TL; DR: Tumult offers a suite of software products that simplify interactive site building — even for those who don’t know how to code. The company has three unique tools for visualizing and implementing interactive web projects: Hype, Whisk, and Reflect. The products can show users the effects of their code changes in real time, which speeds up the design process and enables more iterations and output. Advertisers, developers, graphic designers, and educators can leverage Tumult products to build modern, interactive websites that look stunning on any device.
Infant vision tests haven’t changed much over the last 30 years. Doctors typically administer them using expensive test cards that create barriers for wide-scale use. Iain Livingston, an ophthalmologist from Scotland, wanted to find a more cost-effective and accurate way to perform those tests by leveraging the latest digital technologies.
So Iain built an online prototype using Hype, an intuitive HTML5 editor from Tumult. Hype allowed Iain to make his vision a reality without getting bogged down in web development. His project now administers more accurate infant vision tests at a lower cost than the traditional method, and it has already been used widely in Malawi. Iain plans to release the test on iOS.
Tumult was founded in 2010 to help designers build animations and interactive websites after Adobe Flash fell out of favor. Designers needed solutions for site building, but there was no longer a suite of tools that allowed non-coders to build interactive websites. Tumult stepped in to fill the gap.
The company’s products give visual designers immediate feedback by displaying the changes users make in real time. That means designers can close the design loop, iterate changes, and pick a preference instantly instead of repeatedly reloading the browser.
Anyone — from ophthalmologists to advertisers — can use Tumult and Hype to build interactive websites and web apps because its tools are easy and intuitive.
“We have advertisers using Tumult to build ads, and we have children’s authors building animated stories with our product. We also have educators teaching students how to do animations, so the market for Tumult is very diverse,” said Jonathan Deutsch, Founder and CEO of Tumult.
The web has changed dramatically in the last decade. What once was the domain of developers is now available to anyone with a business idea or a story to tell. With Tumult, visual designers and novice users have the same power to bring their visions to life.
Filling the Void Left by Flash
Plans to discontinue Flash were pushed back many times, but the computer software finally went extinct on December 31, 2020. Apple products, including iPhones and iPads, had difficulty running Flash, which hastened its demise.
“Tumult started in 2010 when the iPad and the iPhone 4 had just been released,” Jonathan said. “There was this whole part of the internet that was developed using Adobe Flash and the Flash plugin. But Flash wasn’t good from a touch perspective, from a battery perspective, or a security perspective, so Apple made a sort of executive decision.”
In a changing world where digital consumers expected browsers to load instantly, Flash wasn’t fast enough. Another issue with the latest technologies was that they were only adopted by developers and left out of the reach of a wide range of users.
New mediums, including HTML5, became popular with developers who wanted to incorporate more videos and find better animation tools.
“It became pretty clear that users could do all these things with HTML5, but if you were a developer, you still had to code it by hand. And there weren’t the same design tools on the market as was the case with Adobe Flash Professional,” Jonathan said. “So the idea behind Hype was to create a tool for the modern web and put it into the hands of designers. Now, without any code, users have the power to create animated and interactive web content that replaces what Flash had previously done.”
A Platform Aimed at Visual Designers
Many web technologies are designed with seasoned developers or small businesses in mind. While both of those groups can leverage Tumult, it is aimed at visual designers. Each one of its tools is built to simplify the process of making beautiful and interactive websites.
“The main thread that runs through Tumult’s product line is the ability to understand the visual effects of every change that the designer makes. If you’re editing code, the best way to see what’s happening is a live preview,” Jonathan said. “If you’re doing animation, the best way to work is with a visual editor and a visual tool. If you care about the results while using web technologies, Tumult is always keeping both these interests in mind.”
The web has come a long way since Flash and the basic HTML and CSS websites. Even the smallest companies now need beautiful websites to communicate the value of their products, and Hype allows anyone to build responsive animations into their websites and web apps.
“It sounds like it’s a small thing that the moment you hit a keystroke, you can see the effect or the moment you drag something, you see the effect,” Jonathan said, “But previously, you had to reload the browser to see those effects.”
The longer the loop, the more time developers have to experiment, which means they can make fewer changes during an allotted time. Tumult shortens that loop, allowing developers to be more creative. According to Jonathan, that often results in more happy accidents and provides precision control of the experiments.
Developers often have a vision in mind, but web technologies can stand in the way of making that a reality. Tumult simplifies ideation and creation so designers can bring their projects to life.
Tumult Encourages Creative, Interactive Site Building
So much of site building includes making changes to code that involve more than just a single line. Part of Hype’s power is that it allows users to build moderate to complex code, including animations, into their websites without iterating thousands of times.
“In every animation where the complexity becomes moderate, Hype is going to thrive. It is a very robust tool that allows users to animate specific properties, set up various scenes and states, and control custom behaviors,” Jonathan said. “It has powerful features, including symbols, but it’s also straightforward to use if you want to do simple animation. You just take an object, insert an image, hit record, and move it from point A to point B; then you have your key frames.”
Consumers expect to see those interactive features on websites and mobile apps. And what used to take minutes to load now takes less than a second on the latest iPhone.
“Phones are so much faster now, and browsers are a lot better in a couple of areas. CSS has advanced and SVG support has improved,” Jonathan said. “So there’s a combination of performance and small graphical changes that have boosted creative capabilities in the browser.”
While that means a more interactive and stimulating experience for web users, it also means investing more time in site building. Tumult provides developers, designers, and entrepreneurs with intuitive tools to quickly deploy the modern, interactive websites that consumers expect.