The New Design Editor

In 2015 UXPin was an established design tool serving over two thousand companies. We've just raised our Series A (led by True Ventures and Jeff Veen – former VP of Design at Adobe). We weren't happy, though. We knew that we have to do even more to realize our mission and help the design tools industry move forward. We started a design process that changed the entire industry.

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In 2015 design tools were cluttered, slow, and obtrusive. As absurdly, as it sounds, nobody on the design tools market was focused on improving the state of design software. Somebody had to change it. UXPin was well-positioned to make that change. After all, UXPin was started by designers.

Many things were wrong with the design tools of that era. According to our research, the most critical factors affecting the experience of users were: color-heavy interfaces, lots of redundant panels, lack of concern for the overall usability of the system, poor performance. All the leading design tools companies seemed satisfied with this state of affairs. We didn't want to comply.

At UXPin, we've decided to reject the status quo. We wanted to take the risk and do everything in our power to realize our mission. UXPin was started to connect design and engineering and helping the design industry progress. We could not achieve this mission without taking our design to the next level. In early 2015 we were ready to act.


The first prototype and this video were meant to explore new interactions concepts and inspire the team to make bold decisions.

The process of working on an entirely new approach to a design editor started with a memo sent to our entire team. I argued that we shouldn't be compliant with the industry, and instead, we should focus on user feedback and our ambition to create the best tool possible.

I called out the industry to be uninspired and misguided. I shared with the team a set of principles that we were to use to guide our work and a video of a concept prototype that I created to inspire a new approach to design tooling.

After that, I invited the entire team and, especially all designers, to participate in the process of creating the new UXPin.

low fidelity prototype of new UXPin design editor
One of the first low fidelity prototypes of new UXPin.

The Process

Chart used in the process for this project
Different iterations of UXPin interface since 2010
The evolution of UXPin interface over the years.
Light and dark version of the UXPin design editor
Light and Dark mode were part of the new UXPin from day 1.


  • Within 12 months of the launch of the new UXPin, nearly all design tools on the market applied our approach to UI design. Today all leading tools are similar to what we've created in 2015.
  • Overhaul of our interface and engine led to a growth in the popularity of UXPin over the next 4 years.
  • In two years after the redesign, user satisfaction grew over 100%.
  • Various performance metrics exceeded 10x improvement.
  • We've never had to do a redesign again. The universality of our principles serves us to this day!
  • Our brand became strong enough that we were able to establish enterprise sales and close +$100,000 accounts.
Combination of research and vision, empowered by strong conviction, lead to the best results.

Lessons Learned

  1. In order to do a great job, people need the right emotional environment. Contrary to the popular belief – applying pressure doesn't lead to the creation of "diamonds"
  2. Design principles, if used correctly, can be extremely powerful.
  3. Collaboration between designers and engineers leads to the best results.


  • UXPin (wireframing, prototyping, visual design)
  • Kissmetrics
  • Google Analytics

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