• Sridhar Rajendran

Day 7 — Building my arsenal

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

Finally getting things in order

Image credit: Pexels

After attending a boot camp to learn UX, I felt more confident as a designer. Until that point, I was skeptical of using that word to describe myself. Being a first-bencher all through my life, I spent countless hours coming up with prototypes and sketches. Nerd!

Life was no longer full of problems; it was full of solutions waiting to be uncovered. Ok, that was cheesy, even for me :)

I started with the prototyping tool, Axure RP. My instructor used it during the course and the interface was quite simple and easy to use. Though Sketch is preferred star-child, Axure is a pretty solid beast. The more time I spent on it, the more features I uncovered. When the trial period was about to end, I had to make a decision — do I continue with Axure?

For starters, Axure is pretty expensive. The problem with Sketch is — it is a design tool. I would have to use another service like InVision to create interactions and clickable prototypes. So double the expense. Even if I could swallow that, at that time InVision was purely web-based at the time. Invision requires an internet connection to create interactions. The Craft plugin was introduced later. In India, the internet is spotty and I did not like such dependencies. What if I am on travel and feel like working on something for a while?

Just then Adobe was piloting its own tool — Adobe XD. I downloaded the Beta version and liked it instantly. The interface was almost similar to Sketch plus I could create interactions offline. Did I say it was FREE?!!! (The Beta was pretty stable and I never observed any crashes. Sure it had limited functionality but that is all I needed).

Having too many options in life is never a good thing. The sheer number of design tools have exploded since the last two years and everyone positions themselves as the ‘next Sketch’ and what not. I decided to stick with XD and that decision saved me several hours of anxiety and drama.

At the end of the day the tools don’t matter(so much), your skills do! So save yourself some trouble. 

Occam’s razor — the simplest solution most often tends to be the right one.

Given unlimited options, pick the one that has the features you need, within your budget. Then ignore all else.