Design Tools

Adobe XD vs Invision + Sketch Combo

Adobe has a exclusive mac preview of the much awaited designing + prototyping tool, Adobe Comet (now called Adobe XD). It is light and powerful and would be all that you need to quickly design a prototype for your mobile screens. It won’t replace illustrator or photoshop. You still need illustrator to create the graphics and icons for the app.

Where do I use Adobe XD (Experience Design)
It would be really powerful for the UX designers to sell their ideas without coding. Transitions which help create hierarchy in complex enterprise solutions can be easily created under the prototype tab. The best part of the preview is the ‘Sample file’ which quickly shows you the power of XD. For someone, already familiar with Photoshop/Illustrator, this tool would be a boon.

Today, Invision, the prototyping and testing tool also has an announcement

Silver Flows allows users to define all of the logic and transitions required to create prototypes directly inside the Sketch interface

Craft for sketch and photoshop already brings powerful tools to quickly creating screens.


The combined power of Craft + Silver Flows + Sketch would definitely prove to be a strong alternative to XD. Invision still remains the best tool to crowdsource feedback on interfaces.

As of now, I would definitely give it to Adobe, considering their already successful subscription model. Adobe happens to be one for very few companies which has managed to successfully change their pricing from ‘pay once model’ to subscription.

Update: 28 July 2016

In a recent project, a web app which has a lot of list – >details, add, edit flows. I started with Experience Design. Initially, I used the experience design prototype show it to the team. But, I needed more feedback. I had to switch to invision. Invision rocks as a pure prototyping tool and can use Sketch files.

I moved from XD to Invision to create the screens

Why is Invision + Sketch is better than Experience Design

  1. When you create hotspots, It lets you templates and use it on multiple screens. It is very useful for the primary navigation.
  2. With Sketch its much easier to change the wireframes

Update: 22 Nov 2016

Invision is getting even powerful with its latest update of <inspect/>. This will reduce the need of the complex style guides. Designers can focus on creating the best experience. This requires designer to use Sketch to create the prototype and this needs to be imported

There is one feature in Invision which makes me come back to it again and again. The able to create HOTSPOT template. This is the best feature that saves a lot of time. I remember the days trying to make it happen in Axure RP.




Designed to Deceive – Mobile and Web Dark Patterns

Newsletters – mostly from the brands desperately trying to make a sell have started to put “Re: lorem ipsum ” in the subject of the mailers. Unconsciously, I have clicked on these Re: mails only to close them without reading – knowing that I fell for it one more time.

Is it ethnical to prey on the user’s behavior and make them do the unintended?

Dark Patterns have existed on the web for long. The most common of all is the “Defaults” that user don’t bother to change in their quest to complete the task.

When was the last time you installed a browser plugin when installing another software?




I plan to put more example from the world of mobile in the future. Godaddy, definitely tops my  list. Buying a domain isn’t just searching and paying for it. It is making a conscious decision not to buy the other offers and finding “Skip to checkout” hidden in sides and bottom. The mobile experience is definitely better than the web.

What is the most annoying pattern who have encountered on mobile?

Some from the world of twitter #darkpatterns

Spot the close button

Google has changed the ad positioning in gmail and the ads look like a email in your inbox. Does the advertiser get value from this? Shouldn’t the user make a conscious decision to click on the ad. Atleast, it says with a color tag! – subtle

How many ads are clicked by the users across the globe thinking that its a mail? I would bet its many.

Thanks to google we have a suite of productivity solutions ensuring atleast one tab in your browser that has google products open.  Even die hard Microsoft fans would agree, Google Docs rocks!!

Is this good design or the sinister side of UX practioners?



Read more:

A old article from 2011, will help you understand how it all got started.

Design Resource

Product Design Report – Invision

A great compilation of stats on the role of design in business today. If you are struggling hard to get your organization however small or big to be design-driven this report can help.



GSMA mAgri Design Toolkit

The mAgri Design Toolkit is a collection of instructions, tools, and stories to help develop and scale mobile agriculture products by applying a user-centered design approach.

I started working on the mAgri project as UX Consultant for Dialog mAgri Product, Sri Lanka. The project is live in 6 countries Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Ghana and Malawi.

A lot of our learnings have been compiled in this amazing toolkit by GSMA and Frog. The toolkit from GSMA is divided into 6 useful modules – Intro to UCD, Plan, Learn, Create, Develop and Maintain,  and will come handy for  anyone who is working on a mobile product for the BoP. The case studies and tools used go beyond mobile Agriculture.

Happy learning!!


Design Tools UX

Adobe Project Comet

Like me, If you had started creating WFs (Wire frames) in Photoshop and then moved on to Visio and eventually end up hating it. Then excited by Axure with powerful interaction capabilities and realising it curtails your creativity. Adobe Comet would be something you would look forward to.


