Is it just me or in the last 12 months there seems to have been an avalanche in new products all claiming to “help the process”?

There’s no doubting the fact that there’s more help out there to help designers to make some sexy prototypes. But here’s what I have been using recently, to help demonstrate functionality. Most of these all focus on the interactions at mobile level.

Flinto

Far and away the best application for demonstrating interactions. The UI is slick, responsive, and easy to use. It was so easy to use in fact, I’ve never asked a question, or searched on how to do something. If you use Photoshop, you’ll just get this. It’s a paid service, but worth it.

Link: https://www.flinto.com/

MarvellApp

This is very much like Flinto in many ways, but lags slightly behind in the ease of use. Certain things bugged me, and even with the integration with Dropbox (you add your jpegs into a Dropbox folder, and it sync’s with the interface), it just didn’t cut it for me. That feature with Dropbox wasn’t strong enough to justify “free”, as the UI was a bit sluggish, and not as responsive as Flinto.

Link: https://www.marvelapp.com/

Zurb Apps

Zurb (the creators of Foundation Framework) have been busy creating a set of tools to help validate designs. I’ve only glanced at these, but there looks to be some promise in some of them.

Link: http://zurb.com/apps

Others

There’s a whole host of others like UXpin, JetStrap (Bootstrap prototyping), Easel.io, and Proto.io – as you can see, there’s no shortage of options.

The Bigger Problem

Even with all these to choose from, there comes a time when you need to stop and ask yourself, “is another app really going to solve the problem”. Probably not. I’m a big fan of keeping it lean. Too many apps, causes you to lose focus on the task at hand. Plus it’s another application for the business to adopt!

I sketch a lot more than I used to, and encourage every UX/UI designer to really hone this skill as its the singular best skill to have as there’s really nothing like a sketch to demonstrate functionality in a room full of business-minded people.

So here’s my list of Apps that I use on a day-to-day basis

  • Paper and pencil
  • Information Architecture – Slickplan for basic I.A creation (allows for collaboration, import of .XML to visually understand site structures)
  • Balsamiq + myBalsamiq Online which helps co-ordinate a team of 20 people into one singular source of truth.
  • Flinto for mobile/responsive interactions
  • Bootstrap hand coding for desktop prototyping

The next application that I think I might look at is InvisonApp [Link: http://www.invisionapp.com/].

Anyone else used it?

Posted by gerry

UX & UI Design Lead