InVision App: The Latest in Collaborative UX Design

  • Aimee Phelps
By: Callie Budrick | April 13, 2016

There’s a new application taking over collaborative UX design. It has nearly two million users worldwide and already 70% of Fortune 100 companies using it as well. That includes Disney, IBM, Apple and Verizon just to name a few. Their website boasts being “the world’s leading prototyping, collaboration and workflow platform.” It’s called InVision, and if you’re not using it yet, you’re missing out.

InVision is a free web and mobile prototyping platform that allows UX designers to develop and collaborate with ease. It’s as simple as uploading your design files—whether they’re Photoshop documents, Sketch documents, GIFs, JPGs, PNGs or PDFs—and adding “animations and transitions to transform your static screens into clickable, interactive prototypes.”

But it’s so much more than just that.

The company itself is 100% remote with 185 team members in 14 different countries. This unique set up gives the InVision team major insight into what exactly collaborative UX teams are looking for in their design platforms. CEO of InVision Clark Valberg spoke with me about working remotely and employee accountability:

“There are two different dimensions to the social component of work: there’s the collaborative component and there’s the community component.” According to him, to feed the collaborative component, InVision ensures their employees have the best software and platforms available to them—things like Slack, Trello, Dropbox and other favorites. These tools make it easy to set up a solid workflow process and create a positive cadence for company meetings.

As for the “community” aspect, Valberg says, “Just because you work remotely doesn’t mean you have to work alone.” InVision has physical offices located in a few major cities and offers a stipend for employees looking for office space in their hometown.

But how exactly is this company’s culture reflected in the application itself?

For starters, InVision (the app) is paired with the same collaborative platforms their company uses every day. InVision employees use Dropbox Business to remain 100% remote and keep track of important company data. InVision users have the same options available to them. Inside of the application, users can sync their Dropbox account with their InVision account, which makes browsing and sharing design files beyond easy.

Additionally, users can copy and paste “live embed” codes from their InVision documents directly into communication platforms like Trello, Basecamp, Slack and more. The app’s integrations “automatically push and pull activity from your favorite systems straight to InVision.”

As for the community component, InVision makes it painless to involve your entire team in the creative process of building user-friendly web designs. Teammates can comment directly on designs and participate in real-time collaboration by holding in-browser meetings via the InVision App or the LiveShare Photoshop plug-in. All comments and design changes are saved to make viewing revision history effortless.

Outside of in-browser meetings is yet another strong collaboration tool called Boards. Boards are sort of like Pinterest for your UX designs. They provide a space for style guides, galleries, moodboards and so much more. Use Boards to develop color palettes, choose fonts and create visual hierarchy for individual projects.

If you haven’t fallen in love with the idea of InVision yet, you’re definitely about to. Five words: Free and Unlimited User Testing. Simply send your test audience a link to your prototype. When the audience opens the link using their iPhone, the front facing camera turns on to record how your user interacts with the prototype. Audio and screen gestures are also recorded and offer vital feedback about the design. According to InVision’s website, “Prototypes are presented for user testing in high-fidelity, so they look real and feel real—keeping users focused on the design itself.”

Recently the InVision team joined forces with Silver Flows, an application that allows designers to create prototypes directly within Sketch. “By enabling UX designers to design and build prototypes in the same space, they can more quickly test and validate the broader user experience their apps provide. Together, InVision and Silver Flows are building a creative cloud within Sketch that provides an unparalleled degree of continuity for designers and their teams.”

It’s pretty obvious that InVision is making some major changes to the world of prototyping and collaborating for web design. To keep up with the latest news from the InVision team, visit their blog or check out Clark Valberg’s Medium channel.