Using Collections to Organize & Share Your UX Prototypes

Viewing Collections

Long text documents and prototypes often suffer from a common problem — the more you add to it, the more unwieldy it becomes. For documents, you can break it up into smaller pieces or separate documents, which you can then easily combine when it’s time to print or share. This way, when you are making changes to one document, you don’t need to worry about the rest. If you have written long documents using MS-Word, you know what I mean ;).

Similarly, when prototyping an app experience, it’s better to have focused prototypes, where each prototype is targeting a specific user-story or limited set of related user stories. This approach has several advantages, not limited to the following:

  • Easier to maintain, as making changes to one prototype does not affect others
  • Makes it easier to conduct usability tests where you have a prototype scoped for a user task/story.
  • Easier to link it to your sprint related work items

Prototyping user flows

Assuming that you use a similar approach to prototyping, a collection on indigodesigned.com offers a way to group a set of related prototypes. You decide how they are related.

What are Collections?

If you are thinking of collections as folders for your shares on indigodesigned.com, you are pretty close. It’s like folders, but with the following tweaks:

  • You can reorder the items/shares in a collection
  • You can grab a single link to the entire collection, which you can then send someone
  • Deleting a collection does not affect the contained shares
  • You can password-protect a collection, and bypass passwords on individual shares.

Given these capabilities, collections are more similar to a private playlist of songs than folders on your computer.

To create a collection, select a set of prototypes you have shared on indigodesigned.com, and use the add to collection action to create a new collection or add to an existing one.

Adding to a new collection

Once you are viewing a collection, you can re-order the items if that’s important to you. For instance, you can order based on development priority or even sequence the prototypes to communicate the larger story-of-use.

Reordering items in a collection

Using Collections vs. Tags

You may have noticed that indigodesigned.com also has support for tags. So yes, you can use a tag to group related items. However, we see tags as aiding organization in an organic manner, which builds up over time. And this is its greatest strength. As in, you don't need to worry about the other shares in past when adding tags to a new one.

Tags are also good at capturing the nuance in your prototypes where they serve as keywords to describe what’s inside a share. Moreover, tags are great at viewing a cross-section of your all your shares, and aids exploration. For example, you can add a tag called “transitions”. Using this tag you can pull up any share that deals with transitions. Tags start to get more interesting when sharing designs on the indigodesigned.com community, where others are using similar tags.

Collections are a more deliberate organization to serve a focused purpose (e.g., Sprint related prototypes). The purpose is defined by the creator of the collection. You control the order in which the shares are listed when someone views your collection. As mentioned earlier, you can share a link for a collection. When someone views this link, they arrive on a landing page that lists the items in the collection along with their descriptions.

Landing page for a collection

How to start using Collections?

Sign into indigodesigned.com, and start creating your collections by selecting a bunch of shares and adding them to a new collection. Currently collections are private, and you will need to share a link to the collection for someone else to view it.

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