• Generating multi-brand multi-platform icons with Sketch and a Node.js script — Part #1



      TL;DR


      Using a custom build script in Node JS, it is possible to manipulate a series of Sketch files, and then, using an internal Sketch tool, automatically export their assets, to generate multiple icon libraries, for multiple platforms and different brands, that support dynamic colourisation of the assets via design tokens, and also AB testing of the assets via naming convention. Easy peasy :)


      Well, actually it’s not that easy, but it can certainly be done. This post is a detailed explanation of how we did it, and what we discovered along the way.

      The problem we were trying to solve


      At Badoo we build a dating app. Actually, multiple dating apps. For multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Mobile Web, Desktop Web), across multiple teams.

      We use hundreds of icons in our apps. Some of them are the same across different apps, some are very specific to the brands the apps reflect. The icons are continuously evolving, in sync with the evolution of the design. Sometimes completely new icons are added, while others get updated, and still others get dropped (although, they often remain in the codebase).
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    • Weak UI, weak programmer

        UI facepalm


        Why do so many programmers hate UI work? Because it is tedious. Especially, for the Web, but other types of UI are only slightly easier. Layouts, margins, paddings — neverending stream of little tweaks to make it look OK on all sane environments, and somehow this freaking button sometimes overlaps that input field. Rrrr! And yes, it should not hang on button clicks, which means a lot of asynchronous programming, which is a nightmare.


        And don’t even speak about aesthetics and usability! Choose right colours, element sizes and locations, find/draw images and put them where they fit, think about user workflows — isn’t it a designers’ or Ux specialists’ job?! Leave me alone, I’m a programmer. I work with backend layers, where everything is straightforward and linear, there are no buttloads of different environments to adjust to, and design is guided by mere logic without pesky fussing with ‘user friendliness’ and ’beauty’!

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      • Manifest of Smart Home Developer: 15 principles

          Today I’d like to speak about Smart homes and IoT devices. But it is no ordinary article. You won’t find description of hardware, links to manufacturers, batches of code or repositories. Today we’ll discuss something of a higher level — principles that are used to organize “smart” systems.

          image



          Smart home is a system that can do some everyday routines instead of a person. It leads us to the first and the main principle:
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