I am an Android developer and enthusiast with over 10 years of Java development experience. I'm big fan of good design an appreciate well though usability design in applications. Juhani is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 111 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Best Design Tools for Android

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Which are the best tools for designing for Android? I have my favorites but I'd really love to hear about tools you use and your experiences with them. Please leave a comment!

To kick of the conversation I'll present my favorite design tools. Both of these tools are for drawing wireframes. I don't do visual design at all.


Price per license $99.99
Only available for Mac
Android stencils available for free at: http://graffletopia.com/categories/android

OmniGraffle is my editor of choice for drawing wireframes. Usability of the tool is on class of it's own. The app feels like it is reading your mind when moving components around. The editors guides and helps you by snapping components to their right places almost automatically.

There are Android stencils available for OmniGraffle but they aren't really needed. I personally don't use them and build components using OmniGraffle's shape tools. For icons I simply copy Android icons from Android platform SDK (android-sdks/platforms/android-15/data/res/drawable-xhdpi).


Price per license $99
Eclipse plugin available for all platforms that run Eclipse
Android stencils available for free at: http://wireframesketcher.com/mockups/index.html

WireframeSketcher is another tool that I've used in past and still use sometimes. It is an Eclipse plugin so it fits perfectly to any Android developer's desktop. It also has Android stencils that can be used to build more Android looking wireframes but as with OmniGraffle I personally don't use them. WireframeSketcher has a broad list of ready components and icons which is all that is needed.
Here's something I did just few weeks ago with the WireframeSketcher for work (sorry for the bad focus. I purposefully chose that one as I don't want to fully expose our upcoming design ideas yet). It took about two hours to draw all screens needed for a simple user testing for a mid-sized app. The tool is very efficient for this kind of tasks. For final design I still used OmniGraffle though.

Source: http://www.androiduipatterns.com/2012/01/best-design-tools-for-android.html
Published at DZone with permission of Juhani Lehtimaki, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Afandi Merathi replied on Fri, 2012/03/16 - 11:53am

I've actually been using the Eclipse Graphical Layout Editor for doing mockups (i.e. the one you use to make the actual layouts). It allows me to see how things scale, use imports, themes, styles, and all the other tools I'm used to having available when doing the actual development. I obviously take some shortcuts and workarounds since the rendering is the priority, not the behavior on the device. I then just take screen-captures and composite them with Cacoo.

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