Cloudstitch On Data & Design

In the process of building an app or site there's usually a lot of repetition. If, for example, you're trying to create multiple screens for an app or a site, you're often left copying and pasting design elements. A Y-Combinator startup called Cloudstitch just made this a whole lot easier by allowing Google Spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel to link directly to Sketch, the design platform. Last week they also built a plugin for Framer, demonstrating how fungible this technology is.

Now, if you want to populate a design with live data, say name and bio information from a LinkedIn profile, you can simply add the data to fields in a Google Spreadsheet, and link that spreadsheet to Sketch. Sketch then replicates your design and populates each new element with data from the next row in the Spreadsheet. The result is that you can auto-generate dozens or hundreds of elements instantaneously all from the spreadsheet, rather than the design file. 

This is the type of new tool that is dramatically reducing the barrier to entry for non-technical folks to play major roles in the development of new tech tools. Whereas it once might have taken a back-end engineer, a front-end engineer, and a designer, today it can all be done by one person, and that person need not be very technical. This empowers designers to take their work along a greater spectrum, from development to design to near production. Companies like Cloudstitch are changing the game, and improving access for both fuzzies and techies