Coda is amazing. The functionality is amazing. (Keep up that amazing work.)
The Design, however, feels very much like an after-thought which is frustrating.
The default Design options for Text Size, Text Color and Highlight Color feel under-developed. As a designer this lack of options prevents me from using Coda as often as I would like.
I know Coda is primarily still focused on finding good data/interaction solutions, which is clearly essential. However, at the same time, presentation in documents can be essential as well. Presentation drives clarity and clarity drives usage.
If I can’t present something in a way that is attractive and visually clear for my clients, the odds are bad that I will be able to get them to use it and benefit from the data/interaction features it contains. Confused users go back to what they know.
The lack of being able to easily adjust simple design elements is a problem for me as a user. I imagine there are others who find it equally frustrating.
The lack of Design options is perhaps additionally frustrating because it seems that upgrading this aspect may not require a huge amount of technical work.
The current default color choices for Text and Text Highlight are so light in value that it is actually quite difficult to discern what colors are being selected. It seems to me that this is purely a design choice on the part of the Coda team. The act of selecting a different (hopefully more eye-pleasing and print-friendly) palette is, therefore, a question of reconsidering a former decision rather than a technical hurdle to resolve.
Please consider changing the current color choices to a more vibrant set of colors which compliment each other well. (The current Google Docs Text/Highlight color choices come to mind).
I recognize that the Coda.io website colors seem to be intentionally chromatically muted, which, I presume, is an intentional design choice from the Coda Team, and the default Coda Text/Highlight color options may simply be a reflection of this. However, while these design choices may work for the website, they may not work for every document. I do not see a good reason why this design restriction should extend to a Coda user’s document. Please allow users to design the documents they desire as separate documents, according to separate design considerations and requirements.
If implementing a new color set is somehow undesirable, please at least consider integrating a color picker so users can choose custom colors in their docs for things like:
- Font Colors
- Font Highlight Colors
- Table Cell Colors
This one addition could really go a long way to closing this design/presentation gap.
Options for choosing Font Sizes, Font Families and Line Spacing would also be very much appreciated. However, I surmise that these might present a greater technical challenge to implement, so I would definitely suggest focusing on color options if forced to choose between the two.
Thanks again for this amazing tool. You’re all doing an amazing job!