Tools We Use: InVision
Mar 15, 2016
InVision is a prototyping and collaboration tool. I’m lucky enough to have had the opportunity to use it over the past four years, and it has grown quite a bit during that time.
Whether you’re a designer, a project manager, or a project stakeholder, you’ll find value in InVision. We’ve been using the Enterprise edition of InVision for a few months now, and it has really been a valuable asset so far.
At its most basic level, InVision allows you to upload screens from your app or website at any resolution. From there, you can share those screens with anyone and allow them to make comments directly on them. Comments can be public or private, or designated as developer notes.
InVision also has some useful prototyping features. You can draw hotspots over your design and specify which screen you’d like that hotspot to link to. Hotspots are great for linking screens together according to your site navigation. This way, anyone you share the project with can get a feel for how the site will actually work.
Hotspots also have settings that allow you to define a screen or a smaller graphic as a hover state with some basic animation options. In the future, InVision has plans to release a feature called “Motion” that will allow for even more advanced timeline animations to make your prototype as realistic as possible.
InVision has project management features as well. In particular, you can define custom states for screens. For example, “In Progress,” “Needs Review,” or “Approved.” Project stakeholders can change screen statuses on their own or you can update them on the back end.
InVision also has you covered with real-time collaboration tools. Good for workshop meetings and presentations, InVision’s “LiveShare” feature will let participants in the meeting sketch on top of designs. The “tours” feature will also allow you to annotate your design with instructions and explanations that you can use during presentations, or simply to help communicate your intentions for the design without having to talk in person.
Finally, as a user experience designer, this feature is close to my heart. With InVision, you can conduct usability tests on mobile designs that record audio and video of people using your app. In the future, InVision has plans to also release this feature for desktop designs. Can’t wait!
There are many other features that InVision provides, but the ones I’ve just outlined are the ones we use the most here at Centerline. Here are our key takeaways from InVision so far:
• Solid, simple prototyping
• Project management workflow
• Mobile usability testing
• Clean, easy-to-use design
• Excellent collaboration tools
• Excellent customer service
• Animations are limited and have a bit of a learning curve
• Lacks support for advanced interactions (like menus, drop-downs, radio buttons, etc)
• Accessing Enterprise features can be a little pricey for smaller project teams