Facebook Home designer: Apple Quartz Composer changed the way we design

Thursday, April 18, 2013
By OP Editor

Photoshop is not good enough when it comes to the design of Facebook Home.

Facebook Home

Julie Zhuo, product design director at Facebook, wrote:

“Something like Facebook Home is completely beyond the abilities of Photoshop as a design tool. How can we talk about physics-based UIs and panels and bubbles that can be flung across the screen if we’re sitting around looking at static mocks? (Hint: we can’t.) It’s no secret that many of us on the Facebook Design team are avid users of QuartzComposer, a visual prototyping tool that lets you create hi-fidelity demos that look and feel like exactly what you want the end product to be. We’ve given a few talks on QC in the past, and its presence at Facebook (introduced by Mike Matas a few years back) has changed the way we design.”

Quartz Composer is a visual development environment as part of Apple’s Xcode app, which is available as a free download on the Mac App Store. It’s interesting to see a free tool provided by Apple serving some people better than the venerable Photoshop.

Like any professional tool, it takes time to learn Quartz Composer. Don’t have the time to learn QC? As an alternative explained by design firm ESPI / edenspiekermann explained, you can use Apple Keynote for app design and website layouts.

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