Abstract

Graphic Design Software Applications radically transformed the practice and the industry of graphic design. However, they barely evolved since their introduction, leading designers to question their ubiquity. In this paper, we explore this mismatch by analysing digital design tools through two lenses. We first investigate digital design tools from a “lineage” perspective: how they reproduced the pre-existing design tools and practices. We then use two familiar examples: the colour picker and the alignment and distribution commands to explore the vision of design that they promote. We reveal how these tools assume that designers already have in mind a desired outcome and thus introduce a mismatch with current designers' practices. To bridge this gap, we propose “graphical substrates”, interactive and visual tools that combine the strengths of both programming and graphical user interfaces. We analyse how several recent research design tools embed this approach and we propose two principles: tweaking and creation from example to foster their adoption by designers.

Keywords:

design tools; graphic design; graphical user interfaces

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Share

COinS
 
Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Reinventing Graphic Design Software by Bridging the Gap Between Graphical User Interfaces and Programming

Graphic Design Software Applications radically transformed the practice and the industry of graphic design. However, they barely evolved since their introduction, leading designers to question their ubiquity. In this paper, we explore this mismatch by analysing digital design tools through two lenses. We first investigate digital design tools from a “lineage” perspective: how they reproduced the pre-existing design tools and practices. We then use two familiar examples: the colour picker and the alignment and distribution commands to explore the vision of design that they promote. We reveal how these tools assume that designers already have in mind a desired outcome and thus introduce a mismatch with current designers' practices. To bridge this gap, we propose “graphical substrates”, interactive and visual tools that combine the strengths of both programming and graphical user interfaces. We analyse how several recent research design tools embed this approach and we propose two principles: tweaking and creation from example to foster their adoption by designers.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.