A new web UX editor and feedback tool for product teams
This write-up originally appeared in a HackerNews post that was featured on the front page last weekend. I added new images in this Medium post.
I’m Andrew, a solo founder building a free, easy-to-use visual editing app called MockVisual.
MockVisual makes it easy to design your website or web app collaboratively with your team. Hacking a design together in the browser can be a much faster way to do this than making changes to a pixel-perfect file using professional design applications.
With MockVisual, you work on your design in your browser, then share feedback and sketch options by capturing screenshots and adding comments and markup on top. You then share your iterations through a direct link. It is entirely browser-based. There’s a video on that page showing some examples.
MockVisual works with any existing website or web app and includes simple tools to cut up your current design, rearrange it, and add elements. You can also create designs from scratch and share them with anyone. You can pick permissions to control who you share with. And that’s about it!
I worked as a designer in Silicon Valley for a decade at large tech companies and startups — most notably as Flexport’s first designer. Through this time, I’ve seen how websites and apps evolve and how tools can help or hinder development.
Current design tools are overkill for quick fixes, small features, and fast iterations. Digging through layers and nested components of someone else’s complex design file just to explore a simple change takes too much time, even for experts.
Also, many design contributions are made by non-experts — people without “design” in their title. PMs, engineers, founders, and others have valuable ideas that should be articulated visually, but instead, get buried in long emails. Meanwhile, the actual designs are accessible only in expert editing programs. This is a tools problem! I want to flatten the learning curve of design tools, so everyone can visualize their ideas and share them with each other directly.
I originally went through YC in the summer of 2019 and was encouraged to pivot after running into considerable roadblocks. As the pandemic hit and the world locked down, I had a lot of time to think about the issues I’ve encountered as a designer. During this time, I helped dozens of startups by reviewing their UX and providing advice. I learned a lot about how these companies approached design and what I could build to help them.
My goal is to help teams create, collaborate, and communicate visually and make it all much faster. I like to think of it as “scratch paper for the web”. Even with just ‘scratch paper’ you can get pretty close to professional-quality designs, made stronger by the fact that the entire team has been able to work on them.
I’d appreciate your feedback on the app, and invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on how to streamline design iteration and feedback. Thank you!