It is challenging and interesting to be a part of something so rapidly growing as mobile industry. The number of instruments and tools created to help iOS design teams and developers has increased rapidly. We decided to keep track of them and madeCreativeWorkTools.com – a list of tools for creative teams. We’d like to introduce you to some of those instruments, made for different purposes, but all useful in various stages of creative process.
Mockup.io is specially designed for showcasing iOS mockups to the clients and team. For previewing mockups on iOS devices Mockup.io has an application. Projects can be organized with folders, labels and commented using notes. New team members can be invited for collaborative work or the project can be made public for review. A link can be provided to any screen or mockup, which makes it easier to discuss small things. It is also possible to see how icons will look on iPhone and iPad springboards, the iTunes Store, and AppStore. Mockup.io still lacks discussions and interactive prototyping, but according to it’s Facebook page, these features are already being developed.
Flinto helps to build iOS prototypes by linking screens. Working with any kind of image, it allows to test prototypes on iOS devices, and with custom icons and transitions they display like real apps. The interface of this tool is well-conceived and intuitive. Prototypes can be shared through links. One downside of this tool might occur when a project has many screens in one folder: absence of subfolders or other way to sort the screens can sometimes make work difficult.
Layervault is a tool for storing, version controlling, sharing, gathering feedback, delivering and showcasing creative work. Layervault’s iOS app instantly previews the designs and mirrors the revision open in the desktop browser. Designs are displayed lossless in full screen. Layervault also has visual timeline and convenient basic tools from design software -including eyedropper, smart ruler, and wormhole.
Pidoco is a prototyping tool for rapid UI design and creating clickable wireframes. A feature that is interesting for our discussion is an iPhone app for simulating interactive prototypes, that enables you to test newly created prototypes on devices. Other features include drag & drop wireframing, interactive prototypes and real-time collaboration in which projects can be edited simultaneously by multiple users.
Proto.io is another prototyping tool for all kinds of devices. It has a great UI library, permits to test results on actual devices, and can share and receive feedback. Impressively, it is able to create interactive animations, make any UI element draggable and rotatable, create interactive content which changes based on user input – with the help of variables. Additionaly, Proto.io supports all major mobile gestures and touch events.
Sometimes, quicker and lighter tools are better than more complex ones. They have one clear purpose, they are easy to use and introduce to someone less familiar with design process. Let’s have a look at some of these smaller instruments:
Mockuphone is a tool that frames mobile app screenshots in real device pictures. There is a choice of iPhone, iPad and iPad Mini frames. FileSquare, created by the team that developed Mockuphone, is also a collaborating and prototyping tool for creative teams. It lets users to share designs and collect feedback, and has an app for testing and demonstrating interactive prototypes on iOS devices.
PlaceIt is another quick tool which places mockups inside attractive pictures of iOS devices in the realistic context of use. In addition to the ability of uploading images, it is also possible to grab screenshots from URL.
Pop is an interesting app for creating prototypes using just an iPhone. It may be useful if you like to sketch the interfaces in a notebook first and want to turn them into something fun really fast. To make a prototype all you have to do is take a picture of the sketches and link them together. The team can try out the prototypes on iOS devices or in web browser. The downside of this app is that prototypes look a little untidy.
Makeappicon allows users to create their own icons from pictures or resize icons for iOS and Android. It can generate any resolution of icon needed to submit an app to app stores.
Testico is a nifty online service to test how the icon looks on different backgrounds, springboards, and in the AppStore and iTunes. Created pages can be shared on social networks or through a link.
Ikonica is an iPhone and iPad app for easy testing of icon designs on springboards and in various backgrounds and sizes. Icon images can be uploaded from Camera Roll or dragged from Mac. After which the icon can be previewed on all devices and on the web. The archive with all icon sizes can be downloaded for further use.
We hope that these instruments will ease your work and inspire further creation of new design masterpieces.