We have all been there. Product managers wanting clickable prototypes for even the most trivial experiences for their product presentation and you trying hard to do get it right just for the day’s dance. Comet looks promising for both the real work and the dance.

I’m waiting for this tool. It is very cool how the screen interactions are connected through wires and are visible on the screen. I can really see how many hours it would save when trying to design complex enterprise solutions which have many different alternate paths.

More read
Onboarding experience This is a great article on how to go about with the onboarding experience and would be a relevant read for anyone working on new products.

Design Mobile

Why OnePlus 2 is better than Nexus 6P ?

If you are one who was waiting for the launch to decide if you should buy a OnePlus Two or the latest Nexus. It is a simple decision. OnePlus is still pure value for money. In India, its even a simpler choice, get the OnePlus Two; Nexus 6P will not be able to match the price.

549 USD – 389 USD = 160 USD (Approx INR 10400)
What are you really missing?
.2 inch extra screen size which really doesn’t matter much on a huge screen.
150 mAH more battery in Nexus 6P which isn’t significant considering Nexus packs more pixels on the screen and both phones would last a single day.
OS could be a important differentiator, with Nexus launching with the brand new update from Android – 6.0 or marshmellow.

When your device is at rest, Doze automatically puts it into a sleep state. So your phone can still set off your alarm in the morning even if you forgot to charge it. Phew! –

Something to be aware of:
Heating issues with Snapdragon 810
Only time will tell if Nexus has overcome the reported issues which OnePlus says have worked with Qualcomm and has solved in OnePlus Two. Bottomline: If you shoot 4K video for long, the phone will heat up.


How to easily type in Tamil ?

Apps needed on your Android mobile device. I use a Samsung Note 8 and finally benefit from the stylus.
Google docs
Google Handwriting Input app and download your language; Tamil in my case.

  1. Create a new document on Google docs app on the tablet
    Change the keyboard(Change input method in Android) to
  2. Google Handwriting Input. You can also go to, Settings – > Language and Input and change you Input.
  3. Write legibly and see the app do the magic.

Tip: I find it easier to have the google docs open on my laptop as i do the writing on my tablet. Its much easier to format your doc on the web app.



Design Stories

Ola Stories

It has been the same for years of taking a taxi in different cities in India and ending up with a friendly chat and sometimes great stories.

Recent stories have been about ‘Ola’ and ‘taxiforsure’

Ola is killing businesses, I no longer book through my old favorites in chennai – fasttrack, friends taxi. Ola seems to be doing everything right.
It would be a great case study for anyone trying to come late in an established industry and making a huge impact.

Last week i visited Chennai and used Ola 3 times.

  1. Booked a Cab for someone who had to hurry to the airport and they were very happy with cab coming in 10 mins.- 4 May 2015

  2. Driver from Madhurai – 5 May 2015

It’s been a week since I moved from Madhurai; a friend from Chennai suggested it to me. Got a free phone and app. On peak times i get around INR 100 on every ride from Ola.
Ola charges 12% on every ride.

Kandanchavadi – > NGO colony = INR 140 – I have paid 180 – 200, 3 years back.
He wants to use OLA app for the directions and said he will get a GPS device for

  1. Driver from Dubai – 5 May 2015

I make more than what i made in Dubai; Sunday’s off.

Ford Figo. NGO Colony – > Airport – Paid through Ola money. I didn’t book the cab, my brother did.

Ola is making everyone happy, with their driver incentives such as INR 100 per trip for peak hours. The loyalty factor would help Ola in the long run even when the rates get increased due to pressure from competitors

Design Mobile Web

Google search – be mobile friendly

Google search changes favour mobile

All the more for small businesses to not put off the website revamp and go mobile friendly.

For starters, if you decide to q uickly revamp. WordPress would be a beat way forward with plenty of mobile friendly themes on the market. Theme forest and creativemarket are great places to start your research.

I have found them to be best way yo kick start a web project.

Posted from WordPress for Android


F1, Dashboards and UX

F1 Access web

The first race of the season is going to start in 10 mins. My IPTV doesn’t have the Star sports HD4 (peo tv in Colombo) and i did what i did back in India. Got a subscription to their f1 for INR 500/year.

Before that i went to and registered for the access as well.. why did i do it? I’m a UX designer and always enjoyed looking at dashboards and analytics data.

Sorts, Groups and Filters.

I spend almost 2 years working on the above designing enterprise applications for Field sales for CPCG domain, Field Services, CRM on Mobile/Tablet devices. There were months at a stretch i worked just on getting these 3 right. Dashboards are a major component for sales exectuvies, the administrators and the business stakeholders. Everybody needs to see different things. Field agents need to see numbers they need to deliver in a day; the admins need to see how the field agents are with their numbers and the stakeholders need the birds eye view of the business in a region,, the cournty or the world as well.

Dashboards are powerful and there are great inspiration out there..  Check out for some entertainment and inspiration