How Good is Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro for UX/UI Design? A Review
Affinity Designer on iPad Pro for UX/UI design

How Good is Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro for UX/UI Design? A Review

This is a review of the “Affinity Designer “on the iPad Pro for UX/UI design. What features does this software have and can it replace desktop software?

Last updated: Dec, 2020

What is Affinity Designer?

Official Affinity Designer website

“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.”

Wikipedia

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

Software Available on the iPad Pro for UX/UI Design

There aren’t many good options today for UX/UI design on the iPad Pro. Especially not vector-based programs. It’s not that weird since it wasn’t long ago that iPad + a pencil became a thing.

Affinity Designer is one of the most famous and adapted software for UI design on tablets, alongside Adobe Comp CC. There are some other big ones out there such as Procreate and Sketchbook, but they are more optimized for pixel graphics (drawings) than vector graphics (illustrations and UI design).

What UI Design Features are there in Affinity Designer?

Affinity Designer for iPad tutorials
From Affinity’s official video demo

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

  • Creating 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, the program works and is enough for creating single-screen UI mockups.

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 the App Store today, allows UI designers to create any interactive components (which is such an important step in the UI design process).

I can’t do a proper user flow or system design if I can’t prototype between screens and create even the most simple animations!

Summary

Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro for UX/UI Design - Review
UI mockup made on iPad Pro

This is a pretty okay application for UI design on the iPad Pro.

It allows you to create multiple artboards in one document, group elements and creates components. You can also work in layers and the software does feature auto-snap and alignments. It also allows for a custom UI library of components. I would even say that it’s the best program I’ve tried so far on my iPad.

However, it still lacks multiple basic features such as prototyping between screens and doing interaction design. I could never switch completely from a laptop to my iPad without having at least those features.


I hope you found this review of the Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro for UX/UI design helpful. Leave a comment if you have any questions.

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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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