What I’m looking for in a mobile app prototyping tool
Like most mobile app designers, I’ve been investing time and thought in how to best prototype animations for iOS. If you need to be convinced that animation should play a role in your app designs read Transitional Interfaces and watch this talk by Pasquale D'Silva.
But recently I used Quartz Composer and Facebook’s Origami to create a custom animation for the navigation in a new Etsy iOS app. The Quicktime movie that I created and shared internally with the rest of the company helped unify the navigations across several different platforms.
Suddenly I could see the power of prototyping app animations. Not only did it help developers on different platforms unify the feeling of the transitions on their apps, but it also helped people working on different teams – say desktop web – more easily understand the time-based transition I was yapping on about. Once people could see the transition it was easier to focus resources and approve the time spent on the animation.
Great! I want more. I’ve begun looking around for the right tool for me. Here’s a short list of what the tool should accomplish:
- Allow for interactivity and easy sharing with coworkers
- Coworkers should be able to experience the interactivity themselves on their own device
- The tool should focus on custom transitions rather than entire UX flows
I’m looking at the following prototyping tools:
- Quartz Composer and Origami
- Adobe After Effects
- iOS Storyboards
- native prototyping in Xcode