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IDEO one ups Facebook by improving their interaction design tool

About four months ago I wrote about Facebook releasing a bit of open-source code called Origami which is a free toolkit for Apple’s free Quartz Composer application that which lets designers create and test user interfaces without any coding. Now, Ideo has released a free sequel they call Avocado and it builds on the functionality of Origami to create an even faster UX prototyping tool.

Getting started is easy and here is what you will need to do:

1 – Click here to register as an Apple developer if you haven’t already.

2 – Click here to download and install Quartz Composer

3 – Click here to download and install Avocado. You may get an error message about the installer coming from an unknown developer but if that happen just launch it again and then hit ‘trust’ to launch the installer.

IDEO looked to improve upon what Facebook had built by trying to make the system even easier and adding more complex interactions like the ability to have a full working iPhone keyboard in your prototype which would have been a nightmare before. But one challenge still remains in that I have really struggled to use Origami in my everyday design workflow because of the lack of substantive tutorials and documentation to really understand how to quick build more complex interactions. Avocado while seemingly more useful has even less documentation and no sample files unlike Origami. So I plan on playing around with it to see all that it can do and I am happy to post my source files if anyone is interested.

This obviously is still a huge area n digital design where designers badly need tools to help them bring their idea to life.  Adobe has been asleep at the wheel for year on how digital design has changed it seems like there are no signs of that changing any time soon. Until then we will keep trying out these new tools in the hopes that someone will not only create something that will really help the design community create better apps but they will also support it in a way where everyone else can easily learn and adopt it.

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