We’re not planning on releasing a long multi-year roadmap. The design landscape moves fast, and sometimes we can’t accurately predict the future. We’d like to have the freedom to change course when necessary without needing to break our promises. We also don’t want to disappoint our customers when we can’t deliver on the promised dates or put pressure on our team to rush out features. This is not healthy for them or good for the quality of our product.
What we are doing now is sharing plans that we’re working on. At least for now, this is the form of communication we find most effective. We can share what we’re working on in the short-term so designers can test it and provide feedback.
The forum is also a useful way to connect with the community and for people to talk to us and share their ideas. We can’t respond to everything in great detail with concrete commitments, but we are paying attention, noting common patterns for things people ask for, and considering how to meet those needs.
Thanks Jonne for the reply. It would be really helpful if we knew what bug reports were being addressed. It can be difficult to get excited for new features when we are still guessing if the bugs we report are getting any attention.
This is something we always wanted to do, but it’s just very unrealistic to realize considering that Sketch is not your typical application, it’s a platform.
What does that mean? It means often, a bug, is not necessarily in the app, but in one of the 4 layers of our platform, that is the apps, the backend, the frontend, and at times, limited to its engine (and trust me, I’m being awfully simplistic in this “explanation”.)
To be able to have a public tracker, we’d need to employ a couple of people full-time to keep things in sync (to track it internally, we already need 1, sometimes 2 people full-time), and that just doesn’t result in us fixing bugs faster or better, actually, quite the opposite.
@jonne and the team will try to think of a solution to have you folks submitting ideas and with it, upvote/downvote based on your interests, but bugs itself, it’s hard considering the size of Sketch as a Platform.
Thanks @emanuel for your input. I understand that these things are never ever simple or straight forward.
I guess a simpler way of me putting this is that we are still here, still using Sketch, still loving Sketch and advocating it when we can. We just want to make sure our favourite design tool is heading in a direction that serves us.
Example: The maintenance and support of plugins is falling which leaves a big gap in our workflow which results in a drop in our productivity. I am currently trying to build my Sketch design in Framer and they confirmed this week they have no plans to update their Sketch-to-Framer plugin. Angle by Design+Code has stopped working, they have also confirmed this week they have no plans to maintain it for Sketch)
If I may interpret the spirit behind Mark’s post, I believe his feedback is that we’d like more transparency from you guys (I share the sentiment, by the way).
We understand your need for flexibility and transparency in execution, but we believe you’ve overindexed on this to the detriment of transparency (i.e. Mark’s request for a roadmap). It’s impacting the experience for those of us in the forums, which are possibly your most passionate customers, plus I believe others.
An example of this is the v98 beta. It says in the release notes:
Stay tuned We’ll publish the full list of changes for the latest release soon
Asking us to test a beta version and not communicating what may have changed makes it hard for us to get excited and actually want to test this version.
In essence, not going full in on transparency is ok, but calibrating your approach to include a little bit more transparency would be appreciated by us. I believe it’s telling that this is one of the ideas that has the most votes.
Speaking to this specific example, and in the spirit of transparency — hello! I’m Freddie. I tend to write the release notes for most releases here.
In this specific case, the full set of release notes is there. I completely agree that you can’t be expected to test a beta without seeing all the release notes. To that end, I try and make sure we have a full set of notes in place ahead of every beta. In this case, I’d forgotten to do something that removes that line about a full list of changes being available soon. That’s our fallback in case those of us who write the release notes are on holiday/off sick.
As I say, though, in this case, the full list of release notes is already there (below that line). I just forgot to do the thing which gets rid of that line. Sorry about that! It’s a bit confusing, I know. I’ll get that fixed in time for the next beta release (or at least the one after that). Thanks for keeping us on our toes
That’s right, Jason. A “between features” release, if you will.
FWIW, we did just detail the latest updates to the Smart Layout in groups experimental feature. These don’t get directly included in the release notes (because Smart Layout in groups is opt-in and off by default) but there should be a link to them in the next beta build.