Friday, 6 January 2012

Best Design Tools for Android

Which are the best tools for designing for Android? I have my favorites but I'd really love to hear about tools you use and your experiences with them. Please leave a comment!

To kick of the conversation I'll present my favorite design tools. Both of these tools are for drawing wireframes. I don't do visual design at all.


OmniGraffle
www.omnigroup.com/products/omnigraffle
Price per license $99.99
Only available for Mac
Android stencils available for free at: http://graffletopia.com/categories/android


OmniGraffle is my editor of choice for drawing wireframes. Usability of the tool is on class of it's own. The app feels like it is reading your mind when moving components around. The editors guides and helps you by snapping components to their right places almost automatically.

There are Android stencils available for OmniGraffle but they aren't really needed. I personally don't use them and build components using OmniGraffle's shape tools. For icons I simply copy Android icons from Android platform SDK (android-sdks/platforms/android-15/data/res/drawable-xhdpi).


WireframeSketcher
wireframesketcher.com
Price per license $99
Eclipse plugin available for all platforms that run Eclipse
Android stencils available for free at: http://wireframesketcher.com/mockups/index.html


WireframeSketcher is another tool that I've used in past and still use sometimes. It is an Eclipse plugin so it fits perfectly to any Android developer's desktop. It also has Android stencils that can be used to build more Android looking wireframes but as with OmniGraffle I personally don't use them. WireframeSketcher has a broad list of ready components and icons which is all that is needed.

Here's something I did just few weeks ago with the WireframeSketcher for work (sorry for the bad focus. I purposefully chose that one as I don't want to fully expose our upcoming design ideas yet). It took about two hours to draw all screens needed for a simple user testing for a mid-sized app. The tool is very efficient for this kind of tasks. For final design I still used OmniGraffle though.



These are mine. Which one are yours?
Please leave a comment or participate to discussion at Google+