Principle for Mac, in 2018

almost 5 years ago from , Junior Designer

I'm working on a wee side project during my free time, and I really want to prototype it out. I am the most familiar with Principle, but I worry its relevancy is starting to wither out, with all the new prototyping software (Studio, Framer X, etc...).

I was wondering, is Principle still heavily relied on for prototyping with other people at this point? I feel obligated to be using a newer program, and Principle seems to be falling behind, but I'm curious how other designers feel about this. Let me know!

Edit: Also, what's your go-to prototyping software??


  • Ktrn DsrsKtrn Dsrs, almost 5 years ago

    The fantastic thing with Principle, when you mix it with an other app like Sketch is that:

    1. You can concentrate your energy on design only on one side and prototype only on the other without "polluting" your main design file
    2. I tried most of them and Principle still a fast, easy and cost effective way to achieve prototypes
    3. Sketch + Principle : Lifetime Purchase _^

    But at the end…I suggest you to try every solutions that you will receive and make your own idea on what's makes you more comfortable to work with!

    17 points
  • Fredo Tan, almost 5 years ago

    Some others already mentioned it, but you could give ProtoPie a try. It's not about aimations, but instead, it is super interaction-focused. The good thing is it's not limited by Apple's ecosystem. macOS, Windows, iOS and Android.

    You have more control over what you are making than the others mentioned, while all is code-free.


    8 points
  • Gage WrightGage Wright, almost 5 years ago

    I use a mix of Principle, ProtoPie, and Flinto for animations and stuff that isn't just screen to screen flows. Haven't taken the time to learn Framer X yet and occasionally I use InVision Studio to make Dribbble shots. Principle is probably my favorite and most used software.

    7 points
    • Dexter W, almost 5 years ago

      I used to use Principle in the early days but Protopie really feels like how I use Framer Studio (not X) but much faster.

      3 points
  • Michael G., almost 5 years ago

    I've been learning Principle with a goal of using it with Sketch to prototype long-scrolling rich media content - text, audio, video, photos, animations, etc. Principle feels like the most viable in pulling off what I want to do, I just wish it's drawing tools and editing tools had more to them. I'm also finding it tricky to decide when to use drivers and when to use page-to-page transitions to animate things.

    I really want InVision Studio to work to accomplish the same things, because I'd be able to push all the prototypes to our full InVIsion account, get comments, have devs use the Inspect tool, etc. It just doesn't have the scroll capabilities like Principle. I hope it works because for less complex stuff, Studio will definitely hold it's own against other apps like XD.

    I gave Framer X a look but I don't have the time to get so deep into React and coding stuff to really do what I want.

    Then, based on a thread I posted earlier today, someone suggested Webflow, and I'm now pretty excited to do some tutorials on that. I'm a UX designer, and while I don't concentrate on code or visual design in my job, I'm capable of both, and Webflow seems like it could be very intuitive in combining all three of those things.

    One last thought on Studio. I think you can probably simulate lots of animations based on scrolling by using hidden layers that trigger animations on rollover of those hidden areas. It's been several months, but I recall finding a way to do that.

    4 points
  • Ramiro RuizRamiro Ruiz, almost 5 years ago

    I've been a big fan of Principle from some time now, is very fast and easy to make advance animations.

    This year I was thinking about switching from Sketch to Figma but Principle was holding me back but now with their integration, I have all I need.

    Figma can do a great basic prototyping solution (like InVision) and that's especially useful for presenting a long flow and keeping Principle for micro-interactions and complex animations.

    I do many Design Sprints over the year and by downloading the principle app and running the file on your phone it looks and feels so real, all testers think they're using the real thing. I haven't found another tool that convincing and fast.

    4 points
  • Bole ★, almost 5 years ago

    There is no need to feel that way – Principle, when used in combination with Figma, Sketch or Keynote, is still the best in the business.

    3 points
  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 5 years ago

    Use whatever works best for you. There are some tasks Principle works extremely well for. I’m using a combination of Principle and Processing. Most of my prototyping is for single interactions, not full apps.

