Catalyst (e.g. the scrollbar in your example) and choose "Edit in Illustrator". Let me know how it goes.
Pascal/Rafael: Thanks for the clarifications. Let me try to describe your desired workflow according to my understanding:
- Rafael starts working on pages, layout, and information architecture (IA) in Catalyst.
- Some time later, Pascal starts creating design assets (aka "graphics"), based on the IA that Rafael has created.
- Rafael (?) merges Pascal's assets into the in-progress project.
- Rafael continues to work on IA and other implementation (business logic, data connectivity, performance, etc) while Pascal continues to work on assets.
- Pascal periodically sends the new assets to Rafael, who integrates them into the project.
Is that right?
I agree with Jessica's position in so far as I think there is a huge segment
of small scale-operations with just one or two designer/developers.
Up till now I've been using Flex states and viewstacks for control around
imported Flash animations, but the overhead involved in dealing with the
project structures and file handing/maintenance are part of my reason
for considering moving everything to Flash.
Therefore anything which supports ease of integration is a priority for me.
thanks for the reply. you are right with the process.
it is that way, well it's different with every project anyway
that's why it's important to have flexible apps and tools.
so we are creating a new product and that's why we have
that ping-pong workflow.