Fuse UX tools bridge the divide between mobile developers and designers

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After a full year in beta, Fuse (Fusetools AS) is now announcing the release of its user experience design (UX) tool suite for developers and designers to rapidly create beautiful mobile apps. The tool suite provides a markup language and unique visual tools to bridge the gap between designer and developer while also delivering powerful native libraries for both iOS and Android.

Fuse core features are built from the ground up to aid collaboration between designers and developers. User experience, also known as UX, is an important part of how apps are handled by end users, a killer app can lose it’s “kill” if too many users find it unfriendly or confusing. Developers spend a great deal of time making sure the inner workings of an app function efficiently and are delivered bug free, but tools such as Fuse are important for keeping the human interface side of development wrinkle free.

“We believe real time app editing is a much-needed feature for the industry,” says Fuse co-founder and CEO Anders Lassen. “When we introduced it to our closed beta users, we were overwhelmed by their positive feedback. They told us it effectively gave them an intuitive prototyping tool that outputs working native code, instead of slideshows and GIFs — a huge improvement to how apps are generally made today.”

Fuse provides native user interfaces (UIs) on both Android and iOS devices to lower latency and increase the power of its libraries. The software also provides on-device preview to allow developers using that native code so that developers and designers can see it active in its native environment, which is  also a boon for testers.

Image courtesy of Fusetools AS

Image courtesy of Fuse

On the design side, the tool suite has interoperability with popular design tools including Sketch and Photoshop. UI design also does not require extensive programmer knowledge–only prior knowledge of XML and Javascript is required to configure and code the markup language that drives the underlying UX suite.

Once the design and markup phase is complete, Fuse outputs native code for both iOS and Android. This code leverages OpenGL ES acceleration–an extremely powerful graphical library API designed for mobile devices and embedded systems–to give designers and developers access to advanced visual effects and custom UI components.

The developer angle

Fuse is designed to allow the rapid prototyping and deployment of UIs across multiple platforms and while UI is primarily the realm of designers but it does need to connect to developers. Under the hood, Fuse uses Uno, a C# dialect, for developers to create custom modules, UI components, and features.

All code written in the UX markup or Uno is compiled into native C++ before being deployed to Android or iOS meaning developers need worry less about streamlining for either operating system.

The Javascript code written to drive the UI front-end is separate from the underlying native code. This allows designers a way to integrate and use the data binding and custom controls provided by developers into the UX when it comes together.

Above is a YouTube playlist of videos that display the breadth and width of Fuse’s tool suite, any developer or designer looking to understand what Fuse can do for them would find these videos extremely informative.

For designers, the UX markup and Javascript code gives an experience that should feel familiar to anyone who has worked with HTML and CSS–the mainstay of all modern web design. And the addition of powerful visual tools within the Fuse tools suite means that designers who are not used to HTML/CSS can still produce working app UIs swiftly.

The best part of this separation of work is that it allows developers and designers to collaborate using their own expertise and the tool merges that expert knowledge into one workflow.

Getting started with Fuse is easy for both developers and designers and the website contains everything anyone needs to dig their fingers in and it also provides a gallery of examples.

Featured image credit: Courtesy of Fuse