    3 points
  • Antonio Carusone, almost 5 years ago

    What makes you think it's falling behind? None of these new tools compare to Principle imho. Principle is still the most powerful, and easiest to use prototyping tool. Most of these "new" features that Studio and Framer have been promoting, have been in Principle for years now. They're all playing catch-up. Just because something is new, doesn't make it better. And just because something is old, doesn't make it worse. I find that designers often follow trends too much, even when it comes to tools. Studio and Framer are the new shiny, hip things, so everyone is paying attention to them, but they're still not ready for primetime.

    That doesn't mean Principle is perfect, there are definitely things that needs to be improve, but Principle integrated with Sketch is a powerful solution. In the end, just use what you like and works for you. Forget the trends and the fancy marketing campaigns.

    2 points
  • Account deleted almost 5 years ago

    I find principle is perfect for showing things like basic interaction mockups. For example, at work the other day I had to show a section switching from 'user' to 'admin' mode when the colour of the main nav changed. Explaining it to people confused them, but it took me about only 5 minutes to code from the sketch designs in principle. For stuff like that it's perfect.

    However, I used it a few years ago when I first got it to do some super complicated crazy interactions and then went to hand them off the one of our devs, and there is no export features, which was really annoying.

    TL:DR - Its great for small things, bad for big things that need accurate handoffs. For anything bigger I'd use Axure.

    2 points
  • Josiah TullisJosiah Tullis, almost 5 years ago

    Despite its simplicity and lack of frequent feature updates Principle will probably be around for a while. The core functionality is incredibly stable and fills a fundamental gap in tooling without trying to be the one-stop solution for all things UI/UX. Daniel Hooper seems to have taken the "do one thing but do it well" approach which is quite refreshing.

    1 point
  • Marcell NovakMarcell Novak, almost 5 years ago

    I think, the biggest advantage of Principle is that you can make interactions within artboards. And also it is possible to make interactive UI elements which you can re-use anywhere. I think this is so much better way to build clean prototypes instead of making artboards for every single phase (like Invision Studio). At the end you have a messy design file with a lot of useless artboards. These tools I've tried can handle interactive design elements: Principle, Flinto, FramerX.

    1 point
  • Ben Haddock, almost 5 years ago

    I'd recommend Proto.io – it has timeline-based animation (very similar to After Effects where you can animate multiple properties on a single object), on-scroll animation, you can implement video, and preview everything in a web browser.

    I think Atomic.io can do most of those things too (except using video), but I haven't tried it out in a while.

    InVision Studio is good, as you can design and animate in the same tool, and its timeline animation is similar to Proto.io and After Effects. But you can't do on-scroll animation, which is why Proto edges it for me.

    1 point
  • Drew Palko, almost 5 years ago

    Atomic.io never really caught on, I feel like... but I've found it to be a comparable alternative to Principal, and for everything I've used it for I've been able to get away with the free plan. It allows for variables and form fields, complex interactions and components... I usually have specific tools to address the spectrum of complexity that I need to communicate in a specific project. Sometimes that's wireframes, some times it's simply high fidelity mockups, then low fidelity prototypes, more complex interactions, to high fidelity prototypes to fully functional prototypes that just aren't hooked up on the back end... following that same flow, my tools would be Invision Freehand, Sketch, Invision, Principal, Atomic, Webflow. Beyond that, I'm handing it off to development...

    1 point
  • Stephen Leung, almost 5 years ago

    Adobe XD - Auto Animate Feature (with the power of Artificial Intelligence called Adobe Sensei) - it works exactly like Principle and you stay inside one tool. Design. Prototype. Share.

    No need to switch to another tool just to make an interaction/animation.

    0 points
  • Pablo StanleyPablo Stanley, almost 5 years ago

    Hey, Aidan!

    I would invite you to try opening your Sketch file on InVision Studio too and then animate it there. It works similar to principle, where the layers, groups, or components that are called the same, get auto-linked and are animated between artboards. You can also use a timeline and change easing functions.

    Best thing is that at the end you can publish your prototype to InVision and send a link to other people. The prototype on the web retains all the layer animations and gestures you used.

    If you need help figuring out how to do anything, just send me a message ;)

    -3 points
    • , almost 5 years ago

      Pablo! Thanks for the response!

      I really want to get into Studio, I've used it a bunch before. But I think I agree with @Michael G's comment – I need better scrolling!

      That being said I'll have to revisit, thanks!

      0 points
  • Philip A, almost 5 years ago

    "Also, what's your go-to prototyping software??" html/css/js :)

    -7 points