Index Studio comprises a small, yet talented team of designers and developers with a penchant to deliver and develop well thought out solutions to client ideas/briefs. They offer UX/UI Design and Strategy, Graphic Design and Branding services. We sat down with their designer Swathi Kirthyvasan to find out how their team’s workflow changed since they plugged in Avocode.
Hey Swathi, can you describe us a bit how does your workflow look like?
Hi and thanks for having me! Well, our typical project flow goes something on these lines; initial client meetings where we understand the brief/idea/product, followed by a quick Q & A from us for a much better understanding of the idea. We then sit down and frame the requirements as per our understanding and share it with the clients.
Once we have the a GO signal, we begin our brainstorming session where we discuss ideas and solutions and ways we can solve the brief. Paper sketches, intense debates, and whiteboard drawings are how we go about it. We then prepare wireframes and make the story of how the user will go about using the idea/product.
In some cases, we do work on clickable prototypes (as per client demands) or jump straight into design and then work on showing the clients how the app works. We design the visuals as well as come up with interactions throughout the whole product. We send over the final designs to the developers, by using Avocode or in some rare cases, explain the design face to face.
What were the biggest problems you were facing before you started using Avocode?
Before we began using Avocode, we spent days explaining each and every design to the developers along with writing a lengthy specifications documentation.
We had to rework our graphics/visual assets as when the developers demanded it, which became an absolute nightmare.
Minor changes to the design resulted in explaining the changes to the developers; which affected the flow of development which in turn affected the final output which never came up to the mark.
Iterations became a pain as every change became another round of explanations to the developers. Clients were sometimes out of sync with how things were progressing, what was happening and the time delays that came out of the situation.
How does your workflow look nowadays?
Avocode came as a huge blessing to us. The tool saved us plenty of time when it came to explaining the design to the developers. In the middle of a deadline-oriented project, where things had to be sped up, we dropped all our designs to Avocode and shared the files with the developers and clients.
The developers easily able to obtain the code that they need; be it for Web, iOS, and Android. The project also went through multiple iterations; we had to change the designs for multiple screens. Avocode made it super easy for us; we just added a new version, shared it with the developers, and they worked it out that it was new design version.
“No explanation, nothing at all.”
All the visual assets, positions, alignments were precise and the same reflected in the developed application. The client was also able to track the project, changes and dropped comments whenever it was needed. From design to a developed project, it was a breeze because we saved on plenty of time; time which we used for refining and working on other changes for the project.
How did your toolkit change over time?
Before Avocode came into our lives it looked somewhat like this: brainstorming and sketching with paper and pen, building wireframes, flows and storyboards using Moqups, Photoshop or Sketch for designing, prototyping using InVision and handing over the source files to the developers for development. And then sit on calls /in person explaining things to them.
We also tried using Zeplin, but it kind of didn’t work well with our clients and developers; we got reports that they were unable to extract the visual elements of the design and that the UI was not as straightforward as Avocode. Our developers got used to Avocode pretty easily after one exploration and it was an absolute breeze after that.
Nowadays, our process remains the same, with the addition of Avocode which effortlessly fits into. After the final prototyping step when the client is happy how the app works and how the app looks like, we drop the files into Avocode, inform our developers and they take over from there. We have also integrated Avocode with our Slack channel, and any updates, discussions, and queries are answered right there. Avocode has made ours, our clients and developers work super easy and reliable.
How are different people and stakeholders at your company using Avocode?
As a team, we use Avocode to drop the final design files for developers to use. We even share these files with our clients who use the tool to track how the project is going, the changes that happen and also comment, discuss and solve any changes. Our developers use Avocode to download code, export the visual assets to help them quickly get done with development and have an application ready in no time.
What’s the biggest value that Avocode brings to your team?
Time. We saved quite a lot of time. What used to take hours or even days to explain to developers to code, to write down specifications and creating visual assets; now takes us lesser or absolutely no time at all. In just a day we could pass on the files, make design changes and still get the job done quickly. The faster this happened, the quicker we delivered the project which resulted in happy clients.
Would you recommend Avocode to others?
I would definitely recommend it to everyone. It’s been such a timesaver when it came to handing over design files for development. It’s user-friendly interface, easy import and export of files and assets and the ability to change and update the designs without affecting the flow of work are its major plus points.
The tool has fit right into our process effortlessly and we sure will continue using the tool for every project that comes our way. And we sure are looking forward to the new and future updates to the tool!