UX consultants use CanvasFlip to have delightful post-design workflow.

Our very own Ronita Shah, shares her experience

At CanvasFlip we grow with the feedback of our users. Needless to say they’re super helpful and feel a sense of ownership towards what we have built together. One such user and hence a co-builder of CanvasFlip is Ronita Shah. Her contribution towards the evolution of CanvasFlip has been immense.

Here’s her story of “Journey with CanvasFlip”, from her desk!

I, Ronita Shah, am a Graphic Artist and a UI Designer. I have worked with a vast portfolio of designing award winning websites for ICICI Bank, India World, Indian Express & Man of the Century and by virtue of using CanvasFlip, I am now also a Prototype maker.

Getting to know CanvasFlip

Back in the days when web portals were in their nascent stage, the ability to design their user interface was considered a rare and proficient skill; in today’s start up generation, it isn’t any less significant. In fact, at the pinnacle of this age where the inflow of ideas is manifold, the only medium that translates them into concrete visuals are prototypes.

And just like that, in 2016, while taking up a consultancy with a startup to design their user interface, I discovered CanvasFlip.

It began when I created my files in Coral Draw and Photoshop, but realised it wasn’t enough to help me evolve.

“I needed more control over the website”……“How else can I improve the user’s experience?”

I was introduced to CanvasFlip by an app developer who insisted that the requirement of the portal needs to be frozen before writing a single line of code and I took to it like a duck takes to water, my journey within CanvasFlip has been effortless, compelling and profound.

My challenges

  1. Being a freelancer, getting approvals on the design concepts from the clients is always a major hurdle. Getting the client to visualise the idea and most importantly trust the solution was a major roadblock in my workflow. I needed a solution that could dynamically bring across my thought process behind the design problem. And a UX report to back my design choices.
  2. Even when the clients were convinced of the idea, collaborating with them isn’t always butter. There are multiple reworks and friction in communication. Most of the times it is their vision vs my vision of the project. Seamless collaboration on projects is a major concern for us as freelancers because we are continuously switching between multiple projects.
  3. As freelancers we cater to projects of different demographics and varied target audience. Conducting an in-person user testing for every project was quite an expensive and time taking affair.
  4. Being just a UI designer, I couldn’t get the HTML programmer to understand my vision. Communicating the design was a big challenge..

CanvasFlip is the solution!

Delving into CanvasFlip has helped me bring more aspects of website making under my control.

Previewing the web prototype made on CanvasFlip
  1. CanvasFlip is great for freezing a client’s requirement for user interface, user experience, navigation, wireframing and freezing the business requirement itself. Most important it allows you to see exactly how your website will look when it goes online. When other websites of competitors are opened up in tabs alongside, we can see exactly where we stand in the face of competition.
  2. Communicating design concepts with an interactive and playful prototype is much easier now. It not only accelerates the design approval process but also keeps my and client’s vision on the same table from the beginning.
  3. Entire conversation thread is maintained on the designs itself, so getting back to work on a specific project becomes quite easy
  4. Remote user testing on prototypes helped in a lot in saving time and efforts.
  5. Communicating the flow and connectivity of the website with the developer has become super simple.
  6. Honestly speaking, I could use individual tools for each of my pain points, but I chose CanvasFlip because all of my workflow is contained in one tool. Even handing off design specification to my developer, which is an extension of my workflow, is covered with CanvasFlip.

My journey with CanvasFlip

I had zero knowledge of CanvasFlip so I went to their website and started exploring around. Initially I just managed to go from one screen to another like a power point presentation. Later I discovered the features like hotspots and found them interesting. The online chats on their website gave me tips and I was hooked onto chatting on helpline.

I created a rudimentary prototype first and then decided to speak to Azam (UX Advocate) at CanvasFlip via skype to discover the entire potential of CanvasFlip. And I must say, he had immense patience with my unending questions! Help was always just a phone call or skype call away — indicating the personalized service CanvasFlip provided..

Since then I kept exploring the features of CanvasFlip and every new feature I discovered was a WOW moment for me. I evolved greatly with the tool and my designs. I was now having so much fun with my design presentations and iterations!

Initially I started with a free account, but I soon realized that I couldn’t do without CanvasFlip, so I got a paid account. I began to make more and more prototypes as I discovered that I could break up the website into smaller modules which made things easier. Later I found that I could seamlessly join the modules together to make it into one complex website.

Evolution of CanvasFlip

Being a startup themselves CanvasFlip was very interested in learning about the difficulties that users faced in order to evolve their own program. As a user of CanvasFlip, I shared my difficulties with the tool. CanvasFlip happily implemented the suggestions and quickly adapted to the user’s needs..

One such suggestion that was implemented within a week’s time was — “UX Flowmap” — a superb feature — gives details of the flow of the screens. This can be printed out in a large format and put up on the screen for discussion with team members. Functions on each screen can be written on the printout.

Pain points within CanvasFlip that were improved after my suggestion:

  1. The layer that came on top of the screen could not be deleted. That has been incorporated now. This layer now can also be downloaded and saved for future use.
  2. The hover/tap button was introduced in gestures section. They already had transition buttons like fade in/out and swipe left, right, top, bottom of layers on top of screens.
  3. Flow map or interaction map, a png/pdf file that can be exported which gives a bird’s eye view of the flow of the portal.
  4. Iteration has been introduced in the screens which make it easier to go back to a previous screen or version of the screen.
  5. The comment box works great for putting down the functionality requirement (discovered by accident) besides serving the purpose of suggesting changes.
  6. Currently CanvasFlip has vertical scroll she has suggested horizontal scroll too which still has to be done.
  7. Search by screen name is a wonderful feature that’s introduced.
  8. Duplication of prototypes — Great feature.

Final Words

As a consultant, I am always looking for a tool that is easy to use, increases my productivity and manages all touch points in a single space; and CanvasFlip turned out to be the best fit for me. I recommend my fellow UXers to give it a shot — I am pretty sure you’ll have a similar delightful experience.

Last but not the least, I would like to thank my daughter, Rhea Shah, who has helped me craft this article. Being designers we often get stuck with words, but she truly helped me articulate my thoughts into his article.