Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro 2018

Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro 2018

This post will be a short review of doing UI design with the Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro 2018 (12.9 inch). This is a first impression post so I’ll probably make additional posts in the future when I learn about more functionalities.

What is Affinity Designer?

“Affinity Designer is a vector graphics editor developed by Serif for macOS, iOS, and Microsoft Windows. It is part of the “Affinity trinity” alongside Affinity Photo and the yet-to-be-released Affinity Publisher. Affinity Designer is available for purchase in the Mac App Store, iOS App Store, and the Microsoft Store.” – From Wikipedia

In short, Affinity Designers is a software similar to Illustrator that allows the user to create vector and pixel graphics. It’s available for both desktop and tablet.

Affinity Designer for iPad Pro

There aren’t many good softwares out there yet for designing with iPad Pro, especially not vector based ones. It’s not odd since it wasn’t long ago iPad + a pencil became a thing. There are some big ones like Procreate and Sketchbook which are more optimized for pixel graphics (drawings) than vector graphics (illustrations and UI design).

Affinity Designer is one of the biggest ones intended for tablet use and optimized for vector graphics which is why I choose it.

UI Design + Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer features some of the most important functions that’s needed to do proper UI design:

  • Create vector shapes
  • Edit in detail (corner radius, colors, borders etc)
  • Work in layers
  • Group elements
  • Make re-usable components
  • Easy grids and alignment systems
  • UI libraries for quicker mockups
  • Multiple Artboards in one document

These functions are already more than what most other applications offer. For me, it’s great for doing static UI design screens and explore with different design elements.

But, it’s not enough for me to completely stop using the computer and only design on the iPad Pro. The reason is simple: Not this one, nor any other app on App Store today enables UI designers to create any interactive components (which is so important in enjoyable designs!). I want to be able to prototype between screens and do simple animations!

Summary

This is a GREAT application for UI design on the iPad Pro featuring multiple artboards in one document, creating groups and components, working in layers, offers auto-snap and alignments and a UI library that you can add your own elements to.

I would even say that it’s the best one I’ve tried up to date. But it still lacks some basic functionalities like prototyping between screens and doing interaction design, which I would require before switching completely from the computer.

I hope you found this post helpful! Leave a comment to share any thoughts

I posted a video on my Instagram of me using the UI library. Click here to see it.

Instagram: @wendy.design
https://www.instagram.com/wendy.design/

Wendy Zhou - Design

UX/UI designer from Sweden. I write about design, tech, side projects, personal finance, and cyberpunk. Contact: wendyzhou.design@gmail.com

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