Our favourite prototyping tool - Pixate
Tools that allow designers to get more done in a visual way that they understand (rather than having to put a coder's hat on) are taking leaps and bounds through 2015, let's hope it continues!
Bridging the gap
Here in the Gourmet Pixel studio we have recently experimenting with a great tool for generating mobile app prototypes, called Pixate Studio. Pixate started life as a Y Combinator project, cofounded by Paul Colton. What started out as a tool to allow designers to style elements within native apps using css has now evolved into an amazing product. This looks only set to improve further as Pixate have now been bought by Google!
Designers can use it to create complex animations and interactions, and see them in full fidelity, running natively on iOS and Android devices.
This is a huge thing, previously the design team would generate mock-ups of each screen that were static images. These would be shown to the client on a device, whilst any interaction and animation ideas would be time consumingly created in something like Keynote or After Effects and shown as a video.
There was also a gap between the static designs created by the design team and actual code created by the dev team. This would be solved the dev and designer sitting down together, discussing and iterating various interactions and animations. Paul Colton puts it well in this video, describing designers as people who want to iterate, yet developers wish to do something right the first time.
Now with Pixate, designs can be brought to life with taps, swipes, animations, sounds, videos and more - and changed in real-time, improved, tweaked - quickly and (importantly) all before handing to the developer.
Using Pixate will allow us to not only save time and resource, but with the ability to quickly iterate upon animations and interactions I am sure it will enhance our creative output. Exciting times :-) Can't wait for the Export to Xcode option!!
Check out the video below, this demo is our first attempt and was created within a couple of days of experimenting.