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Short question:
The last 2 days, I tested various UI / UX / Prototype Tools like Figma, XD, InVision Studion and said UXPin.
I'm currently working with Sketch + Craft. What I realised is, that Sketch, Figma, XD and Studio (I call them top 4 players) have huge communities and media coverage. When you ask about UI/UX Tools, everybody only talks about those 4. Each of those has good and bad points. No clear leader there for me.
Then I tested UXPin for half a day and I have to say I don't see any disadvantage.
Do I miss something about this tool? Why isn't it as popular as the other 4?


Longer Version - Why this question:
I'm working with sketch for about 4 years in the company, always together with InVision for the presentation with the stakeholders. What I hugely dislike about Sketch is the Mac-only limitation. At home, I work on Windows, so no home office. My dev-coworker all use Linux and since I'm the only designer, nobody is able to edit designs when I'm no around. So I started to test out other tools for my UX/UI Workflow:
Figma is amazing since it works smoothly just in the browser, its really fast and can everything you really need in your daily business. But the presentation mode and also the dev hand-off isn't really that great, especially compared to InVision.
Adobe XD has done a lot over the past years and with it's Windows client, at least someone in the company is able to open it besides me. The prototyping tools are amazing, the presentation layer is superb and the plugins for it are great. Sadly, some basic design-stuff like vertical align text or multiple shadows on one element aren't possible.
Studio has also amazing prototype tools as well, high-fidelity animations without the need of an actual animation tool and overall I love all the InVision-Tools and it integrates itself perfectly in the company's lineup. Sadly, it's slow as hell, especially when the projects get bigger which most of mine get...

And then I tested UXPin... And it had everything. I had every tool to also create creative designs, I even could include videos. I'm able to work with variables for advanced prototyping which I only know in Axure. The presentation layer is amazing and for the dev's I even can add contextual documentation. I'm even able to pull react.js components to design them. I don't see any downside besides maybe that there are no artboards. But with such a great tool, I really don't understand why it hasn't more coverage. Am I missing something? It really could be, since I only tested it for half a day..


Why on this StackExchange Domain
I saw other question about tools, so that should be fine. And since UXPin can be compared to design tools like Sketch and so, it should be fine here...

  • Maybe it's just too new that it hasn't picked up yet? Maybe you have to test for longer than 1/2 day to start seeing disadvantages? I work mostly with Xd/Figma and I keep forgetting to test UXPin, there are too many similar tools fighting for my attention already... – Luciano Aug 29 '19 at 12:07
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I have used Sketch / Figma / Xd / Invision Studio and I suppose they're the top 4 because they've been around for a while. It looks to me that UXPin is a newer tool and as such it takes time for people to start using and write about it. (Although I've quickly googled and found a few reviews already)

I'm mostly using Figma and Xd nowadays so I'm writing from that point of view.

I don't know a lot of downsides since I barely started testing UXPin, but I'll add what I can see for now:

  • it's not free. Well, in Figma and Xd you can create unlimited projects from the start, UXPin uses a subscription model and in the free plan you're limited to 2 projects. I'm already not a fan of it. Even Sketch you can pay once and use it until it's not up to date anymore (personally I abandoned it in favor of Figma since they're very similar and Figma is cross-platform, and also free for now)
  • all the advanced features are locked in the paid plans. Wanna export your prototype? Sign up for the basic plan. Have the basic plan and want to add Conditional Logic to some elements? Fork up more money, it's on the next tier.
  • The GUI is buggy; I tested the browser version, and sometimes the input fields (for adding a state name for example) would pick up the auto-complete text from Chrome, filling up with a physical address before I could type anything. Other times, trying to select an element for adding an interaction would be very erratic: the object would only turn blue (selected) when I click on its border (which is a small target), while other times it would work normally when I hover the object anywhere. I never had such problems with the browser version of Figma.
  • I can create text styles and save colors, but it's a bit more complicated than in Figma.
  • It doesn't have the "Auto-animate" feature from Xd where it morphs elements between pages sort-of-nicely for presentation (while not perfect it works well within the limitations). Since this is a newer tool, it would be nice to have such feature.
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    Great points, especially the pricing. Looked it up and yes, for most of the great features you have to pay and the free version isn't special in anyway (which is ok, they need to make money somehow :) ). The tool itself is around for a very long time (twitter account since 2010) and I first saw it in 2015-something, but it wasn't that tool it is today. I couldn't redo the browser bugs. And in UXPin, you have to pick up a little different workflow than in most "classic" UI Tools. I'm going to test it for the remainder of the trial and come back to this post to update, accept & close it. – Michael Schmidt Aug 29 '19 at 13:18
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    @MichaelSchmidt now that I sat down to test it I see a lot of nice functions compared to the others, but the paid features kinda bum me out. I wouldn't mind much a one-time-payment but the way they setup the subscription kills me... – Luciano Aug 29 '19 at 13:27
  • For an individual yes, it wouldn't be the right choice. But with al the functionality they're having, I think they aim at bigger design-teams or companies. And then, the prices compared to Figma (my go to Tool for an individual) are reasonable. But I've to agree that the pricing model of sketch is by far the best imo. – Michael Schmidt Aug 29 '19 at 13:40
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Chris from UXPin here! First of all, this thread is awesome and I'm super happy that I've found it while it's still fresh :)

@Michael, Yes, we're kind of less popular than other tools on the market, and given what you can accomplish with our tool, we ask ourselves pretty much the same question ;)

There are some differences in our offering compared to the other design/prototyping tools, but to be honest: these are different means to a pretty similar end. Like for example, we're big fan of the state elements that can be kept in a single screen, in a single component, instead of being spread through dozens of artboards.

