Origami – App Prototyping for the 21st Century

A single year of software testing taught me one simple fact – Engineers are from Xcode and Designers are from Photoshop. They speak completely different languages, most of the time. When they do manage to collaborate, they are both used to such different tools, that a well designed app or service actually ends up, almost always, as a compromise release – with both sides having a say, but neither side getting EXACTLY what it wants.

Enter Origami, an amazing, opensource prototyping tool from Facebook. It’s been around for a while, but they’ve recently introduced Origami Studio, in lieu of their earlier, Quartz Composer-based offering. At its core ™, Origami is an advanced design tool, that doesn’t require a designer to also know code. All you need to do is create the design workflow (for iOS, Android and Webpages), which you can preview, live, on a connected iOS or Android device, and Origami allows you to export it as actual code. You can also use Origami to present your design workflow on an iPhone, iPad, or a bigger screen.

If you’ve been lucky enough to use Facebook’s late, lamented Paper app, you’ve already experienced the kind of interfaces Origami allows you to create. Visually, Origami interfaces are a cut above what you’re used to seeing, with layers and layers of complexity hidden underneath an easy to understand UI.

Origami is opensource (read : Free), and presents an exciting opportunity for today’s designers to usher in the next generation of mobile or web interaction. We’re excited to see what companies can come up with, using the latest tools Origami has to offer.

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