For animation or prototyping

Not a feature request, but merely an attempt to figure out what most of the people here are planning to use Hype for.

From the feature set, it’s a clearly an animation program. Everything is revolved around timelines, transitions and now also physics. If you want to do anything else, the old “do your own JS” is there, as it is with every HTML5 animation program.

From my 2d animation experience (and it’s more than 20 years, staring with MM Director, AE, Flash and now HTML5) there is very little market for the low end animation on the web outside banner ads. And I hope this program is meant for more. Whether serious game developers jump to use it or stay with their canvas and custom JS remains to be seen, since Hype doesn’t offer any graphic editing and professional animation tools like onion skinning, bezier curve editing, etc. Neither has it provisions for quick adding sprite sheets.

On the other end, there is huge and quickly growing market for rapid UI prototyping. In the last 2 years it takes more and more of my time. And what’s even more interesting is that it doesn’t have yet a visible champion. People use anything from the simplest “click-and-go” and never meant for serious interactivity tools to full featured ones like Axure.

The UI prototypers (and if there anything the history of Flash teaches us) have to be event-based, not timeline-based. It took years for Adobe to acknowledge this and create Flex. Alas, too little, too late. The second must have is code-free environment. If designers use JS as their everyday tool, they would be called programmers and would get paid accordingly. Unlike games, prototyping is a one man job. Having JS coder handy is not an option.

Axure did a great job achieving this, but it has few irreconcilable ills: it’s heavy, your file can easily grow over 100MB without any bitmaps; it’s slow (written in .NET and only recently optimized for Mac), it doesn’t support vectors, it produces spaghetti code, totally useless in the production.

So, to conclude, I’d love to switch to Hype for this, but my last few prototypes were so involved, conditions elaborate and calculations intense, I can’t see myself doing it all over in JS by hand. The good thing is that Hype supports external symbols with JS scripts. A good library of all typical UI widgets is something everybody would love.

Appreciate any thought on the topic. Sorry, if I’ve chosen the wrong forum for it.

Hype is really used for everything under the sun; we’re a type of “blank slate” motion and interactivity app that can have many purposes. Often we’re asked what content is made the most with Hype, and it is a complete mixed bag - I can’t say that we know of one use case being significantly ahead of another! You can get a feel for all the different uses from our Gallery, though this is hardly exhaustive.

We’ve definitely seen an uptick on those doing UI Prototyping with Hype. I think for a lot of prototypes it is the right tool for the job - there’s very little restriction on what is possible and when encountering a wall it can usually be remedied with JavaScript if you have coding knowledge. In general, we take the philosophy that we’re a tool for production content - but by being fast and easy to use, it also lends itself very well for prototyping.

You’re right we’re missing some animation tools (shapes in particular), though our goal is generally to address those deficiencies. You should’ve seen how limited Hype 1.0 was :smile:. While we don’t have a common set of widgets yet, the Symbols feature in Hype 3.0 pro was our first step along building this.

I’d be curious to see some of your previous prototypes, and find out how well suited Hype might be for them.

Hopefully some others can also chime in with their experiences doing app prototyping.

Hi Johnathan,

As I’ve said during our phone conversation a while ago: “If I’m not going to end up as your UX designer, I certainly will as your customer.”. And here we are :smile:

“Hype is really used for everything under the sun” - And that is exactly what’s needed. Well, not everything, but everything HTML5. I’m truly amazed how fragmented this field is. There are dozens of apps, each one does one thing better than other, nobody does it all. But this is where the problem starts: if you’re after doing everything, what is that you should implement next? Making it completely open to any custom JS or entire JS frameworks is one thing that should set Hype apart form the competition, but it doesn’t mean it remains just a window for typing the code (besides, there are better code editors out there: WebStorm, Sublime, etc.).

“I think for a lot of prototypes it is the right tool for the job”. Absolutely. Every time I mention rapid prototyping to a new client, the first reaction is how reusable the code will be. Currently, it’s not. Not even CSSs with Axure or others. Hype is to the rescue. But we, designers, need widget libraries and code snippets. It’s not just to code or not to code - the most important part of rapid prototyping is “rapid”. Literally, it has to be done in matter of hours from scratch. That means design as well. In this you wouldn’t be able to complete with Sketch. And there is no need for that. Just keep copy/paste of elements as vector (right now it pastes bitmaps). And maybe one day you’ll be able to build your own graphics editor.

“You should’ve seen how limited Hype 1.0 was”. I’ve seen it. Even Edge was better.

“I’d be curious to see some of your previous prototypes”. Sure. here is one more recent: It’s a perfect example of Axure many strengths and weaknesses. It makes use of Axure very powerful repeater data set widget for sorting and filtering, and various metadata pieces to determine, for example, whether items in the cart are all groceries or not. Unfortunately, it’s started growing heavy and slow so quickly, that I had to replace every many editable element with dumb bitmaps later in the process.