Briefs Looks Like The Ultimate iOS App Prototyping Tool For Designers

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Briefs is a new Mac app that allows designers to create interactive mockups of iOS apps. Developed by MartianCraft, Briefs can build iPhone and iPad app mockups without a single line of code. It looks like the ultimate tool for prototyping app ideas to clients and developers.

Different elements of an app can be assembled on the desktop and sent to the Briefscase iOS client via a shared WiFi network. From there, the mockup can be used like a real app on an iOS device.

Briefs Looks Like The Ultimate iOS App Prototyping Tool For Designers

Different screens of an app are called scenes, and each scene has multiple graphical elements, or actors. The Briefs Mac app assembles scenes in a device timeline for the iPhone or iPad, and the prototype, or stage, is created. For a thorough look at how everything works, make sure to check out MacStories’ review.

It’s pretty cool that designers can take image concepts and turn them into a semi-working app without opening Xcode. The Briefscase iOS client is free, but the Mac app runs $200. This is geared towards professionals who will probably make the cost of Briefs back after one gig.

  • craigburdett

    As a designer I spend hours and hours and hours (and hours and hours…) wire-framing apps using OmniGraffle. And then hours notating the wire-frames for developers.

    Wire-frames are fine but a LOT of notes are required to explain touch-response and transitions. And clients can’t envision how the app will really work so wire-frames must be explained in person. It always felt like smoke and mirrors: “and this goes to this page” and “if you tap here…” Exhausting. Abso-freaking-lutely exhausting.

    I downloaded the Briefs demo yesterday, and after an hour trying it out this morning, spent $199 for a license.

    While it probably won’t remove the need to sit with a client for an app demo, at least I won’t feel like I’m about to pull a rabbit out of my hat at every presentation.

    And a fully-functional demo will save dozens of back-and-forth emails between me and the developer-of-the-day. I can’t imagine how relieved developers will be not to have to ferret out what my notes mean.

    This is the best $200 I’ve spent on software in a long time.

    Too bad Xcode isn’t designed for teamwork. It would be REALLY cool to do front-end work in Xcode and then pass it directly to the developer. Now THAT would be magical. Apple? Are you listening?

  • skalla

    Hi Guys,
    Honestly Phototapper solves the hard problem of feedback from the clients. Internally we ourself use this a lot to present our ideas to the clients. It sends them the web link to try our apps. Lets them feedback with markers on the browser! We immediately will get the notification when the client first looks at our web link or feedback on it.

    Try our sample Web link: http://goo.gl/APKZv

    You can see more about it here: http://www.bytters.com

    App Store Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phototapper/id662904215?mt=8

  • Keith Smith

    I have downloaded the trial a few months ago, and constantly submitting back major bugs. The product is very buggy, and if it was $50 or so, i would buy it, but not going to plop down $199 for such an unstable/buggy product. Example of a bug: Create an action on a “Grouped” item…

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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