Mark Dalgleish details how his team at seek tried to build a library of React components that could then be translated into Sketch documents. Why is that important though? Well, Mark describes the problems that his team faced like this:
…most design systems still have a fundamental flaw. Designers and developers continue to work in entirely different mediums. As a result, without constant, manual effort to keep them in sync, our code and design assets are constantly drifting further and further apart.
For companies working with design systems, it seems our industry is stuck with design tools that are essentially built for the wrong medium—completely unable to feed our development work back into the next round of design.
Mark then describes how his team went ahead and open-sourced html-sketchapp-cli, a command line tool for converting HTML documents into Sketch components. The idea is that this will ultimately save everyone from having to effectively copy and paste styles from the React components back to Sketch and vice-versa.
Looks like this is the second major stab at the React to Sketch. The last one that went around was AirBnB’s React Sketch.app. We normally think of the end result of design tooling being the code, so it’s fascinating to see people finding newfound value in moving the other direction.