When it comes to replicating the old school creativity experience of using pen, paper, and Post-it Notes (or ‘Sticky Notes,’ if you like) or your kitchen wall online, there are options. Analog and digital output is easily combined, shared, and collaborated on in the cloud.
A combination of online and offline solutions may be ideal. For example, here is a combination of paper and pen, mobile phone, Marvel App, and an IPevo Point 2 View camera all working together to test a paper prototype:
Here are some team favorites used from the home office to consider: Balsamiq, Marvel App, Mural, Miro, LiveScribe Echo, and the IPevo Point 2 View. Ideal for distanced UX work, COVID-19, or otherwise!
Balsamiq is a low-fidelity wireframing tool. It comes with a handy set of UI stencils and connectors, easily combined and iterated, all exportable to different formats. (The stencils can also make useful cut-out components for paper prototypes!)
Marvel App is a cloud-based solution that enables designers to create mobile interactive prototypes from paper using their own devices and then shares them directly over the Internet. Ideal for collaborative review of prototypes and remote testing.
A whiteboard-style online wall for assembling project artifacts, Mural includes the UX industry duct tape equivalent as components — Post-it Notes — and connectors to organize that discovery and frame design assets.
An online design and development whiteboard with useful templates for agile ceremonies and UX storyboarding and mappings. No need to draw on the windows or walls of your apartment to replicate those Agile principles. Plus, Miro offers wireframing capability too.
A digital solution for drawing with a pen-like stylus while recording your out-loud thoughts or instructions in real-time via a special paper, clearly communicating designs visually and audibly.
A handy desktop directional camera for remote testing can capture and record interfaces and interactions such as mobile or wearable tech.
A range of tools offers the UX designer great possibilities for creativity, sure. But is there one perfect tool? Probably not. Or it depends….
We have to live with siloed experiences and different logins for now, but that’s the price for the best of breed strategy versus a single cloud platform approach.
You may have other favorite UX tools to share, including new found uses for old ones and the reasons why you like them more as you navigate the pandemic.