Sencha Architect

Design and front-end development of Sencha Architect, a tool for creation of apps with Sencha Touch and ExtJS frameworks

Challenges:  creating and implementing interface for a complex design tool, working with multiple technologies and platforms, evaluation of the process, staying at the cutting edge of what’s possible
Tools:  Illustrator, Photoshop, github, JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5, SASS, ExtJS, Sencha Touch
Deliverables:  Sencha Architect application, documentation, internal designs and test versions, several presentations at events and conferences, demos (apps built with the application), blogposts and support for the users through forums and email

I joined the Sencha Architect team to work primarily on adding theming support to Sencha Architect. Theming is a process by which you change the looks of the app that you are creating, and this can be done in many different ways. Sencha’s frameworks support theming through SASS (an advanced way of writing CSS), making it very powerful and allowing for a lot of customisation from the start, but also creating a steep learning curve, involving multiple steps in several environments and tools.

Within the team I worked on creating an effective, easy to understand and easy to navigate interface for theming that would allow both novice and advanced users to do all the steps in theming directly from within Architect, without the need for other software for editing, viewing or compiling. As in Animator project, I worked primarily on UI design and implementation, as well as creating several prototypes to test out various approaches, implementations and demo versions.

The feature was highly anticipated and very well received. As of writing this, I am still involved in the project, further working on improvement of the theming feature as well as other features within Architect.

I had the chance to present the innovations at a conference in front of a large crowd at Sencha’s conference SenchaCon 2013. The presentation can be found here.

Sencha Architect is available at Sencha’s website.

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