The Power of Xcode
Techniques that make iOS design a dream
There are over 600 million iOS devices out in the world. As designers we should not only build new products mobile-first, but we should also learn the tools that make mobile designs great. Being informed about the implementation process will allow us to make better design decisions.
After spending 10 hours a day for the past 2 months in Xcode, I’ve learned a number of techniques that completely changed my design workflow. Xcode is a mature tool that is filled with powerful yet often under-utilized features.
If you’re not convinced that Storyboard is the future of CSS or are not directly working with Xcode, this post will at the very least inform you about how to prepare your designs and the limits of what is possible.
Preview Your Design
Just like how you can preview your Web app in a browser across multiple resolutions, you can do so with a powerful feature called Storyboard preview.
Color Your Images
One of the many hurdles for designers is having to create multiple assets for multiple instances in the App. Xcode can tint your images, you just need to know how as it’s not consistently used throughout.
Use Hex Colors
Coming from a world of Photoshop and Sketch, a lot of designers are used to the Hex code to apply the color. In order to use HEX code, you must download Hex Color Picker to add to your Colors inspector.
Embed and Unembed
Think of Embed as Folders in Photoshop. It allows you to group multiple elements into a UIView or UIScrollView. Since UIViews are super versatile for Canvas animations, organizational or selecting purposes, you may want to embed related elements together.
This is a feature that scares even the most experienced developers. So let me try to simplify it. It’s a tool that allows you to make your design adaptive. It’s like position: fixed and relative/absolute in CSS.
Yep, that’s basically it. It takes a lot of practice for more complicated scenarios and I would suggest that you watch the WWDC video: Taking Control of Auto Layout in Xcode 5
If you want to save your developer’s time, you should definitely learn Autolayouts.
iOS 7 introduced the ability to set font sizes based on the user’s preference.
Actions and Dialogs
In Xcode, you can create Action sheets and dialogs very quickly. Why spend so much time on stuff that Apple already perfected for you?
Easily Use The Camera
With about 20 lines of codes, you can use the Camera feature in Xcode.
Apps are just more fun with sound effects. You can play sounds with one line of code using SimpleAudioPlayer:
With one line of code using a SimpleMotionEffects, you create this effect:
[self.myView addMotionEffectWithMovement:CGPointMake(15, 15)];
If you start simple, it is possible to build an iOS App in 9 days. iOS Apps can be made as fast as Web apps and it’s just a matter of time until more designers come onboard. We tend to follow where the people who uses our products are.