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Part 3 Forming A Design Team: Tools

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It’s been a little while since our last post, but none the less I’m back and ready to talk about the third portion of Forming A Design Team. We covered Structure, and Process so far, and with this post we’ll talk about the tools that will enable you and your team to excel. To me, tools can be sorted into three categories, Wireframing, Interface, and Prototyping, and we’ll cover each one and it associated apps.

I think it’s important point out that not each of these tools will work for every team, and you may already have your tool set established, which is awesome! These are the tools that we have started to use at Mobomo and so far they’re working very well for us…but who knows what the new year will bring. New tools and programs come out every month, so this list could be updated to reflect better ways of working. Below are the categories I mentioned previously, with the tools associated with them.

WIREFRAMEING

  1. Paper & Pencil – Starting off analog helps us better realize the problem we’re trying to solve. It also allows us to rapidly iterate more easily than a program.
  2. Omnigraffle/Axure – These are both very well established programs with extensive plugins and libraries that will let you get your ideas out, without worrying about fonts, colors, or imagery.

INTERFACE

  • Sketch – Sketch has become our go to application for interface design, b/c it’s vector based like Illustrator, with the familiarity of Photoshop. We can quickly and easily create and export assets for all different device sizes from a single file.
  • Photoshop – While Sketch has become our default, Photoshop is still an essential and viable tool which we use daily.

PROTOTYPING

  • Invision – This has become an invaluable assets for us, allowing our team to show people how an app/site will work, instead of just telling them.
  • Principle – Principle has become a huge competitor in the mobile prototyping scene lately b/c of its versatile and easy to use animation capabilities, it’s super easy import options, and it’s overall interface, which feels very similar to Sketch.
  • Sublime Text w/CodeKit – YES, development tools are part of our design set. Being able to quickly code up a sample for people is a huge part of our day to day workload, and these two apps work amazingly well at allowing us to quickly do that.

Like I said before, these might not necessarily work for your team and some are bound to change or be updated, but for the moment they are working they have proven to be great for us. It should also be noted that not every tool is right for every job, so make sure when deciding which program to use you let the project dictate that and not your feelings toward it.

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