InVision: Design, UX & Dev Tools That Will Save You Tons Of Cash & Time

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3 years ago I worked for a startup that had been acquired by a large corporation. We were using the daylights out of a rapid prototyping tool named InVisionApp. It had completely changed the way our team designed.

Fast forward a year, and a team member at InVision reached out about a job opening at the company. I took the plunge and joined a team of dedicated, crazy talented people who loved the product, but most importantly loved having the opportunity to positively impact the daily lives of designers all over the world.

When I interviewed 2 years ago, there were 50 employees. 2 years later, we’re a team of 350+. Our weekly newsletter now goes out to 2.5 million subscribers. And our product has gone from a rapid prototyping tool, to an entire suite of tools. It’s wild, some people hear InVisionApp and think of the original rapid prototyping tool that it was when I started. We’ve had an INSANE number of additions in the last 2 years, and I’d like to highlight a couple of my favs that many people don’t realize are part of the product.

  1. Boards: We have this awesome tool called boards built right into the product. You can create gorgeous mood boards and stakeholder presentations in seconds.
  2. Workflow: There’s an integrated design workflow tracking tool. Need to keep up with your progress? Add cards to workflow and drag them to the appropriate columns as you complete your tasks.
  3. Freehand: I used to use several tools to bang out wireframes. They worked ok, but I wished there was something lighter to use. We’ve got a new tool called Freehand that lets you create wireframes in minutes. You can also pull in mockups and conduct collaborative feedback sessions with your team. (And as an added bonus it’s just really fun to play with.) 🙂
  4. Prototyping Inside Sketch: We have a plugin named Craft that lets you hook up your clickable prototypes right inside Sketch, and then send them to InVision with a click using Sync. It’s a MASSIVE time saver!
  5. Stock: You can test out images from Getty and iStock right in your design before you purchase them. Then you can purchase them with a click if you find one you love.(There are a ton of other hugely time saving features in the Craft Plugin that you should def checkout. For the sake of keeping this post shortish, I’ll stop there!)
  6. UserTesting.com Recording Baked In: A lot of people don’t realize this, but we have UserTesting.com recording baked right into the product! You just activate it and you can record your usability testing sessions with a click.
  7. Inspect: Once you are feeling good about your design and you’re ready to handoff to the engineering team (or to yourself if you’re a 1 woman/man show) you can fire up Inspect and it will pull all the specs out of your prototype. Automagically. It’s the best.

So there are a zillion other awesome features and tools built in to InVision & Craft, but I’m going to stop there for now. If you get a sec, I definitely recommend playing with the new features. They’ll save you an insane amount of time, as well as crazy cash since they replace a giant stack of different products in a shot. You can just stay in product and do all of the things. I think you’re going to really love it. 🙂

(Disclaimer: In case you didn’t catch it, I work at InVision now. And love my job. And we’re hiring.) 🙂

Mobile Usability Testing Tools

So I recently started searching like a maniac trying to find some Mobile Usability Testing tools, and I had a heck of a time finding any resource lists! So I decided to put one together for anyone else who is searching in vain.

1. SolidifyApp

So it’s no secret that I am a giant fan of Zurb, specifically their SolidifyApp. It’s an absolutely awesome quick and dirty prototyping tool, that also lets you launch really simple remote usability tests with ease! It even has a template for launching MOBILE remote usability tests! Which, at the present moment is something kind of lacking in the industry! You create the test, add your pics, throw it in mobile chrome, pick your audience, and voila! You’ve got a remote mobile usability test ready to rock. You just copy the link and email it to folks. They can open it on their mobile devices and go to town. The nice thing is, it works on any device. You can even give them tasks to complete and ask for feedback. It records their screen gestures along the way, and automatically tracks stats. This is a great tool for testing prototype versions of mobile concepts remotely, to ensure that you’re on track without spending a zillion dollars developing a tool that is totally wrong for your client base/audience.

2. UXRecorder

UXRecorder is REALLY close to bordering the perfect Mobile Usability testing tool. You install the app, pull up your web property or prototype URL, and hand it to your tester. The app does screen capture, records user audio and video, and records gestures. So you can see the persons face while they do their thing and hear whether or not they are cursing out your web app, along with having a visual of where they are swiping. This is a moderated testing tool since you have to build your prototype in your account, and pass it around on your device, but it’s the closest I’ve seen to my ideal mobile usability testing tool. (I’ll outline my dream tool at the end of this article.)

