Explore the ways in which you can make your design process more efficient by reusing content in your prototypes
We are always looking for ways to design more efficiently. After all, who doesn’t want to design more and better user interfaces?! But sometimes it can be tricky to adhere to design standards, or keep control of brand identity across tons of prototypes and mockups.
One way to keep a handle on your design assets is to simply reuse them across prototypes and projects. Reusing content means you’ll design faster and won’t have to worry about deviating from agreed standards and styles.
Let’s check out how you can reuse content and assets during the design process, using a couple of Justinmind examples to help us out with context.
Why re-use content when designing and prototyping?
Every design spec is unique right? Shouldn’t you be creating innovative, groundbreaking designs every single day?
Pretty much no UI designer does that, ever. It would be impossible to come up with new stuff all the time, and frankly ill-advised. Design conventions are there for a reason, as TutsPlus points out. Familiar feeling websites are they key to not making users think, Steve Krug’s mantra. Sticking to accepted conventions will lighten users cognitive load.
And for you as a designer, reusing content across projects or designs will help you:
- maintain visual consistency
- manage larger teams
- save time
- standardize icon use
- create more intuitive UIs
- reduce time to market
Customize UI assets
Before you get started on a new project, examine the UX requirements and define customized UI assets that meet unique project needs. With Justinmind, you can create totally customizable widget libraries that will help you to build unique web and mobile prototypes and work on them easily with all teams in your organization.
These customized assets can be used by numerous designers across all screens of a prototype, and even live on in future prototypes. No more button tweaking from now on (unless you want to!)
With Justinmind you can even share these assets with developers when the design phase is signed off. Our developer-friendly interface means the coders have access to asset properties like CSS styles, measurements, weight etc. They can even export images optimized for Retina.
Organize UI assets for better recycling
The key to clever recycling is organization. Just like you might have labelled trashcans to keep tabs on biodegradables, you need to label and categorize reusable styles, content and layouts. This will save you loads of time that you might have spent modifying your designs. and let you quickly try out new ideas to see what works and what should be binned. Think of all the time you’d save!
The following Justinmind features will make organizing and reusing content a breeze.
Prototype templates to reuse your content
At the early stages of web design, accuracy is often treated as secondary to development speed – wrong! Using accurate fonts and content allows you to visualize how the layout will actually appear in the end product, giving you a a more realistic view of how your copy fits.
By using Templates, you can easily reuse content, assets and screen design layouts for more efficient prototyping. Work your already-built designs into new prototypes, and can define the style guide or templates that will set the standards for the whole project, sharing content and behavior between screens.
Prototype masters to leverage your work
You can build Masters that you can use in different screens and in different projects. Masters are groups of components that can be reused anywhere in a prototype. As such, it’s an excellent way to spread global changes, because when something is changed in the Master, that change takes effect in all of its instances in the prototype.
Effective use of masters is key to reusing content, as they help you to save time, reduce rework and keep things consistent.
Prototype custom UI assets to gather pace in the design process
You can create your own UI asset library to be used in the future. Pre-built widgets and customized widgets: pre-built means you can easily use them time and time again without having to create them from scratch. Customized widgets mean you can tweak them where necessary to personalize each project.
And all of this can be imported and exported easily, between other users and in different prototypes. If you think about it, usability is at the core of the prototyping philosophy: save time – save money – and focus on the big picture.
With UI element and icon reuse, you can save time, effort and resources very easily – as well as helping your team work harmoniously and consistently. Justinmind is a great prototyping tool to try out when it comes to reusing content and styles. The comprehensive platform helps you save time as well as resources. Try it now!