Designing for apps is a fluid process. As time passes, system updates and new design conventions mean we have to master new techniques to ensure our apps remain in the forefront of the industry. As we evolve, so do our resources. Since releasing the Savvy Sketch iOS Wireframe Kit in June 2016, we've noticed a few opportunities to update the kit to meet designer expectations. These changes also come from our experiences using the wireframe kit on new projects.
Blog Posts Related to 'Tools'
You spent the time and money building your app, now you need to start assessing how it's doing. We break out 28 of the most useful metrics into the following categories: user engagement, customer satisfaction, acquisition, and app performance. These metrics are critical to scaling and measuring the success of your app. With each we've added actionable tips to improve on these metrics so you can leave this post with ideas for how to turn an under-performing metric around. Without further ado, here's how you can make app data work for you.
Late last year, we decided to standardize on Sketch as our tool of choice for creating low-fidelity wireframes. Previously we were fans of Balsamiq, mostly because it had a number of pre-built app elements that could be dragged and dropped into a mockup. While we enjoyed the polish and precision of Sketch, not having a similar feature required us to spend valuable time on creating and recreating the same elements in our wireframes.
We've talked about the tools we use for more advanced animations and interactions. Now we’re covering three prototyping tools that help designers like those on the Savvy Apps design team communicate how an entire app works and show all the flows in the app: Flinto Lite, Marvel, and InVision. These tools help designers realize user paths, with an emphasis on navigation, gestures, and transitions. Read along as we compare the key features for all three tools and highlight the best use scenarios for each.
Like many in the app community, we've been big fans of Parse at Savvy Apps. We were more than surprised by the news last Thursday that the Parse service will shut down in a year. Parse allowed us to reduce the costs of backend development for our startup and early-stage customers in particular. Even some of our larger brand and media-oriented customers used Parse, especially for sending push notifications or for quickly standing up APIs.
Although a design process may vary by the type of project, personal preferences, team size, and other similar variables, as designers we find we keep coming back to a handful of tools. These tools provide us a solid foundation for planning and brainstorming, help us communicate our ideas clearly, overcome technical hurdles to create stunning animations, and even simplify our interactions with developers. From powerful new design software meant specifically for apps to the ever-useful pen and paper, these are the tools the Savvy Apps design team wouldn't want to work without.
App design specifications ensures an app designer's interface design and vision translates properly from the design to the development process. Yet design speccing is as tedious and time intensive as it is critical. It's prone to error, so we've tried a number of tools meant to simplify and speed up the speccing process. Many of those tools, however, fall short of making the speccing process easier and more accurate.
When it comes to creating advanced interactive app prototypes, there’s been no shortage of options for the design community. In the past, we tried Framer.js, Pixate, and Origami, just to name a few. As a member of the design team at Savvy Apps, we found these kinds of tools overly limiting and too complex to use. Some of them even rely on actual code, which for some designers, is a scary thought. For our more basic prototypes, we’ve been happy customers of Flinto since early 2014. Like some other options, Flinto—until recently—was entirely web-based which severely limited the kinds of interactions we could design. That’s where Flinto for Mac and Principle enter the picture.
My last post was about Jenkins as a solution for continuous integration and continuous deployment. While we still love the power and flexibility of the platform, let’s be honest, it's not for everyone. Jenkins takes time to set up and maintain, time that most people would much rather just spend building stuff. If you don't think you have the time or manpower to dedicate to a self-managed, self-hosted CI solution, that’s quite alright. As it turns out there are dozens of other CI and CD solutions out there. One that's caught our eye here at savvy apps is Roboto.