3. POP (Prototyping on Paper)

This app is pretty sweet. You can create prototypes right on your mobile device. The premise is nice, you just pick up your phone, snap some pictures of sketches on post-its or napkins, or fancy high-res mockups, string them together into a prototype, and then share your concept with your usability testing community or whomever else you choose. They’re working on an android version as we speak, but the iPhone version is pretty solid. And it’s fun. And, it’s another way to create simple prototypes in seconds to make sure that your concepts on are point with what your clients need.

4. Lookback.io

Lookback.io is pretty awesome. You integrate it right into your app. It records screen capture, gestures, user video and audiobooks . Also, it’s free while it’s in public Beta.

Bonus

5. My Dream Mobile Usability Testing Tool

So what I really want in a tool, is the ability to send a link to a user that will launch a testing tool on the mobile device or tablet of their choice. I want it to record audio, video, screen capture and gestures, and I want to be able to set tasks for users to complete and have it automatically track stats. I want it to work with web apps, responsive sites and native apps. Basically what I’m looking for is a mashup of SolidifyApp and UXRecorder. This is my mobile usability testing tool holy grail. Oh, and since it’s already a thing on mobile now, we could toss in eye tracking as an added bonus. 🙂

I hope you find these mobile usability testing and prototyping tool descriptions helpful, and that this list will save you a few hours of Googling! 🙂

UX and Design Tools That Will Improve Your Productivity

This is a list of some of my favorite UX, design and accessibility testing tools at the moment! I hope you find them useful!

Tools for Collaboration

Tools for Usability Testing

Usability Testing Services That Provide Testers

Tools for Mobile Usability Testing & Prototyping

Tools for Usability Tester Recruiting

Mac Tools for Demoing Apps

Tools for Stat Tracking

Tools for Accessibility Testing

Miscellaneous Tools I Love

If any of your favorite tools aren’t listed, please feel free to leave them in the comments! I love testing out new tools! 🙂

Prototyping in Minutes

Lately I’ve heard people talking quite a bit about prototyping. As it turns out “prototyping” means a giant array of things to various people.

For some, prototyping means tying a block of wood to your belt and pretending it’s a device (I’m looking at you Jeff Hawkins).

For others it means coming up with a concept and spending loads of time and money and dev man hours coding the entire thing to test it, only to discover afterward that it’s a no go.

Then there are the folks that just want to test a concept quick. They want to take a few minutes to create a clickable prototype without paying thousands to develop a fully coded version. For those folks who just want a quick and dirty prototype for usability testing, may I introduce SolidifyApp.

I absolutely LOVE it. It will save your company a huge amount of cash in potentially wasted dev hours, and it is incredibly easy to use. You don’t even have to know how to code. At all. (I’m serious.)

  1. To get started, you just insert a few mockups of your concept. They can be hi res fancy beautiful mockups, or they can be photos you took with your phone of a concept you drew on a napkin.
  2. After you import your graphics, just add hotspots to clickable areas. Adding hotspots is as easy as clicking and dragging and picking the page you want them to link to.
  3. Finally, split up your screens into specific tasks that you want to test, and you’re done. Copy the link, and you’ve got an instant usability test to send out to your testing community.

One of the coolest things about SolidifyApp, is that it even automatically records click tracking footage and gives you awesome stats like how long folks took on a particular screen, how long they took to finish any given task, the number of clicks it took them to get through it and it even automatically calculates the percentage of users who were able to complete the tasks successfully.

This is probably one of my favorite usability testing tools that’s out right now. And as a bonus, Zurb is just a generally cool company. They are incredibly fast at fixing any glitches that arise, and have a great support team. Also, they totally sent me a Christmas present last year after I did a round of beta. How fun is that. 🙂 And just to be clear, I’m not affiliated with Zurb in any way, I’m just a big fan of their product.

To sum things up, if you are in need of a quick prototyping solution (and by quick I mean mere minutes) that won’t break the bank, check out SolidifyApp.