There are certainly some uses for Mondrian, but we just don't see what it can provide for a serious designer or even an amateur that other apps cannot.
Mondrian provides a free vector drawing app similar to Adobe Illustrator, but open-source. Being open-source allows it to be updated by various developers to include requirements from various perspectives. You are able to create your work in a vector drawing space, then share or embed your work for others to see. You can fork it to Github, visually review your changes, and use other basic features one would expect from a drawing application.
Mondrian is built around the idea that due to its open-source nature it could one day become better than other software like Adobe Illustrator. Currently, it offers basic tools, such as pen, crayon, color dropping, etc. The only feature that caught our attention that we couldn’t do in the standard paint program was being able to visually review changes. The concept is solid, but without more advanced or unique features it’s not really showing potential of surpassing the expensive alternatives.
Navigating the site is pretty simple, as there are only a couple options. You have the “geometry” (vector drawing space), and the “about” section where you can “Fork to Github” and read about their mission statement, along with a couple other links. However, all the navigation appears scattered rather than unified. The main feature of the site is the vector drawing space. The tools, though, are pretty basic – you got your colors and standard tools icons. There’s not much guessing on that.
Since Mondrian is open-source, it is free to use, and developers get to make changes and update it with new features as well. Although, if it wasn’t open-source, with the features being quite basic at the moment, we couldn’t see anyone willing to pay for the vector drawing service, as the standard Paint program offers just about the same thing with a more appealing design.
If you are going to use an online app for a vector drawing space, you would expect it to be, well, somewhat attractive. The first thing we noticed when testing Mondrian was that the overall design was lacking. The color scheme was dull, the navigation was kind of all over the place, and the vector tool icons were very basic and plain. It reminded us of something we might have seen in Windows 95. The layout itself is not that bad, but the overall look really didn’t make it appealing.
The overall idea behind Mondrian is neat, with it being open-source and having the potential to become just as great as Adobe Illustrator, or better. However, with the tools and features it currently offers, it seemed like Paint could do the job equally well, if not better. The design was not very appealing to us either. As for it being useful right now, we don’t see a major switch in programs happening, but this could always change in the future.
– The site and the application are not very appealing
– Offers basic tools with a few additional things Paint doesn’t have
– Navigation is scattered