Just when you thought the mobile app world couldn’t get any more crowded and competitive, along comes Marvel.
The UK startup has come up with a new iPhone app that can turn the average person into a web or mobile-app designer, regardless of design and technical skill. With no coding required, users can easily turn their concept into an interactive prototype, and share it with friends, clients, coworkers, or through social media.
To the seasoned app designer, this might seem like amateur hour. But here are 4 reasons why this has the potential to gain momentum and completely alter the software design (and therefore testing) world.
1. It’s extremely easy.
Draw your screen ideas on a piece of paper, take pictures of the wireframes and use the Marvel app to apply “touch” hotspots to the image. Apply links to screens in order indicate how you would like to app to be navigated and boom – you have a touchable, interactive prototype.
“In the past, if you wanted to see your app or web designs and ideas in anything more engaging than PDFs and PowerPoints, you needed to have the skills and the time to code it into an interactive prototype,” explains Marvel co-founder Murat Mutlu. Now, all you need is this app on your smartphone.
2. It turns the average person into a designer, and reaches a wide audience.
Remember when Instagram turned the average person into a photographer? Users could process high quality photos without needing an expensive camera or experience. People who had never edited a picture before were suddenly part of the craze.
Similarly, Marvel hopes to inspire individuals to “pick up and play” with the app and attract non-designers to give it a try.
Co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, attributes the success of Instagram to its ability to appeal to a wide audience of individuals and companies alike.
“Instagram is not a market for selling [photography] but I’ve seen an amazing amount of people using their account to promote their business. That’s been inspiring to me.”
Marvel also offers just that. It allows companies to design, review, and test prototypes without writing a single line of code, saving time and money.
3. Shareable and useful for feedback.
Connect to DropBox and start your first project. Once you’re finished, share it using a URL with your clients, teams, or even friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, or text. Since the prototype can be navigated as if it is an actual app, it is great for user feedback.
Marvel currently offers a free service but plans on offering a Premium model that offers other service integrations like team collaboration.
4. Maintain your originality.
Get a leg up on a new wave of mobile app designers with your Photoshop skills. Rather that offering cookie-cutter models that could potentially make every web and mobile app look the same, open your screen images up in Photoshop, make design changes, and share the PSD file to DropBox.
Marvel is not the only company which offers this type of prototyping service. Apps like InVision, which are also supported by DropBox, also have significant funding and headway as well. So although it’s hard to say what company will come out on top, it’s safe to say that app design world is about to become more dynamic and competitive, and the software testing world will have a lot more work to do.
As a tester, what do you think about the “average” person suddenly becoming a mobile app designer? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.