Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sketch by Bohemian Coding

The app I'm choosing to review is Sketch.  In the web and app-design world, this program has replaced the long-time used Photoshop by Adobe as the industry standard.  I'm a web designer by profession, and this program is amazing for designing for web.  My company made the transition about a year ago and we haven't looked back.  Photoshop was created for the purpose of editing photos, and because of it's design capabilities, became the standard application to design for web.  However, Sketch is a new program by Bohemian Coding released in the past couple years, that was designed for the sole purpose of creating web and app designs.
Sketch has a clean and easy to use interface that is much less cluttered than photoshop.  All designs are vector based, and with the exception of photos, can be sliced-up and exported as such—resulting in a much sharper, quicker and cleaner end product.
Sketch is cool because they have opened their api to programers to create their own plug-ins for the app.  So if a designer/programmer has an idea that could make the program better, a plug-in can be created to make it so.  This is much better than having to wait over a year for Adobe to release a newer version of Photoshop.  Sketch's open-ended programing has resulted in a quickly evolving app that is becoming more and more robust and easy to use.  There are also multiple other apps that work with Sketch as plug-ins: InVision, Avocode, Framer, Origami, Wake, UXpin, Flinto... and many more.  All of these apps take designs made in Sketch to further the design process—generate animations, create prototypes, code for web, convert/splice up designs to css for front-end developers.. etc.
It's interesting to see the influence that a new program/app can have on revolutionizing web and app design.  It really has formed an online community of designers and coders that are constantly innovating and creating new ways to display new media content.  These are a few of the reasons I like Sketch.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Klynt - Version 3!



From the sales-pitch, Klynt3 looks awesome.

I didn’t take the time to explore Klynt version 2.0 because after seeing what Klynt3 can do, why would someone create a design with anything less. However, it appears that Klynt has long marketed its service as an interactive video tool. Most of the videos in the gallery were not in English, and thus difficult to navigate. But where Klynt3 has the capacity to fundamentally augment the experience and design of a book-app is in its ability to enhance user navigation experiences. 

From animating menus to linking content with deeper information, Klynt3 can create the impression that the page is crawling with information - information waiting just beyond the current page. It does this by responding to user actions, and allows creators to make responsive designs for everything from a click, to a swipe, to a pinch in/out, to a double click. 
 
I believe these kinds of responses in software are necessary for our designs to feel more than flat. Our haptic senses have integrated with our screens in this way, so that we now expect designs to recognize the intentions behind our finger/mouse motions. Whether rolling over a still or animated image or along a video or audio line, Klynt3 can allow designers to communicate the navigational structures they envision to users by giving them the haptic controls they expect.

Unfortunately, the software is not free. A 14 day trial is available upon signing up, but renewing the service is steep. A hefty $600 starting point for the pro-version, and $179 for the “Lite” edition. because I have not used the software, I can’t say how effective Lite would be in creating the types of interactions desired for a book app. However, I plan to use my free trial to find out! I’m also unclear how the final product created in Klynt is layered into a final book app design. My hope is that it is a self-contained file which remains functional even when a Klynt subscription expires.

Note: This review is written based on tutorials, screenshots, gallery projects, and other information available on the software website. I have not personally worked with the software (yet).

Friday, October 2, 2015

The interactive element I'll be talking about is ...a talking interactive element! I think using an AI would elevate an app's responsiveness, as well as would make it far more interactive than before. Using VocalIQ's technology, that might be a better reality. One thing that the technology could be used for is to help kids with speaking difficulties - the technology could help them by telling them how to speak correctly. Another use could be for spoken languages - a book could help teach someone how to speak another language, and using this technology, the app could make sure the person was speaking correctly.