The introduction of Quark Interactive Designer could change the emphasis of online design, according to Quark's senior vice president of desktop products, Jurgen Kurz.

“Today designers mock together pages and hand them to the developer, as opposed to the developer doing something and handing it to the designer. It’s the complete opposite of the creative workflow,” explained Kurz.

“Websites could be much more compelling if the graphic designers were involved, so we’ve given them a tool to be involved,” he added.

The software is not intended to take work away from developers, however, insisted Kurz. “It won’t put any one out of a job, but there are certain projects that don’t make financial sense to develop. There are things that you couldn’t cost effectively do before, you can now.”

Kurz accuses some of the jobs that previously went to developers as being “over kill”. “Why would you want to use a flash developer’s tool to just do a banner add?” he asked.

“Our solution is not for developing complex database constructs. It’s aimed at the people who want to create an experience. Developers look at Interactive Designer and ask: ‘Can it do this, that, and the other?’ Designers say ‘I don’t care!’”

“It’s not meant to be that kind of tool,” he added.


But Kurz doesn’t rule out any extension of the software by third parties: “There is already a lot of interest from third parties in extending it,” he confirmed.

The product illustrates Quark’s philosophy that it is better not to overload a product with features, instead it is key is to allow the user to “do more with less”.

“In Creative Suite there are all these specialist tools that do much more than any specific person really needs,” noted Kurz. “For years Quark and Adobe have just added more features and more complexity,” he conceded. “I think what we are starting to see is that the features are starting to become less relevant because people are starting to look at what they really need. Usability is huge.”

“We are really trying to be more targeted with our products,” Kurz added. “In the case of Interactive Designer we are focused on graphic designers. Another product might have lots of great features, but if a graphic designer doesn’t need them, we don’t need it in our product.”