Design tools are fast and amazing tools for thought, but for a host of reasons are limited to creating drawings rather than production assets. Engineers must instead re-create surfaces from scratch, by hand, using code (often heavily using tools like the Devtools CSS inspector, the closest thing engineers have to a design tool). This inevitably leads to discrepancies and back-and-forth with the design team, and ultimately two sources of truth that are never truly in sync. History has seen a number of attempts at bridging this gap.
This talk deep-dives into one such stab. Plasmic is a React UI builder. It loosely resembles a design tool and aims to give the same sense of speedy iteration, but is for building maintainable, production-ready presentational components. The idea is to give developers a better and faster development experience, eliminate an entire class of visual bugs/QA/tooling, and ultimately maintain a single source of truth with designers. This talk will also cover some of the challenges with building such a tool (which itself is a React application).