Bridging design and development with data

Programming and designing with Pure UI:

The process involved, among other things, creating a new UI, ditching the dependency on Flash in favor of HTML5 and introducing new functionality…The particular way in which I implemented it led me to some interest insights around the growing convergence of the designer and programmer roles…The fundamental idea I want to discuss is the definition of an application’s UI as a pure function of application state.

This pulls together three threads:

  • that design and development are duals in a deep way
  • thinking in data structures is useful even if you aren’t using gobs of parenthesis (i.e. Lisp)
  • removing resistance to experimenting with software behavior, in this case by describing behavior with data structures instead of conditionals in code, yields good things (see also Bret Victor)

Medium-term bet: Facebook, through tools like React(-Native), continues to push tasks that were previously outside of “text editors”, such as visual design and animations, into things-resembling-code via the function-of-state paradigm that React is sneaking into people’s brains.

(Also, the use of a fixed-width font in the page design there is 💯)