Framer Classic » Introduction » Why use Framer Classic?

Why use Framer Classic?

You probably already tried a few tools, but here’s a broad overview of the different kinds of prototyping tools:

Page-based prototyping

Most tools, especially the online ones (InVision, Marvel, etc.), are page-based: they let you transition between different screens. Page-based prototyping tools are great for figuring out the flow of an app or getting feedback on a design, but they fall short when you want more interactivity.

These tools are like Lego Duplo: They’re easy because of the big, chunky building blocks.

Layer-based prototyping

A step up are ‘layer-based’ tools. They let you animate the different elements or ‘layers’ you might have in a single screen. Most have a standard interface with buttons to press, values to set, and menus to select from. They are easy to learn, but limit you to standard interactions.

Think regular Lego: a more varied selection of blocks that let you build with more detail.

Programming, visual or with code

The most sophisticated tools don’t limit you to pre-baked, standard interactions. They get rid of the buttons and menus and give you just the building blocks. Less interface, more possibilities. But you’ll have to piece together your interactions (or copy/paste them from somewhere). You’ll have to program.

They’re like Lego Technic, or because you can now add logic and have your prototype make decisions, Lego Mindstorms.

Visual programming

Facebook’s Origami Studio offers a visual, ‘signal flow’ way of programming. You could compare it to how a telephone switchboard or the first synthesizers worked. You describe how things should work, like “make this fade out when that scrolls more than 100 pixels” by connecting different ‘patches’ that then will do the fading, scrolling, and deciding.

Code

The most effective and concise way of doing this ‘programming’ is what Framer uses: code. Code is versatile—every program, website, and app you use is built with it.

Here’s a concrete example of this versatility: On the day the iPhone 6s is released, George, a designer, picks one up, figures out how ‘3D Touch’ works in Safari, and posts his findings in the Framer group on Facebook. Then Jordan, another designer, turns it into a Framer module. Now everybody can add 3D Touch behavior to their Framer projects.

This whole experience really solidified my love for Framer. In a couple of hours, I was able to build a basic 3D Touch proof of concept, on the day this new technology launched to the world. Day one! I can’t stress that enough. I didn’t have to wait for Framer to ship an update unlocking this functionality.

George Kedenburg III

(By the way, ‘Force tap’ is now of course part of Framer. No module needed.)

You’ll love what writing a bit of CoffeeScript makes possible once you get the hang of it. You can truly ‘Prototype anything you can imagine.’

And yes, things might be difficult when tackling something out of the ordinary, but there’s support. Be sure to join the Framer group on Facebook, the people there will help you out.


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