Hello and welcome fellow UXers! Today I’ll be providing you with a review of UX-App, an in-browser User Experience and Interaction Design Tool. I tried out their solo dev version recently so I’ll give you all a run-down of the functionality, features, and overall benefits of the tool.
While UX-app is fairly new to the scene of cloud based UX software, the fairly robust set of features, accompanying tutorials, and turnkey integration make it a viable contender amongst the myriad of available alternatives for new startups.
Before I get into the platform details, UX-app is fundamentally an in-browser UX tool which allows users to design responsive digital landing page mock-ups complete with animations and interaction elements. Most importantly, no coding knowledge is required to use UX-App, a significant boon for new non-tech startups.
The visual interface allows users to prototype, wireframe, add animations to UI (User Interface) elements, live test, collaborate in real-time with others, and share / collaborate / export your final designs.
UX-App offers a free version with limited functionality and a paid version with prices ranging from ~$4 – $12 per month, a very affordable rate for new startups.
Now that we have a general sense of what the tool offers, I’ll walk you through the suite of features UX-App offers along with my two cents after trying them out.
“A prototype is a simulation of the final product. It’s like an interactive mockup that can have any degree of fidelity. The main purpose of building prototypes is to test whether or not the flow of the product is smooth and consistent.
Prototypes breathe life into any design and provide a great deal of insight into the user interaction at various levels. Not only do prototypes allow us to test the feasibility and usability of our designs before we actually begin writing code, they also lead to unexpected discoveries and innovations that may or may not take our project beyond its initial scope.
The prototyping features offered by UX-App were very easy to use and surprisingly robust in terms of functionality. The interface is intuitive which drastically expedites workflow. The following email inbox animation was created in only 10 minutes, check it out:
For those unfamiliar with wireframing, the term simply refers to creating a ‘bare-bones’ visual mock-up of a UI to get a sense of how users will navigate, what the page will look like, and so forth.
The wireframing functions on UX-app have a great set of pre-designed functional components that really speed up the process. What I liked best about the tool were the great export functions. UX-app allows you to share your wireframe designs with ease – they can be embedded into click-through presentations – an excellent way to showcase your ideas to an internal team or a client.
Check out this quick demo on what the wireframing process looks like on UX-App:
Personally, I didn’t find the workflow to be as smooth when using the wireframing tools on UX-App – I occasionally experienced some delays and had difficulty with selection and deselection. That being said, I was generally impressed with how simplified the process was.
In addition to prototyping and wireframing, UX-App also has a functional animation suite allowing users to mock-up UI animations. The animation suite is great for new startups as it can simplify the process of explaining to a web developer or graphic designer exactly what they’re looking for with concrete examples. Mitigating the communication disconnect between wants and execution when dealing with developers and designers will often prevent unnecessary iterations, saving time and money.
Check out a quick speed video on how the animation suite works:
As you can see, no coding is required – the user only needs to select the element they want to animate and then choose the animation type. I found the workflow using the animation features to be the smoothest of the bunch. Everything worked as intended and the interface was clean and intuitive.
While I experienced some technical difficulties with the interface, a flawless in-browser UX design tool is often a mythical being rather than something to be expected. That being said, a UX platform coextensive with sub-optimal UX is slightly ironic but that wasn’t the case for UX-App – a few hiccups yes, but aside from that the tool was excellent especially for a user new to UX.
Overall, I had a great experiencing using UX-App – the interface was simple, the features were robust enough to produce comprehensive mock-ups, the pricing was very reasonable, and the real-time collaboration and export functionality made the software extremely practical for everyday business.
If you’re planning a new app or website and don’t have any previous coding experience, check out UX-App, it might be the tool for you. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive enterprise style UX design tool then I would suggest looking for more robust software.
Web Designer Depot has a great list of ‘Essential UX Tools’ – check it out here – it’s a great resource for getting started in UX.
Stay tuned – next week I’ll be interviewing a Senior Social Media Solutions Manager at a large Canadian media firm!
Thoughts? Questions? Feel free to comment below! See you all next week.