If you want to start an argument, just throw out a question about the differences between tactics, strategy and goals during a discussion on project management. Just be sure to have some aspirin on hand, for there is sure to be plenty of headaches before it’s over.
A new addition to the list of topics that elicit never-ending debate concerns the boundaries between UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). Website designers often possess excellent artistic talents, but fall short on (or even dislike the idea of) marketing and sales. However, both UI and UX are critical to your bottom line. Luckily, there are apps that can help.
InVision bills itself as a prototyping, collaboration and workflow platform, but Wired calls it “the app that’s driving design everywhere.” Companies have wisely determined that the best time to talk about user experience is during the design process, not after it. With InVision, your prototypes are turned into interactive workshops where changes can be made and unmade until you get it just the way you want. Your marketing, sales and creative teams can work together in real-time rather than following the time-consuming and communication-killing procedure known as routing.
Notism is similar to InVision, but is aimed at motion design projects that incorporate video. Many television advertisers love Notism because you can collaborate with your design team and also invite clients to view the work in progress so they can provide feedback. Additionally, you can use web and mobile prototyping to turn any type of screen from your desktop to your tablet into an interactive screen without a line of code. And, when the final print is determined, everyone will have had a say in the outcome, and that means considerably higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Proto.io is a speed demon created specifically for mobile app design work because every phase is transacted online. With this app, you can build and tweak prototypes before committing to a solution, and, when ready, you can deploy a prototype of your project right from your mobile device.
And, believe it or not, you don’t have to know how to code to be a successful app designer when you use this tool. This means that app development has been released from the realms of the code-competent few, who often aren’t design-savvy. Now, combination teams can work together for a faster, smoother project, which will be more likely to be a hit with the end users.
For those who don’t want to take the big leap into application-centric development, you can stick with wireframe designs while still taking advantage of the improved interface (yep, UI and UX definitely come into play there). Check out Wireframe.cc for a look at how intuitive and unencumbered the wireframe process can be.
With these helpful apps, you can throw away that bottle of aspirin and stop the internal fighting over UI and UX. Now, software developers, graphic designers, marketers and content strategists can all work together to make the best product possible.