Quick take on Invision for UI/UX Prototyping

Having checked out Sketch as a tool for UI/UX design, I would like to go down a short list of other apps to further refine and prototype apps and webpages, let’s start with Invision, a cloud based collaborative design & prototyping service.

The Blind Test : Let’s see if I can make some sort of app or page prototype with Invision without consulting the documentation…

Invision unfortunately failed my very subjective blind test, you might have a better experience, but in the end I think it is necessary to read the docs and test a bit before tackling a project. Here is a step by step that I think better explains what Invision does:

Building a very basic interactive app prototype:

STEP 1.

  • To start you will need some source files, I chose Sketch files via a plugin (Craft) which syncs them automagically.

STEP 2.

Create an Invision project in this case a mobile app and upload your files

STEP 3.

Add clickable regions to your uploaded screens and link them to other screens.

STEP 4.

You now have a clickable prototype you can share with your team or client:

You can export and share it in a number of ways, there is even a standalone version you can download and serve :

Swipey App Prototype


Other Features ?

If it is not obvious by now, Invision’s core capabilities are assembling,organizing and managing prototypes, something it does quite well, but you have to provide the raw materials: the screens made in other graphic programs like Photoshop or Sketch.

So what other goodies does Invision provide, let me list a few:

  • Collaboration Tools: Chat, conference, whiteboards and annotations all work around your prototype so you can discuss the finer details with others.
  • Inspection Tools: Invision provides plenty of information on your designs elements and screens along with downloadable assets, a bit redundant maybe, but also handy when working with others.
  • Design Tools: You are unfortunately stuck with whatever design you upload or sync, Invision is not that kind of UI/UX design tool, but if you consider Design as a holistic activity, Invision keeps track of prototypes, changes,comments and also provides you a cool board for collecting ideas and designs and sharing them.

Parting words:

Invision might be a great addition to your UI/UX workflow if you want to make live clickable UI,UX, app, and web prototypes, for better or worse, it wants to be the heart of your projects, I am not sure I would trust a cloud service for that or that most people will adapt and flourish in the very specific workflow or use all the tools, but they are there. Invision is big on collaboration, the experience feels a bit disjointed and opens your project to perhaps too much collaboration or design by commitee which is something to consider, If you only want the ability to make your designs interactive, Invision makes it quite simple and perhaps it’s where it’s core value lies, but…

Price wise, the free version gives you just one project, paid plans start at $156/yr (3 projects) and $264/yr (Unlimited projects) want to work as a team ?, that’ll be 1K and up. The pricing makes little sense to me as an individual designer, I am grateful for the free account, just not sure if I’ll use it again. For bigger teams with a collaborative nature and/or deeper pockets this might be a non issue.

About the Author :

Born Eugenio Noyola Leon (Keno) I am a Designer,Web Developer/programmer, Artist and Inventor, currently living in Mexico City, you can find some of my work at www.k3no.com

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