Ingenious Pop App Lets You Design Apps On Paper [Review]

Ingenious Pop App Lets You Design Apps On Paper [Review]

Leander Kahney’s plans for world domination grow ever more ambitious

Ever had an idea for an app, but no way to record it? Worry no more: Pop is an ingenious free app for prototyping apps. You don’t need to know any code. All you need is a pencil and paper and an idea.

The process is really, really simple: sketch out your page ideas, complete with the buttons, widgets and controls you have in mind.

Next, take photos of your sketches with Pop. Then add hotspots and links.

A hotspot is any part of the drawing you like, but it’s most likely to be a button of some kind. In the silly example I did for these screenshots, I’ve turned the “Cheese” and “Back” buttons into hotspots.

Once you’ve defined the spot, you then define what it links to: another screenshot. In this way, you can knock up a mock up of your app in next to no time.

It doesn’t matter how you make your sketches. You can draw on a scrap of paper of the classic back of a napkin. You could draw on a whiteboard like I did. If you really hate paper, or simply never have any with you, you can always use a sketching app to do your sketches, save screenshots of them to the Camera Roll, and import those into Pop.

Ingenious Pop App Lets You Design Apps On Paper [Review]

Cheese, chocolate, bacon, other. What other snacks do you need?

My example is very simple, just pages of stuff that link to other pages of stuff. You could make it represent more advanced apps too. The only limit is your imagination and ability to draw. If you’d like to do the sketches of something that opens up internal maps, or accesses the Camera Roll, or does a gazillion other things, you can include them to as long as you can draw them.

Pop asks you to register before you start, and you can do this either with your Facebook account or a plain old email address. Registered users get to share their mockups with the world over the web – your app appears just as you drew it, with all the hotspots and links intact. Here’s Cult of Snack in all its glory.

Pop is deliberately lo-fi and low key, and I like it that way. It’s not packed with extra features because it doesn’t need to be. Your rough sketches are never going to be much more than that: rough. It simply helps you turn these very basic ideas into something tangible, something clickable that you can share with others. What a great idea.

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About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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