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 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.


Learning with interactions – US Election 2012 and

Web experience has been changing, and it has been proved again and again that we learn more when we interact with the information. With Windows 8 and the cheaper touch technologies it is not hard to imagine that we would be interacting with every single on screen element on a web page.

For someone, like me in India who doesn’t even know about electrol votes, swing states, where florida is in US changed everything with the amazing interactive infographics of the presidential election 2012
Here are the screen shots below;

The most impressive part of the who interaction was the SCENARIO; during the process of counting, it let the users to select the scenario of the democras/republicans winning a state and seeing the way in which it would turn the election. Thank you, creators of the interactions, it is one of my best web learning experience. Learning with Interactions

Lately, i have been learning the basics of Java again through ‘Karel learns to program java’ – CS106A –
programming methodologies class online. I’m more interested than i was when i was learning it in college during my bachelor’s. Flash certainly did change the way we look at information; letting the users interact with the information.

It is exciting to imagine the possibilities of gestures and the possibilities of interactions with information beyond the realms of Mobiles and desktop computers.