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Patrick Rushton
Posted Mar 28 - Read on Facebook

Hi, I'm new to Framer but have been prototyping for a while using other tools (cough - axure - cough). If I look at the examples on the Framer website, they seem to be entirely focussed on microinteractions and specific transitions and gestures. Is anyone using Framer to prototype full products? i.e. mapping out extensive functionality so that the prototype can replace a spec?

11 Comments

Ian McClure

Yeah, I don't see why you can't.
I more of less brake my projects down by ViewController (sorry, for the iOS terminology). As to say, If I am prototyping an app that is using the tabs, I'll have one framer project for each tab.
Now, that I think about it, you might be able to do with modules instead of separate projects.

Chris Camargo

The way I see it with tools such as Axure, Flinto, InVision and others -- I'm essentially limited to the tool set they give me. With Framer, it may not do *everything* you can accomplish with native code, but after working with it for a while, I found that the only limit that mattered was my own ability. I went from producing simple, small, one-off interactions like you're describing, to producing multi-screen flows that utilize dynamic data, and will be testable with real users in a real-life setting. The inclusion of mix-ins like Modules only makes the tool more powerful. And as that pool of available code grows (along with our community), it should allow us to create bigger, better prototypes, in shorter periods of time. In short, you're just scratching the surface here, my friend. :)

Patrick Rushton

Thanks Chris Camargo. I couldn't agree more about the limitations of the other tools mentioned. This is what I'm running up against and hoping Framer will open some doors, especially in terms of motion design. However I've yet to find an example that's more extensive than a couple of clicks. Anyway, it's reassuring to hear you're having some success with multi-screen projects. Would be great to see your work, though of course I understand if you're not able to share.

Chris Camargo

'tis the nature of my employer. Maybe once we release some of it. :)

Josef Richter

I am now putting together quite a complex prototype, because we need it for user testing. There's actually nothing that would limit you from creating a fully functional app in Framer, although not suitable (optimized) for production use. The thing is you need to create almost all functionality manually for now, including the very basic interactions. But I'm pretty sure new Modules will start pouring in and the situation will be very different in a few weeks/months.

Chad Lonberger

We use framer for full end-to-end prototyping of (often hyper complex) new products. Primarily for user testing, country/stakeholder/customer review, and to get legal approval before doing anything (we're in a tightly regulated space with strict FDA compliance). Prior to modules being available we would subclass Layer to build different components. Was not easy but we've built a lot to make it manageable (dispatch system to manage component subscription, a router to marshal state change, immutable data stores, etc). Modules are definitely making things much easier/cleaner. If you have specific questions feel free to ask.

Josef Richter

Chad would you be able to anonymize and share some prototypes, so that we can take out some features and turn them into modules? to avoid reinventing the wheel..

Patrick Rushton

Thanks Chad. That gives me some hope. I'll persevere with the tutorials then. Modules look very promising indeed and are partly the reason for my renewed interest in Framer.

David Lee

Is there something equivalent to Axure's repeater on Framer? Axure's repeater so far is the most powerful feature I have seen for prototyping. I agree that Axure is very limited when it comes to on-page micro interaction.

Chris Camargo

David, Framer doesn't really have components with pre-built logic to speak of. But, after reviewing Axure's repeater, it would be trivial to write that functionality into a Framer prototype once you have the hang of things. http://coffeescript.org/#loops

Ash Adamson

Chad, would also love to see a anonymized prototype!

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