Ask DN: How to wireframe iPhone apps

almost 10 years ago from , UI Designer (Freelancer)

Hey DN! I haven't really wireframed any iPhone app designs yet and wanted to start wireframing apps. The whole process should be pretty fast and easy, so that I can create wireframes on-the-go, but honestly I don't have a clue how to do that. Do you have any tips on creating wireframes? Which programs should I use? Are there any good (iOS 7) UI element kits that speed that process up? I'd also appreciate links to some good tutorials :)

Sincerely, Kai


  • Kai Halfinger, almost 10 years ago

    I also heard that some people use Illustrator because it's fast and (from my POV) the wireframes look pretty good. Do you have any thoughts on that?

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    • Toby KellerToby Keller, almost 10 years ago

      Illustrator is very powerful, but I find it slower than Keynote because

      1) text and shapes are separate - if you want to, say, make a form field with placeholder text, that's two objects to create, align, and keep track of instead of one.

      2) Styles can't be instantly copied & pasted between objects… you have to open the graphic styles pane, save and name a graphic style, then apply that graphic style to the second object. Much slower in practice.

      Both these things make it harder to create reusable interface templates, which are key to moving quickly in frames.

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  • Ari ZilnikAri Zilnik, almost 10 years ago

    Hey Kai,

    Echoing what Toby said, I think Keynote or Balsamiq will work well for this. Easy, simple to use, and the right level of fidelity.

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  • Toby KellerToby Keller, almost 10 years ago

    Depends what you want to do with the frames.

    Just want to make something quickly to show others/get approval? Keynote + Keynotopia templates are fast and good.

    Want clickable prototypes, and know some front end fu? You can try something like framer.js and Ratchet.

    Want to demo complex animations and behaviors? It's a bit of a learning curve, but Quartz Composer can do just about anything you can think of…

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  • Cole TownsendCole Townsend, almost 10 years ago


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