I don’t think I’ve done any design work for the tools I use to make designs. You’d think those would be the UIs I’d be most interested in working in, but somehow it just never happened. My favorite and much beloved design tool is Inkscape and for the most part it just works, I get my job done, and it’s all good. Lately, however, I’ve been thinking about whether or not there are any ways I could work more efficiently and spend less time on menial/repetitive tasks, and if there are any new FOSS tools out there that I should consider integrating into my workflow.
That being said, I’ve been playing around with Pencil lately. Pencil is a Mozilla/XUL-based GUI mockup creation tool. Pencil has a (albeit limited) shape collection panel where there are different categories of objects (annotation, GTK widgets, common shapes, Windows widgets) that you can drag onto the canvas to use in your mockups.
I really like the idea of having libraries of objects (kind of how the Flash creator UI does/did ) that you can drag onto the canvas. This would be a killer Inkscape feature for UI designers I think. Garrett and I talked about how awesome such a feature in Inkscape would be at the last GNOME Boston Summit but it obviously doesn’t exist yet. 🙂
So I used Pencil to do a quick start of some mockups of how this drool-inducing dream feature might look as a side panel in Inkscape. Behold:
I hope I’ll have time to keep working on these, though it’s weird to work on: It’s like buying your own birthday present.