What Does The Future Hold For The Design Industry?

What does the design industry look like right now, and where is it heading in the future? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. 

Answer by Emanuel Sá, Co-founder at Sketch, on Quora: 

When Pieter and I started Sketch back in 2011, the design landscape was very different to the one we know now. Innovation had pretty much stopped and existing tools just weren’t serving designers’ needs.

Fast forward to today, and design has become the foundation of almost every business. The explosion of tech in the last decade means that companies are communicating and interacting with customers in an increasingly digital-only space.

Our COO Matt Langdon, put it really well in a company blog post, shortly after he joined the team: “As software eats the world, and as more digital interfaces compete for consumers’ attention — what could be more important to building great products, driving customer engagement, and building a trusted brand than the very platform on which you design those products and experiences?”

Like Matt says, as user interfaces become more important, so do the tools we use to design them. These days, companies understand the importance of design in a way they didn’t before.

For designers, the focus has shifted away from “designing” and onto workflow, process and collaboration. When we first launched Symbols we were anticipating the need for designers to create libraries of reusable components and a single source of truth. In the last few years, the design systems movement has exploded and now designers need tools that can help them create and manage these complex systems, work seamlessly with other designers and collaborate with the wider organization too.

This year, we launched Sketch for Teams to help remove friction, improve workflow and bring designers and developers closer together in a single workspace. By leveraging the technologies we’ve built in to Sketch Cloud, Sketch is allowing designers to do their best work in the Mac app while they share, collaborate and communicate with their whole team online, via the browser. Sketch for Teams is still in beta but there are some really exciting features in the pipeline like developer handoff, annotations and, eventually, real-time collaboration.

The future of design is always hard to predict but it’s likely going to be more of the same — design tools need to help designers solve bigger problems than just creating interfaces. As design teams and organizations grow it’s crucial that the platforms they use grow with them and provide the tools they need to work better together.

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