InDesign CS5 for prototyping

1 Aug 2010 - 5:13pm
5 years ago
3 replies
4144 reads

I was wondering if anyone has extensive experience with specifically the new Interactive features of InDesign CS5. I am an avid Fireworks user, but I was recently informed that InDesign, in this latest release may be the application to beat. I have played around and found the new object states, animation  (presets only) e.t.c in the Interactive section interesting. I am quite a fan of InDesign for wireframing (eightshapes Unify), but still find Fireworks still seems more powerful for prototyping because you can export to HTML, import SWF's into it for more complicated smooth interactions designed in Catalyst or Flash, use IxEdit if you like to test out AJAX (HTML/CSS Export). 

My tests reveal that the only way to export out of InDesign CS5 and maintain the smooth interactions is via swf or Flash. The PDF export won't support Flash automatically unless you consciously embed a external swf (same workaround for fireworks).

Other great improvements is the ability to specify everything now in pixels rather than points, but the app still feels very print centric. For instance the color picker does not support Hexadecimal, swatches are CYMK by default, snapping to full pixels only is not possible.

It would be great to be able to use one App for UX work, but for now it will be a mix of Omnigraffle, Fireworks, InDesign and other creative suite apps as needed. Yes I have tried Axure, iRise, justimind prototyper e.t.c. they require too much bitmap prep and the drawing tools are crude. For the same effort I would rather use HTML/JQuery or IxEdit.

Your thoughts






1 Aug 2010 - 10:31pm
Krystal Higgins

I'd actually be interested in how you've found Catalyst to be so far, since it sounds like you've passed over it in favor of testing out InDesign. I've been playing with Catalyst to see where I can push it, but I so far see it as a middleman in the prototyping world.  I wonder if you've found the same, then?

1 Aug 2010 - 11:08pm

IMO Catalyst is not ready for prime time in this release. It works well for prototyping some applications like flash/flex, mobile or kiosks that depend on smooth transitions btw screens, but for good old web(HTML) experience prototypes, its useless. Lets just say you can't create even the most fundamental web interaction; Hyperlinking text. 

2 Sep 2010 - 1:27pm
Sascha Brossmann

Lets just say you can't create even the most fundamental web interaction; Hyperlinking text. 

Mmh. Exactly like Axure RP. Or OmniGraffle. Or Fireworks. Or Balsamiq. Or… you name it.  So far about the state of the art. Prime time. Everybody say ‘yeah!’. 

The only non code-centric tool currently known by me that _can_ do it flawlessly is… Keynote.

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