Monday, August 11, 2014

Remember SketchFlow? It's still around and still a cool prototyping tool...

Illuminate - Blend for Visual Studio 2013 Prototyping Applications with SketchFlow

SketchFlow enables rapid creating of dynamic interface mockups very quickly. The SketchFlow workspace is the same as the standard Blend workspace with the inclusion of three panels: the SketchFlow Feedback panel, the SketchFlow Animation panel and the SketchFlow Map panel.

By using SketchFlow to prototype, you can get feedback early in the process. It helps to surface possible issues, lower development iterations, and increase stakeholder buy in. SketchFlow prototypes not only provide an initial look but also provide a way to add additional ideas and input and make sure the team is on track prior to investing in complete development.

When you have completed the prototyping, you can discard the prototype and just use the lessons learned to design the application from or extract individual elements from your prototype and include them in the application. I don’t recommend trying to transition the entire project into a development project.

Objects that you add with the SketchFlow style have a hand-sketched look. The sketch style is used to remind stakeholders that this is a prototype. This encourages them to focus on the flow and functionality without getting distracted by design details.


While I use PowerPoint Storyboards for most of my design/visual prototyping (yes, even though I didn't "get why" for the longest time... now you can take my PPSB from my cold de... ;), there's still much to be said for a prototyping solution you can "ship" to your users, one that they can play with an really see how stuff might really work, annotate it, etc.

You all know how it is. Users really need something to click on, something to run to really get what an app is going to do. Storyboards are great, but like I said... you know how it is. Clicking is the road to understanding.

If this is your world, SketchFlow might be something you should take another close look at, heck it's free (if you have VS Ultimate or Premium at least...)


Related Past Post XRef:
Blend for VS2013 Windows Phone SketchFlow Templates
For the Win[JS] - Blend for Visual Studio 2012 now available (and Blend for WPF/SilverLight & SketchFlow Preview too)
Will the real Windows Phone 7 SketchFlow Template please stand up...
Sketching out an WP7 user interface and interaction with SketchFlow
A SketchFlow Two-fer day - “Shawn Wildermuth on SketchFlow/dnrTV” and “Prototyping a WPF-3D game design workflow using TrueSpace 3D, Expression Blend 3 with SketchFlow, and exporting the prototype to XNA Game Studio.”
“Application Prototyping with SketchFlow” Refcardz
Four Expression 3 Starter Kits, two for Blend and two for Web, focusing on Sketchflow, Gaming, SuperPreview and SilverLight.

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