Being a professional UX designer we can all agree needs constant learning and practice. The demands and needs of customers sometimes can really blow us off our seats and we try so hard to find tools to help us achieve our desired product as efficiently and easily as possible. I will be outlining how you can improve your UX Design by using simulation tools using InVision and Flinto as the examples. These are two great simulation tools that every UX designer that needs a very creative and professional work done in little time needs to really be familiar with.
InVision is a company that acclaims itself as the world’s largest used and leading prototyping, collaboration and workflow platform. This is a platform that allows you to collect feedback, collaborate on designs, create interactive prototypes from imported designs, and even recently just added support for remote mobile user testing. InVision helps improve UX design by its ability to transform your designs into web and mobile based prototypes of extremely high fidelity. Due to its integration with illustrator, Photoshop and Fireworks, a user can now upload images and designs and create interactions like a real app using hotspots.
The release of the Boards in InVision has helped a lot of UX designers immensely. And not surprisingly, not only have these designers discovered many new ways of using the Boards but the InVision’s team has discovered many amazing new things. Basically, the InVision Boards is relevant for project management, design documentation, creating a flexible space and so on. The Boards also enable UX designers in gaining inspiration, ideation, presentation, and collaboration.
Board helps designers gain inspiration which they can later modify or build on to create an awesome work at the end. Designers on a team can also contribute their thoughts on the inspiration using Boards as a free form environment for ideas. InVision also provides a flexible ecosystem to transition from just inspiration to ideation. Creating an ideation Board for a project gives the team a 10,000 foot-view.
Creating a portfolio-worthy presentation to share with a variety of stakeholders used to take an entire day. With InVision Boards, it takes an hour or less now. There is also a platform for feedback, reviews and comments when using InVision.
With Free, Starter and Educational accounts with InVision, you are allowed 3 boards. But with Professional, Team and Enterprise accounts, you are allowed unlimited boards. Boards support uploads for any file type, with thumbnail previews to help in quick identification. You can also sync items from Box, Dropbox or Google Drive by clicking the + button. You will need to link your InVision account with any of the services you intend to use first in order to authorize access to your account.
As seen in the user review tab of the blog, many users have attested to the fact that InVision has improved their UX design experience by enabling usability testing, taking images and making clickable image prototypes, helping users distribute design in sync simultaneously without hassles, and testing with real-life looking and working user interface without a line a code you can tweak. You can also change screens and test again now on the same day like it is a dream. It also phased out the experience of sending static layouts and having to spend lots of time describing and explaining the design by creating works that speak for themselves.
Another efficient simulation tool every good UX designer should familiarize with to improve designs is Flinto. There is the Flinto for Mac and Flinto.com. The web-based tool literally enables a user to create a good prototype that can be shared via a link over the web within a few minutes. The Flinto for Mac enables UX designers to build prototypes including animations, scroll areas, and gestures all with a much higher fidelity.
The editor takes care of eliminating the status bar, hence, leaving you to just drag and drop all your screens once the project is created. You can also connect screens automatically by holding the option key and pointing with the mouse as opposed to the manual way of connecting screens by drawing the clicking regions manually. For all the transitions you will expect of a dynamic app, Flinto has them; ranging from push left and right, to modal slide up and down, flip left and right, fade in and none. The animations look very perfect as the status bad has been removed from the screens hence preventing it from sliding up with the content itself. When building your prototype, the preview mode helps you quickly preview your app. This prevents wastage of time trying to install it on your phone just to preview the work.
To improve UX design with Flinto effectively, you should have mocked up the entire workflow first. This is because the fun of animations and creating complex interactions is very tempting and distracting, hence, preventing you from actually figuring out how it actually fits into the given project.
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