If you’re a designer or product manager you’ve no doubt been enjoying the explosion of new interactive prototyping tools like Atomic, Principle, InVision, and Axure in recent years. All of these products make it easy to rapidly prototype and share interactive designs for any screen size.
In the old days, we used static wireframing in tools like Photoshop or Visio. To convey the concepts of motion and interaction, which were crucial to how the final product would work for users, we had to notate a lot and show a storyboard of states: “Click this here, and this happens next over here.” While this approach worked, it could be unwieldy for lots of different screens. And it never gave you the actual experience being designed. We were still working in flatland, and you had to imagine how the final app or site would actually feel.
The new tools change all that. Not only are they easy to use and built for speed, you can send someone a link to your prototype and they can open it on a mobile and play around, tapping and swiping through screens just like the real thing. No more paper printouts.
As these new tools took off, you had to wonder what would happen to the slumbering giant in the field. What was Adobe doing? Was Photoshop doomed? Would Adobe add interactive prototyping to its flagship product?
The answer is that Adobe has their own new interactive prototyping tool, and it should be hitting the world very soon. Introducing Project Comet. There was a booth at O’Reilly Design Conference last week showing this snazzy new offering, and it was interesting to talk to Adobe folks and hear what they’re thinking. The product looks great. Are they late to the game? Yes. Will that matter? Probably not.
What impact will the entrance of a giant have on the many small new companies creating interactive prototyping tools? While there’s plenty of room for all players in this niche, the fact that an industry leader like Adobe will soon have a dedicated interactive prototyping tool is news.