Following its initial launch last month, InVision has announced that its brand new digital design and UX app will be free for all users.
The announcement was made during a software demo in San Francisco last night.
Although the InVision Studio software is free, it is of course designed to be used with the company’s website and application prototyping platform. $99 (£75) per month for teams of up to 5 people (larger “enterprise” subscriptions are also available).
Studio is directly opposed to Adobe XD, which has evolved from a digital design tool to tools for prototyping and customer feedback, seeing Adobe enter territory occupied by InVision. Now InVision is pushing back by launching a desktop design app called Studio which is a rival to XD, Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch or any other tool you use to design apps, sites and other digital products.
Studio is available for Mac and Windows and includes both design and prototyping features. You can design elements and layouts, and add interactivity and animation using quick and easy tools.
You can work on layouts for one screen size or type, and see that design automatically adapted for other devices and orientations. Resource libraries can be shared across teams, and updated assets can be deployed to designs. And designs can be quickly uploaded to the InVision platform to be shared with others in an organization (or customers).
You can see InVision Studio in action in the video below.
InVision says Studio is designed to be as easy as possible for users of tools from Photoshop to Sketch to pick up and start using. Still, why would you take the time to switch from tools you already know intimately to something brand new?
InVision CEO Clark Valberg says the great thing about Studio is that it works seamlessly with the rest of InVision.
“We started as a collaborative cloud-based extension for Photoshop,” he says, “because Photoshop was all we had. We were an add-on to those desktop design tools, but the missing piece for the client was that these tools are still very focused on aesthetic-oriented graphic design. The art of digital product design has many other dimensions: interactivity, animation, the fabric that unites the team of design, that’s where Studio comes in.
InVision sees integration with its broader platform as a big differentiator between its platform and Adobe XD. Clark says XD has relatively basic collaboration tools compared to InVision, which the latter sees as making its platform more suitable for large organizations such as its customers, including Airbnb, Amazon, Nike and Uber.
“Adobe is super good at building desktop tools for individual participants in a creative process,” Clark says. “InVision is an evolution of that, thinking about how these people work together.”
InVision is also trying to beat Adobe on price, at least for current InVision customers. Although the company has yet to announce Studio’s pricing, Clark says it will be “incredibly competitively priced.”
Clark says InVision developed Studio as an app rather than a browser-based design tool like UXPin, because users get greater precision from a desktop tool — and to help designers focus on the creative process.
“It is very difficult for designers to orient themselves in one tab among a hundred others,” he notes. “Furthermore, even with modern web technologies, there is still a fidelity issue and a performance gap.”
Studio is currently in closed beta – which you can sign up for – but is expected to be available in January 2018.