As a UI designer, I’m always looking for ways to display my work so it can look and feel like the final product as much as possible. There are lots of ways to accomplish this – there are prototyping tools popping up all the time. I’ve used Axure, Justinmind, Indigo Studio, Principle, UXPin.. the list goes on. There is actually a great list right here. They all have free trials so take some time and try them all out to see which works for you.
I recently designed an imaginary app to try out a few of these software applications. To create the files themselves I use Sketch, a vector based design software that is taking over the UI world (like photoshop but vector based and much, much more minimal – in a good way). To prototype the sketch files, I used Marvel, a browser based prototyping tool that allows you to display your designs on desktop, mobile, smart watch or tablet. Invision is another prototyping tool I use on a regular basis, they are becoming quite popular and almost an industry standard where I live. I use both but I love the simplicity of Marvel. is great Both Invision and Marvel are great because they can sync with Sketch so your files are uploaded automagically. I find Invision a little buggy sometimes, but they do have some great e-newsletters!
Which is better?
Invision and Marvel do have a lot of similarities, they both allow you to download to your phone and perform user testing and their basic functionality is very similar, so what are the differences? (This is based on both of the free versions)
- Allows you to design your screens right in the application.
- ‘Explore’ – You can put your prototype up for the public to see and leave feedback
- Unlimited Projects (invision has 3 projects for free license)
- When in a screen you can view past iterations of that file.
- Can apply status’ to each screen (in progress, approved, etc) – Good for workflow
- Has liveshare to present the prototype live.
- Has more complex commenting (type of comment)
- Shows activity (uploads, views, comments)
Marvel is great for smaller scale designs and great for putting something together really quickly since they have a design interface right in the browser. Invision works well for a team since it has a little bit more as far as collaboration and version control. Unfortunately Invision only allows for 3 projects in their free license but Marvel has unlimited so for freelance work, I like to use Marvel.
This is the Marvel prototype of my design below. You can embed a working copy of your project just like this one: (click the play button to try it out)