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Meet Intrinsic Design

· 3 min read
Marvin Danig
Sonica Arora
Satie Sharma

Welcome to the Toucaan Blog. 🎉

Here you'll find a collection of articles and discussions on intrinsic application design.

Total Banchod Toucaan

To wit, Toucaan is a stack-agnostic vanilla styling framework for mobile apps and the web. Meaning it doesn't require javascript or any other frontend library to operate. And it can be used to design intrinsically tuned web and mobile apps using the web stack.

It is very easy to get started with Toucaan.

Simply clone the toucaan folder inside your project and start implementing your mockups. You'll need a sass or scss processor to compile your stylesheets to the path. Read more about setup over here.

What is Intrinsic Design?

Intrinsic in the context of application design implies an experience that belongs to a device. This term was coined by the one and only Jen Simmons while working at Mozilla on flex and grid-based layouts, but a curious mind could easily hop layouts and decide to explore what belongs and what doesn't on a given medium for a whole other lot of design vocabulary.

Moreover, there is a need to know what devices are on the web today because users are no longer limited to just mobile or desktop anymore.

How is Toucaan different from other css frameworks?

Toucaan is quite different from other css frameworks in many ways. It is a new approach to design that offers granular control and long-term maintainability at scale.

Unlike other frameworks, Toucaan does not make arbitrary assumptions about the browser or the user's device and instead allows developers to create meaningful interfaces that bank on the intrinsic qualities of the medium. Qualities like physical size, orientation, foldability, touch or no touch, or even fullscreen view enabled in a notched environment, for example.

Briefly, Toucaan outshines the traditional css frameworks on at least four major fronts:

  1. A complete separation of device-specific design language without using hardcoded pixel widths as MQ breakpoints. Toucaan uses a css router to serve the suitable stylesheet instead.
  2. A mathematically grounded and block-scoped type scaling system.
  3. No use of a heavy reset or normalize css to bulldoze the web browser. Toucaan replaces the reset inclusion model with a lighter and flexible baseline method that can be configured for each app differently using classless principles.
  4. Support new devices on the web like the Apple Watch, EVs with a web browser like the V9 on the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model 3, bendable or foldable smartphones and tablets, large projectors, and smart TVs.

The list above isn't exhaustive or even fully discovered yet. Toucaan snuck out of the bag while we were working on Bubblin & Red Goose, and it is still very much in development. The css standard is advancing rapidly, and we expect to discover new patterns and styling combinations that work better for the developer and the end user in the long run.

Today, we announce the first public beta version of Toucaan to the general public after three months in production at the Red Goose. Sonica, Satie, & I wish to invite you to try Toucaan to build your interfaces and share your thoughts on the experience.

In the next few months, we hope to discover how best to introduce and standardize intrinsicality in modern application design. An approach that is no longer encumbered by the limitations of responsive web design.

Thank you for reading!