Ask DN: Weapon of choice for high fidelity iOS prototypes?

over 8 years ago from

What do you use for high fidelity iphone prototypes? A few things I've experimented with, and reasons they've left something to be desired:

Invision, Keynote, omnigraffle - can't add fixed elements (headers, tab bars) - invision & omnigraffle don't work for prototyping interactions or animations - keynote allows for animation and interaction, but there's no way to create long, scrolling, screens, and you cant run the keynote in full screen portrait orientation on an iphone, so you can't test the animations on the phone.

Proto.io - lot's of advanced functionality for interactions, fixed elements, etc.

Plain 'ol html, css, javascript - flexible but time consuming

Stuff I haven't tried yet but am considering. Does anyone have any experience using these?

http://www.framerjs.com/ - mainly geared towards prototyping interactions & animations.

http://maker.github.io/ratchet/ - html / css / js framework for iOS prototyping

Interface builder / Xcode - Straight to the source. How well does interface builder lend itself to using semi-static UI elements sliced from photoshop?


  • Nathan ManousosNathan Manousos, over 8 years ago

    I'm building Flinto, which is probably exactly what you are after.


    We are planning to start sending out invites to people who leave their email starting next week.

    Flinto is browser based, the UI for linking up your screens is extremely fast, and the end result is an installable web app that you can send to anyone. I've been working on it with my business partner for the past six months and feedback from beta testers (including some DN people) has been very encouraging!

    2 points
    • Tom BryanTom Bryan, over 8 years ago

      I've added my name to the list!

      0 points
    • Dan ShinDan Shin, over 8 years ago

      @Nathan M. My design team and I just signed ourselves up to InVision, but the downsides listed above are making me second guess our decision. If you're saying Flinto might possibly be the solve for things like animated transitions and fixed UI elements, I'd love it if you were willing to grant me a beta so I can could take it for a spin?

      0 points
  • Max MareleMax Marele, over 8 years ago

    I've used Prototypes App - http://prototypesapp.com It lacks some features: fixed elements or vertical scrolling for longer screens, but it's pretty fast to use.

    0 points
  • Jordan Price, over 8 years ago



    0 points
  • Aaron SagrayAaron Sagray, over 8 years ago

    I think high fidelity prototypes are a huge waste of time. That said, I would import images from photoshop into Axure and animate them with it. We did that a few times at an agency I used to work at.

    0 points
    • Cat NooneCat Noone, over 8 years ago

      High fidelity prototypes are not a waste of time if you're a designer who has zero experience with code and needs to communicate properly with a developer. It makes the entire process a lot easier - especially if the developer doesn't come in until that phase. Luckily, a lot of places do not run into that problem but it's a realistic issue and prototypes solve the problem. At the same time, it's really nice to see how you plan for your app to interact before you start getting into the nitty gritty.

      0 points
      • Aaron SagrayAaron Sagray, over 8 years ago

        It's the "high fidelity" part that doesn't make sense. Prototyping should be used to test and communicate interactions. You don't need pretty prototypes to do that, just ones that work.

        Even, then there are diminishing returns to blowing out interactions in a prototype. I tend to model the more complex interactions, then annotate the rest.

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        • Oliver ChankOliver Chank, over 7 years ago

          Though I agree, sometimes clients or stakeholders don't quite understand if it's not hi-fi to a certain level...

          0 points
  • Tom BryanTom Bryan, over 8 years ago

    What was the drawback of Ratchet here? Because I was going to say Ratchet.

    0 points