An Expanded Role for Keynote

At WWDC this year and last, Apple’s prototyping team — Jeffrey Traer Bernstein, Bill Lindmeier, and Matthaeus Krenn — recommended using Keynote to mock up your apps before commiting them to code. I love using keynote to draw up apps, design icons, create posters, and more.

I agree with the prototyping team that Keynote is an excellent prototyping tool. In fact, I agree with them so much that I believe Keynote ought to be repurposed as an all-purpose design app. Here is the short list of improvements that I believe are essential to Keynote becoming an intentional design tool:

  1. A fourth tab for “Prototype” after Standard, Wide, and My Themes in the “Choose a Theme” welcome window.
  2. Responsive, device-specific resolution switching (in all modes), renamed “Canvas Size” instead of “Slide Size”. This would also be available by dragging canvas corners.
  3. Portrait support on iPhone, especially in Presentation mode.
  4. Picker (alongside shape tool, text tool, etc.), like in Xcode, for UI assets, which: (1) responsively resize -accept input, but produce no output (2) graphically react to touch input in presentation mode without triggering an event
  5. Library of buttons (e.g., share) a la Character Viewer/emoji picker
  6. And finally, a new name:


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