A UX tool suite for mobile app designers and developers

#4 Product of the DayOctober 06, 2015
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Hi everyone, I'm Anders, co-founder and CEO of Fuse - excited to be here! We started Fuse because we wanted to help people create great mobile user experiences and to make the world a better place for app designers and developers. We’re designers and developers ourselves and know how hard it can be. The people who work at Fuse are veterans from the mobile graphics industry and the demoscene and we're passionate helping people build better apps faster, through better tools but also through better collaboration between creatives and technologists. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I’ll be here along with @gloom303 (our Creative Director) to answer questions and to have a great time! Thank you so much for your support!
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@mr60fps is there any apps in stores already?
@visualwatermark hi! There are a few, but most of them are in private Beta still. Fuse was just made available to the public today 😄 in our forums you can find a few app store apps made and shared by early adopters og Fuse
@visualwatermark @mr60fps My personal favourite so far is https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/... but we know of a lot of apps currently in development.
@mr60fps OMG man... that "make it pop" sequence was on point! But seriously now, really excited to try out Fuse.
Robert Scoble sat down with @mr60fps and @ferristweetsnow to talk about what makes Fuse special, different and exciting. If you have 13 minutes, the video is on Facebook and I really recommend you take a look :) https://www.facebook.com/RobertS...
I have been testing this app for a while. Good to see on PH! It's really sleek. It's a magical experience when you publish an app, and see the change on the phone instantly without re-launching the app. Good job, guys!
@sungmoon Thanks for your kind words! We're so happy to have had closed beta users such as yourself who have contributed so much in terms of helping us finding bugs and deciding what to focus on in the designer-developer experience.
Cool! I left some comments on Adobe's Comet post that would totally apply to fuse. In fact, you may be closer to them that Comet. Let me know what you think! http://www.producthunt.com/tech/...
@luisobo I just read that earlier today! :) So, just to run through the list here quickly (and I'm shortening it down to the essential points for brevity): - iOS AutoLayout capability. So, this is actually one of the core concepts in Fuse. As you say, going from a static design to something that needs to scale, move and adapt is one of the must frustrating problems in modern app design because it touches on so many different points. Understanding that no content element is truly static needs to be "baked in" from the very beginning. This is why layout, motion and responsive elements/animation should be building blocks in app design just like basic primitives like rectangles and circles. But that needs to start from the very first pixel (or indeed, point :), and this is why the _connection_ between a design and/or prototype and the live app equivalent needs to be established really early in the process.. and that's part of what Fuse is for. - Scripts/navigation/logic - the end goal being code generation. I agree completely. With the open beta launch today we're including experimental support for code generation from Sketch documents. Yes, it is still early, but it shows great promise. We are also experimenting with Photoshop, but it is not quite as easy, given the nature of the software. But yes: a design and/or prototyping tool that cannot generate actual code feels weird to us. Why not just skip over the step where a developer has to physically observe something happening and then apply their interpretation of that motion or interaction in code? We think that should change. - The overarching goal for me is that we stop calling this "prototypes" and we start calling them apps. I can't begin to tell you just how much I agree with this. :) I would love it if you took the current beta of Fuse for a spin and tell me what you think. Are we heading in the right direction? What do you think we should focus on? What works, what doesn't work? Feel free to hit me up directly! - GraphQL. Declarative UIs and reactive data-binding is the future of app development -- at least that's how we see it :) You get to do more, with way less code, and when native code is generated at the end anyway, there is no performance loss either. Wow, that got really ranty, sorry for the huge post :)
@gloom303 thanks for replying. Glad to help! Some more feedback: I can see the value in providing your js framework and markup in order to get started quickly, but any serious project should have total control over which frameworks to target. This may be the early day of real code generation of UIs and while we programmers don't look at the assembly code generated by a compiler I'm sure early compiler users did until they could trust the compiler implementations. Point being, users should be able to understand and control the generated code, at least for now. What a product like this should excel imo is at modeling the UI and interactions in a declarative yet flexible way and at having a programmatic API to navigate this declared UI, that's where I think the meat of a product like this is. Then, you can generate whatever you want out of that. Some people may be okay with your homegrown js framework for prototypes and what not or developing with the live reload, some other people may want to use react native because of the larger community or whathaveyou, some others may want to target plain UIKit, some others may want code generated against with this or that library or even integrate some new parts of the app implemented with this tool with a legacy app. There is gonna be, inevitably, a period (I'd say years) in which programmers will want to look under the hood to gain this trust and you, fuse, are gonna want that in order to get feedback from devs to tweak the UI model to make it more powerful. During this few years, people will figure out the things that work and the things that don't and eventually gather around one target (I guess something that is maintained independently like UIKit or react-native) they can trust (the implementation, the performance and most importantly, that the abstractly is solid) and then an only then, we will stop looking under the hood.
@luisobo Thanks a lot for your input - and we totally agree :) In it's current version, and from our current messaging, Fuse may look a little "sandbox-like". But rest assured, it is carefully designed not to be that going forward. Here's how: * In any Fuse project, you can already write Uno (native C#) code which gives full programmatic access to the UI tree, as well as full access to all iOS and Android frameworks. You can mix JS, Uno and UX markup as you want in a project. * We are working on an API for programmatically accessing the UI tree from JS too, but we want to design it carefully so this can never impair UI performance like most other JS-UI frameworks do. That's why it was not released from the get-go. * In a few months, Fuse will support being used as a library in existing iOS (Xcode) and Android Studio projects. This means you can use Fuse (with live preview) to design screens, components or complete UIs on top of existing native code bases. * You can already (and we will expand on this functionality going forward) mix native Obj-C, Swift or Java code in your Fuse projects. Thanks again for your input :)
@mr60fps sweet, looking forward see what comes next.
This is very cool. Interested in licensing and pricing terms though as I missed that on the site. Link, or still undecided?
@paultomkinson The Fuse beta is free and price plans are still undecided indeed, but here's what we're planning: always keep a free tier that's non-crippled. We strongly believe that Fuse should be software that people can depend on. We are building features on top, and some of these will be combined into a pro version on a subscription model. I'd be very happy to hear your thoughts on pricing though!