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Zeplin – Efficient Collaboration Tool For UI designers and Frontend Developers

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Zeplin is a collaboration tool, built for UI designers and frontend developers. With Zeplin, collaboration between designers and developers becomes easy, effective and saves time. Designers can turn their designs into specs and guidelines, and developers can generate platform-related code snippets. Pelin Kenez from Zeplin team, shares more details with us about her startup in the interview below:

Pelin Kenez from ZeplinQ: What is Zeplin?

A: Zeplin is an app for UI designers and frontend developers, enabling them to collaborate efficiently and save time. Designers can quickly turn their designs into powerful specs and guidelines while developers can access all the resources they need in a single location and generate code snippets that are tailored to the platform they’re working on.

There are a lot of tools that focus on design or development processes, but for us it doesn’t seem right to think of them separately. On the contrary, we’re trying to build a common language between them. Why does UI work take more time then it should? Why is there always back-and-forths? As designers and developers ourselves, we tried to approach these questions both from design and development points of view. Zeplin is still in a very early stage but we believe this is the reason why people seem to support what we’re doing.

Related: Startup – Visual Collaboration For Creative People

Q: When do you plan to launch it? What’s the coolest use of Zeplin you’ve seen until now?

A: We’re trying to avoid this question all the time. :) Hopefully in early 2015, Zeplin will no longer be in beta.

There are a lot different teams from all around the world, using Zeplin in their workflow but we recently learned that one of our users use Zeplin in their developer interview process. They give their applicants a design using Zeplin and see how good they’re at implementing detailed UIs. Something we never thought about!


Q: How big your team is and how are you funded?

A: We’re actually quite a small team: 1 designer, 3 developers. Before Zeplin, we were working together for 3 years and we all come from different sides of the problem: UI/UX designer, Android, Web, iOS developers; we have it all. We joined Startupbootcamp Istanbul accelerator program back in June and that’s where we got our initial funding from. We’re currently bootstrapping and will look to get more funding in 2015.

Related: Startup Front – Introducing Collaboration In Email

Q: How difficult was it technically to build it?

A: Our aim is to build a very easy solution to a complicated problem, trying to bring different platforms, different mindsets together; all in one app. It can be quite tough to build a product that works together with other tools though, in our case Sketch and Photoshop. At times it was challenging, we tried a lot of different approaches before deciding on which one to go with. I should also mention that the guys at Bohemian Coding were super helpful. Big thanks!

We’re actually just getting started. As we still have a lot more ideas in our heads, I’m sure it’ll only get tougher. :)

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Q: Do you have any new features in the pipeline? What’s your favorite upcoming feature?

A: Of course! The best thing about features is that, we decide on what to do next together with our users. We are quite lucky because they are also app makers. Everyday we are getting tons of feedback and that helps us decide our priorities. Currently, we’re working on a read-only web app, focused at developers without Macs. Photoshop support and asset generation (tailored to different platform needs) are the other two features we’re also working on.

Our favorite feature is definitely focused on the review process though. We really shouldn’t go into too much detail but we have some amazing ideas, it will be very exciting.

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