(This is a post I previously composed and posted on LinkedIn)
It’s been a great pleasure catching up on new software tools for prototyping, creating 2D and 3D games and graphics. The software sites that I’ve tutored myself with have excellent learning sections with HD narrated videos explaining the user interface and tutorials with step by step projects.
- Unity – this 3D software is free (at the basic level) and deep with many features. It is popular among VR, AR and 3D game developers. If I were a competing 3D software company, I’d be changing into my brown pants. Their site has excellent step-by-step how to tutorials and a vibrant community.
- Shaping up with Angular.js – Code School takes web based instructional media to a higher level than most, complete with coding tasks with hints and scoring. The videos are fun, and just about the right length for me. I’ve found other product intro videos that go well over 10 minutes to be far more than “intro” and often never complete them.
- Axure – The first six intro videos are short and introduce one concept at a time. The effect places the user at ease that this software will be simple to learn. There are more in depth videos and web-based tutorials that include UI assets making it easy to follow along.
- Sketch – This inexpensive vector drawing tool is so intuitive and easy to use, I didn’t need any video tutorials! When you start up the app, the splash screen has links to helpful content.
- proto.io – an application prototyping platform, especially useful for mobile app prototyping. The free trial period provides access to their web-based prototype authoring environment, with videos from beginner to advanced levels. There is a spaces.proto.io gallery area where users share projects, so you can open them and see exactly how they were done.
- inVision – Web-based prototyping tool, similar to proto.io, and seems to be easier to learn. Maybe there are less features than proto.io, I just have not explored it as deeply. It has a simple commenting mode for sharing prototypes amongst design teams for gathering reviews and feedback.
Of course, there are also many helpful software tutorials on YouTube and Vimeo. The only thing they cannot teach you is how to prioritize your time and attention with all these awesome new tools.