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over 5 years ago from Alex Hoffman, Product Designer
Interesting, I didn't know the pro ipads were that good. I still have no intention of spending close to a grand on an ipad just for this, but I will keep it in mind.
I would never spend that amount either. It was a work expense.
I noticed my weakest part of my skills are the early design phases and with that I decided I needed to change things. This lined up with the iPad finally having a decent OS. Pre iOS 11 iPads were a large phone, but the future is finally looking more pro oriented. With an iPad specific doc, better multitasking, decent copy/paste support and finally a f'ing file manager!
You could really tell in the last WWDC that Apple were sorry that they have been forgetting about the pro users.
Maybe it's better on the pro with all the accessories (which, if your company pays for, are great, but otherwise you'd have to be insane to spend £877 on the smallest iPad), but after trying iOS 11 on my iPad, I don't feel there's much there. Yes the dock is nice but does it bring any new functionality or save us that much time? Multitasking is more or less the same as it was in iOS10. Does the Files icon really do anything if you don't use exclusively Apple apps?
There are notable improvements, don't get me wrong, but it is definitely not worth the huge price hike.
Speaking of process though, I always found it easier to use pen and paper because writing is something we've been doing for thousands of years, whereas digital devices are less than a few decades old, so it feels way more natural and intuitive to sketch on paper. Do you not find it cumbersome? Again, you have the pro so I'm comparing using Adobe Comp with my finger vs sketching not using the Apple Pencil at a refresh rate so high it feels like real paper.
On this iPad I have about 10 installed apps (all productivity and design apps, no games or crap), in folders, all accessible from the dock. Nothing on the main springboard page. This means I can open any of my apps with a swipe up form anywhere. That plus a further view of all open apps with another swipe up - and the old 5 fingers to swipe to the old apps - makes multi tasking much more fluid.
The finder having an iCloud folder is the beauty for me. As any drawing I do can be saved to iCloud and become easily accessable from my laptops finder. The Adobe apps also have a push to your comp (that even opens closed apps) which is also snappy for handing off between design phases.
I got into design because I can use a computer and started from the pure aesthetics side. I'm not a fan of paper, which is why I upgraded to a whiteboard desk, but the added need to digitally process that - with photos or redrawing in sketch - was a bit of a bottle neck. I also make a lot of mistakes, which means I have to redraw stuff and waste a lot of paper. That is mitigated with a digital workspace.
I'm also excited to use this device whilst watching tv to doodle and learn to draw better. And I'm also playing around with building a custom typeface of my own hand writing in Adobe Illustrate. I have a typographic grid as an image layer and above that drawing in my handwriting as vectors.
This is definitely not a tool for everyone, but it is fitting into my workflow/life simply and increasing my time designing a lot.
I see. Well thanks for sharing your workflow. I'll keep the pro iPad in mind and watch it as it gets better over the years. For now, my iPad is more than perfect for what I use it - reading, browsing the web, games
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I wouldn't use an iPad without Pencil, also the new Pro has a higher refresh rate that makes the pencil feel a lot smoother. I used to have a mini with a dumb stylus, but it didn't cut it. It was all to cumbersome. And even cool apps from back then like 53 Paper are shit in comparison to Adobe draw.
I'm not using the iPad as a companion. I'm using it as my initial design tool. i.e. all my hifi designs are still in sketch on a laptop, but every other design job (planning, ideation, wireframes) I want to do on the iPad. A device that has nothing else apart from design tools. A device with no notifications and distractions that I get on my laptop.
As for typing... I try not to type as much as possible. At this stage in my process I only add about a couple of key words (the rest lorem or squiggles), so I don't mind my scruffy writing. Even if I was to use Comp to build a site , I would stick to lorem and then add real copy once it has been handed off to a laptop.
http://i.imgur.com/Q9MgaS3.png This is an lofi mockup I'm playing with right now to explain an idea to a PM. I keep the copy to a minimum to highlight the overarching structure of it. And words are used - like the colours - only to highlight key parts.
My old drawings on paper and on my desk were never as vibrant and useful as I'm able to make with Adobe Draw. And the fact that they are vectors is a bonus (no blurry lines like in 53 Paper).
I don't think I can do as much as I can on a computer no. But a layperson who only uses a browser could defo get away with it. I am however able to do things I can't do on a computer with ease. (I could get a wacom and learn that, but I don't like being tethered, and drawing 1:1 on the screen is much more natural).