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Meet the new face of mobile app design: Introducing Kony Visualizer 2.0

Great apps put the user experience first. This fact is both intuitive, and proven; Never before have there been more apps in the commercial app stores as there are today, yet there is a 75% drop in app usage after the initial time an app is used. Clearly people are downloading apps, but three quarters of the time, the UX fails and the app returns to obscurity. Users expect great experiences, and if an app doesn’t deliver, it doesn’t matter what else it can do. That app, for that user, is done.

Solving this paradigm is, for businesses, easier said than done. It is obviously very hard work to create rich user experiences that are tailored across every device; Otherwise, you would not find such a statistic. But why is it so tough? What exactly is the design process, and why is it so difficult to create apps that will not only be downloaded but will consistently be used?

Traditionally designers have used tried-and-true methods of creating the user experience by leveraging tools that are specific to each phase of the design process. Typically, this starts with wireframes, where the user experience designer will lay out the entire flow of the application, and may go so far as to create complex prototypes that demonstrate the application’s functionality. This gives business stakeholders an idea of what the app will look and feel like, but its utility stops there. Unfortunately, all this work is thrown away when the app transitions to development, where none of the prototype work is reused. The developer must start over and recreate much of this functionality.

Next comes the visual design phase. Once the wireframes and prototypes are approved, the designer creates a color palette, and adds the pixel-perfect detail. Using well-established visual design tools, the designer will then “slice up” the app and provide static image assets to the developer, along with a style guide, painstakingly recreating the application design using the development framework of choice. Rarely is the design correct on the first try. The developer will almost always have to go back to the designer for additional assets, or make assumptions based on the limited set of visual designs provided. To further compound these problems, the designer will have separate designs for every device being targeted. This entire process, complete with back-and-forth handoffs, inefficient communication, and time-intensive iterations, makes building an app take too long, cost too much, and demand too many resources.

Most importantly, it just doesn’t work very well. Analysis has shown that 60-80% of all application defects are directly attributed to user experience issues. These numbers can be tied to user experiences being implemented by a developer. It’s essentially like a game of “telephone”: The final app does not match the original intent of the wireframe, prototype, and visual design because it’s been translated too many times. The breakdown in the process is no one’s fault, but instead occurs due to outdated tools being used for applications (literally) beyond their original purpose. There must a better way!

To address this problem, we’re pleased to introduce Kony Visualizer 2.0. With Kony Visualizer, we are providing robust, designer-friendly tools to directly build out the application design in a WYSIWYM (“what you see is what you mobilize”) canvas across all of the app’s target devices. Designers will now be able to create an engaging application design, and immediately be able see, touch, and feel it on an actual device using the Visualizer App Preview app, available in the app store (iTunes & Google Play). Not only will designers be able to create a common design across all devices, but also design in a unique way using the Visualizer “forking” technology. Further, designers will be able to use the common layout principles in CSS using the “Flex” layout in the design canvas to create an adaptive design across varying screen sizes and resolutions.

But wait, there’s more! Designers can also create stunning animation and transitions, leveraging the power of the native app, without writing any code. In addition, they can share the app with any stakeholders to get feedback using the App Preview’s notes feature, which automatically syncs with the cloud. If you aren’t convinced yet, here are some more features of Kony Visualizer 2.0 to prove that it will change the face of mobile app design:

  • Flex layout: Use familiar CSS properties to position, layer, and anchor widgets and containers.
  • Canvas 2.0: Build your app design with familiar design features, including guides and snapping.
  • Animation: Create stunning animation across your app in the Action Editor, without writing code.
  • Logic: Create simple conditional operations or complex code snippets, leveraging the Kony API.
  • Visual range: See your entire off-screen app layout using the new visual range tools.
  • Action library: Access device functions such as SMS, email, mapping, and alerts – without writing code.

To learn more about Kony Visualizer 2.0:

We look forward to hearing and seeing your impressions of the Kony Visualizer, and continuing to make life better for app designers and developers everywhere.