Design Your Own App: New Guide to Pixate

One of the hottest prototyping tools – Pixet is really easy to work with.

You call pixets an app prototyping tool, and they’re worth a dozen. For beginners, prototyping is how you create application mockups or prototypes without having to know programming languages ‚Äč‚Äčlike Objective-C or Java. So everyone else can easily bring their ideas to life and at the same time learn more about UX. Instead of hiring a consultant on the go, you can do a good deal of the mechanics and build a prototype that is less than actually being localized on a platform. What’s even better is that Pixet Studio is free and Google has acquired the company as part of their efforts to develop new design and prototyping tools. This could very well mean that you can be part of Pixet Android Studio.

There is plenty of prototyping equipment but there is always a tradeoff between speed and quality. Pixet is fast and allows you to quickly build prototypes without any tradeoffs, as it will be clear soon. Let’s start with some basic actions that can be performed using this Nifty tool.

User interface

If you’ve ever used an IDE before, you’ll feel at home quickly when you run Pixet for the first time. Take a look at the picture below. This is the first time you will see Pixate Fire. There are two tabs on the far left of the window, the first one opens the ‘Layers’ panel that you see here and the second one opens the ‘Resources’ panel. Resources are basically images of all UI elements at different stages. For example, if you want to drag a menu bar around and move the bar out of focus, you will create two images, one will make the menu bar look crisp and the other will fade away, including the menu bar. You will then move between these two assets based on a trigger event. In this case, the dragging action will be triggered.

The ‘Layers’ panel is where you organize all the different layers of your interface. Almost everyone has used image editing software or apps like Photoshop, GIMP, Pixler etc., so the idea is quite clear.

Just below the ‘Level’ panel is the ‘Action’ panel from which you can select different animations to apply to the transition. At the top right is the property panel which lets you change the layer parameters like size, position, opacity etc. And just below the ‘Properties’ panel is the ‘Animation’ panel, where you can define animations for the selected level. In the center is the workplace where all the magic happens.



A fairly simple and easy to navigate UI

A few pointers

Before you get started, you need to list all the features you want from your app and create resources for the device you’re working on. Resolution and pixel density should be kept in mind when creating these resources. There are guidelines for designing apps for both Android and iOS that need to be followed in the letter. The Apple App Store is much tougher when it comes to QCs, and it should come as no surprise if your app is rejected for violating the guidelines.

Get the app

Prototyping in Pixate takes place in real time and the app is updated as soon as all your changes are made, so you can spend time prototyping your app. Just download the app from Play Store or App Store and sync with your PC / Mac.



Pixet is available in Play Store as well as App Store!

Start prototyping

Start by importing all your assets into the Assets panel. Always create an image that represents what your final app looks like and use it as a base layer to determine where to put all the individual elements of the UI.



Start your project

Adding animation

Let’s start by drawing an image (let’s call it that Button.jpg) On the screen and provide it a button feature. An animation by setting the tap speed. So you can simply drag the ‘tap’ interaction from the Interaction menu and drop it into the image within the workspace, or drop it to a specific layer in the Layers panel.

Now a new feature should appear on the panel indicating that a tap action has been added to the layer. Now you need to drag and drop another image (let’s call it that Screen.jpg) At work. So that the levels rearrange Button.jpg The level is above Screen.jpg Now it’s time to animate the level Screen.jpg When you tap Button.jpg. Simply drag and drop an animation Screen.jpg Level we are moving forward.

Now in the animation panel, you will see the first drop down menu which says “Based on”. This is where you link the animation to the button. Select Button.jpg Select the action that triggers the animation by first dropping down and then. In this case, you only have “tap” interaction available. Now you have multiple parameters to define Screen.jpg The level rotates. Select a pivot point from the Nine Points menu and enter the appropriate value for each axis. We moved 45 degrees on all axes. Below, you can see how the action game out.



Tap to rotate in action

Moving between screens

Once you’ve figured out how animations work, you’ll need to figure out how to switch between different screens. This is achieved by rearrangement and is ideally done simultaneously with an animation. When an animation moves its course on a level, it still remains in its initial position. So all the action is still captured by the top most layer. In order for a new layer to perform any action, the user must be able to interact directly with it, and this is why you want to rearrange the layers so that the new layer is at the very top.

Rearranging is as easy as adding animations. Drag and drop the animation over the layer you want to remove and select the “Based On” parameter. Then select where the layer will be moved. You can choose to move it backwards or forwards. And if you prefer a more specific location, you can slot the back / front level of the material in the workplace.



Re-order and re-order easily!

Grouping

And now for something a bit complicated. Grouped layers allow you to create some interesting effects. Here’s how you can achieve parallax scrolling using grouping. Start by making two different layers, one layer slightly smaller than the other. Drag the small layer over the large layer. You now have a parent level and a child level And now, as we did before, you need to add a “drag” interaction to the parent layer and select ‘vertical’ for the drag limiter from the Properties menu.

For parallax scrolling, you need to move one level slightly faster than the other.

In this case, the child layer will be made to move faster so that it comes into view and exits fairly quickly. So you need to add a move animation to the child layer and link its animation to the parent. Select the parent layer under “Based on” and for the trigger, select “Drag Position”. Under Animate, select “Continue with Rate”. Now, the child layer will move together with the parent layer, so to change the speed, change the “rate” to 1.5 and you will see that the child layer is zooming next to the parent layer. If you want the child layer not to pop out of the parent layer, just select the parent layer and change the “Clipping” property to ‘Bound’. The child should now be visible only when it is within the parental level



Get the parallax scrolling effect using grouping

Go crazy!

These are just some of the goal setting shareware that you can use. You can find more of these simple tutorials on Pixet’s official tutorial page, and if you’re in the mood for something a little more complicated, you might want to watch this video to understand how to build a Twitter prototype and how to make this video. Add ‘Force Touch’ to your Pixate project.

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