Changing the way we design with evolving software

We Are SMILE Mockup

Over the years, the design team at SMILE have used multiple design programmes in a bid to deliver the highest quality output for our clients.

When I began at SMILE in 2017, we briefly used Figma for design work but swiftly moved on to Sketch! This served us well for many years when there were two designers who could split the workload down the middle and didn’t really need to edit one another’s work. Sketch has great plugins that can add extra functionality to create a bespoke experience suited to your teams’ needs.

As our workload expanded and the design team grew, we tested features and plugins like Sketch Cloud that create a ‘single source of truth’, with Sketch files accessible to all members of the team. At the time, we found some issues with the way this worked for our team and decided it wasn’t really the best fit. We had been looking at other systems in the background, exploring our need for higher-fidelity prototyping, but this acted as a push for us to find a new platform to carry out our design work.

Along came UXPin. We’ve praised UXPin previously and like how the platform works overall. It came along at the right time. UXPin allows us to work on a cloud-based system where all our work is stored online. This makes it easier to collaborate across the design team and also means all of us have access to work at all times.

UXPin has improved our ability to display design work in an easy-to-understand format, whether we are passing designs to the SMILE development team or presenting work to our clients. It allows us to add small details like, for example, a sticky menu. This wouldn’t have been possible before but is great for UX and is more obvious for those in our team who build the final outcome.

It has also propelled the way we visualise designs so that we can be more clear with the details of what we, as a design team, are after. Gone are the days of flat design: prototyping is the way forward!

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Elliott Barnicle
Lead Designer