The big difference here though is that we're not pixel or vector-based tool – all components you use to design with are code-based and should mimic exactly what it would look like in the end product.

The funny thing is that you actually CAN auto animate elements when you're changing the state of that element. And that can happen both on a single screen and on page transitions :)

If you're looking for some real-life examples of prototypes created in UXPin, please give a look at our new gallery: https://showcase.uxpin.com All prototype recordings in there have been created in our app – and in few cases, you can even open the project's preview and play with it yourselves :)

If you have any questions about UXPin, I'd be happy to help you :) We can go with #AMA style and I'll be getting back here to answer any questions you have.

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    Hi Chris, one of the mods here. We'd be really happy to do an AMA with you. Its something our members have asked for in the past. If you have time come into this chat and we can figure out the best way to do it and timeframe: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/98082/ama-with-uxpin – Ryan Aug 30 '19 at 13:49
  • good to know about the auto-animation, I'll check uxpin again later – Luciano Sep 4 '19 at 14:02
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Have been a big fan of UXPin over the years but not using for all projects now and here are the reasons why - ie the downsides of UXPin.

  1. Unhelpful pricing / team plans. Unless you buy Enterprise plan (unknown / expensive price) you cannot add team members but limit them to only seeing certain projects. This is ridiculous as a freelancer or small agency is not an Enterprise and should be able to do this on the Advanced plan which is already over US$250 per year. You can on,y add new users as Managers ie with access to everything, and the full price. I can’t just add a freelance writer for example who wants to only edit copy on a prototype for less than the full price, and they can see all the other projects in there which often means I can’t add anyone else at all.

  2. You cannot import / export design systems. This is a major problem, as I can do a whole lot of work building a design system that I want to reuse in the account in a different company, and I can’t. I have tried getting projects copied to another account (involves much manual conversation with UXPin support) and then the copies are often quite broken and things missing.

  3. Mobile prototypes do not scale like InVision to be centred and fit the device screen - this is such a simple thing but such a major, you have to make multiple responsive versions in UXPin which is a ni e feature in theory but in practice is too much work to maintain.

  4. There is no way of creating blown out wireflows of a prototype - ie flat user flows of screens forming certain user journeys from the prototype. Now neither InVision or Figma do this currently either (which is super dumb as everyone needs this and all the information about how screens link together is already in a prototype and could be displayed as wireflows fairly easily and they’d always be up to date without duplication of effort required. At least with Sketch Overflow plugin I can push screens to wireflows in Overflow reasonably easily although that is still super annoying to have to maintain.

  5. You cannot easily export single screens from UXPin without downloading the whole lot as a zip file or PDF - super annoying. You can’t get your prototype out of UXPin really at all, if you start a new job / freelance gig with a different company, you have to start again every time.

  6. The pre-loaded design systems in UXPin have very little interactivity and are old-fashioned in their design - ugly tiny drop downs and form controls for example, have to rework them every time. Figma allows for people to build design systems and import / export.

So UXPin can be great if everyone in a stable team is using And you can build up assets and workflow over time but not good for freelancers / contractors.

Pros The conditional logic and data imports are super cool and useful and that is what UXPin is focusing on - realistic working prototypes but to be honest I find I just never really get that far- no time, and the other issues get in the way before I get that far anyway.

Being able to import Sketch files and have several people working on a prototype ie changing copy without having to go back to a someone else’s design file is good, collaboration and version control is much easier than the Sketch / InVision combo, Figma aims to solve the same problem and is less sophisticated than UXPin but allows plugins and design systems in and out.

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I'm a big fan of UXPin and pro advocate of it. Everyone at their HQ probably knows me as it's co-founder Kamil told me! I really feel sad when other stereotypical tools get more attention than the powerful one like UXPin. Here is my personal analysis of why it's not as famous as it should be:

  • Poor pricing plans(Practically a no "Free stuff")

As a business, it might be good but it's the budding designers who give popularity to any tool and probably force their bosses to use one!

  • Lack of communities and thus, the excitement!

Incredible communities and events were one of the main reason why Notion got so much success! Same applies for Figma, InVision, AdobeXD, etc.

  • A huge NO to third party developers AKA Plug-in ecosystem!

We all know the huge success of Wordpress was their "Plug-in" ecosystem. Same theory applies to the design tools! Read this.

Apart from these, there are several other things that can make this tool a big thing in upcoming years like launching the separate tool for "Design Systems"(Reference: InVision DSM), Prototype embed, Offline support and opening doors for XD and Figma files just like Sketch!

They recently got acquired and now, we all have to see in what direction the new management proceeds!

P.S: Check out one of my very advanced fully interactive prototypes here if you want.

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