It's the year 2015, we want to make interface-building a little easier for beginners.
Atomic Design is trending right now, everybody talks about Molecules, Atoms and Elements. We like the idea and decide to turn the Atomic Element Concept into a useful UI design tool.
Why not simply use a ready-made UI Kit? Problem solved.
UI Kits are popular and helpful, but all they do is give you a collection of different buttons, page layouts and content placeholders. Basically a vast amount of elements, but no guidance or wizard on how to piece them together from scratch.
Like Lego bricks, you get a lot of freedom but this makes it even harder to get started (especially as a Junior UI designer).
If you start with a blank page, you have no idea what to do next...
By classifying different UI components and controls we tried to reduce the complexity of choice, e.g.
A wizard should guide the user through the process of creating a User Interface or page layout.
The UI Wizard idea was interesting, but we couldn't find a simple way to incorporate these concepts and findings into any existing UI tool. Building a standalone app was out of scope.
So we had to put it on hold until (in 2020) the Figma plugin ecosystem got announced.
Wait...we can now create our own Figma plugins? What a time to be alive!
Some years have passed and there was still no tool available - so we decided to put luck into our own hands and started to build a Figma plugin with the following goals in mind:
It was a nice opportunity to find out how complicated easy it is to build plugins with Figmas very own Plugin API.
Nice side effect: People getting familiar with UI-Kits might end up buying the Material UI Kit we built and sell through Gumroad.
After finishing the MVP, we started doing User Tests with real people.
Turns out we need to improve the onboarding...a lot. The users got confused instead of engaged to start building App UIs.
So we went through another iteration of improvements:
Finally releasing it into the Figma Community feels great and means several things to us:
And most important: The thing got out of our head, a free slot for new project ideas to come.
Besides being a nice marketing tool for our own Material Design UI Kit there's still a true business case missing (so far). We're well aware of it. If you have a good idea on how to allocate funding, just let us know.