The Tumult team has done some great work on the upcoming Hype Pro. If you are a designer who wants to move beyond static mockups and tools that limit you to canned animations, you’ll want to check it out.
It’s a hopeful time for design tools on the Mac.
- Adobe having killed Fireworks, I’ve moved over to Boheman Coding’s Sketch. The addition of symbols in v3 made it practical to use for larger projects. I still miss shared layers from Fireworks, but not the crashes.
- Affinity Designer has great performance, a customizable UI, and a good balance of vector and bitmap tools. It’s not geared toward mocking up numerous screen views, but it seems like a good option for individual illustrations and icons.
- Flying Meat’s Acorn is a great alternative to Photoshop if you need bitmap editing capabilities.
- Quasado’s Gravit provides a good deal of Fireworks’ functionality in an open source, web technologies-based package. It’s still very much a work in progress (no Boolean ops on vectors, no vector export, bugs, etc.), but it already surpasses Fireworks in some ways. The multiple master pages would have been great in Fireworks.
- Not having been released, I have not used it, but there is good reason to believe that Bjango’s Skala will be a quality visual design app.
- Relative Wave’s Form looks like a way to build iOS prototypes without all the complexity of Quartz Composer.
- Along similar lines, there is Facebook’s Origami.
- Tumult’s Hype is a good way to build interactive prototypes without coding. I’ve built fairly extensive prototypes using the combination of Sketch and Hype. Unlike Form and Origami, Hype’s output can run on anything with a decent browser.
Most designers for screens could be well served by some combination of the above. My workflow these days is mostly doing graphics and some layout in Sketch, then prototyping in the browser using jQuery with Velocity.js or Snap.svg for animation.