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Collaborate, Communicate and Cultivate UX Patterns with Quince Pro

Designers used to write style guides in unwieldy documents or Wikis to ensure a consistent look, but such style guides soon went stale and obsolete. Enter Quince Pro™ by Infragistics, a private, secure and organized way to collaborate, communicate and cultivate private UX design libraries.

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Designers used to write style guides in unwieldy documents or Wikis to ensure a consistent look, but such style guides soon went stale and obsolete. Enter Quince Pro™ by Infragistics, a private, secure and organized way to collaborate, communicate and cultivate private UX design libraries.

It All Started With Quince

A year ago, Infragistics launched Quince™ as a free, community-driven UX design patterns browser to sweeten everyone’s user experience.  Patterns outline common problems, and provide design solutions to those problems that have been shown to work before.  The design patterns in Quince are user experience (UX) design patterns, these design patterns capture well-established best practices for extremely usable, user interface designs that have the “Wow!”-factor.

Based on the overwhelming demand of UI designers, interactive designers and UX professionals everywhere, Infragistics is now rolling out Quince Pro™ and offering you a 30-day free trial to this new service.

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Figure 1. Users of the Quince UX patterns browser have many ways to find the UX design patterns they need for their next implementation, including searching by the tags of related patterns (i.e., patterns tagged “Navigation”).

Quince allowed users to search for patterns or browse patterns in multiple ways.  By accessing these design patterns, and their associated examples, users of Quince gain ideas on how they can solve problems frequently encountered when designing a user interface.  Quince also fostered community, because if a user has a question about a particular design pattern, they can post a comment on that pattern or the examples of that pattern, and get feedback on how a pattern can be applied or improved from other community members.

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Figure 2. Users of the free community-driven Quince UX patterns browser exploring the many patterns submitted that have been tagged “Navigation.”

Collaborating on Private Design Libraries

Organizations often create style guides (also called design libraries) to help ensure usable, appealing, and consistent user experiences.  It’s common for these style guides to consist of examples of user experiences, and patterns that reduce to the simplest terms what the problem, rationale and solutions are to guide developers to implement user experiences like these in your project, department, and company.  Quince as a community-driven, free and entirely public UX patterns browser showed itself to be an ideal workspace in which designers could come together and communicate, collaborate and cultivate their UX design patterns with others.

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Figure 3. Quince Pro users have multiple, private libraries (appearing as customizable binders), and use the “My Corkboard” feature to prepare, organize or share examples between libraries.

If you are working for a Big 3 automaker, Big 4 accountancy, or another company in a highly competitive industry though:  How likely are you to share the proprietary designs and UX patterns specific to your industry that give your company a competitive edge with the designers from rival companies?  Not likely going to happen!

We heard you, and that is one of the reasons behind Quince Pro, it’s a secure, private workspace in which you can communicate, collaborate and cultivate your private design libraries securely with the members of your team and no one else.  Your team gets all the benefits of the Quince UX patterns browser, but these design libraries are for your eyes only—they cannot be read by anyone outside of your team.

Can you use the collaborative power of the Quince UX patterns browser to host your team’s style guide securely and privately?  If so, try Quince Pro for 30-days absolutely free.

Communicating with Team Members

Historically, when you wanted to ensure everyone on your team (perhaps including people in other, geographically-dispersed offices) had the latest and most up-to-date version of your style guide, you might have to print it, bind it, and ship parcels to the four corners of the globe.  With e-mail, you could save the trees and send enormous Microsoft Word or PDF documents as attachments, provided you edited them with everyone’s feedback.  Still, these documents grew obsolete, unwieldy, stale with alarming quickness.  With the turn of the century came wide adoption of intranets, extranets, and more recently collaborative spaces such as Wikis.  Now all you needed was an expensive rack of servers, network connectivity, and IT staff to administer your own Web site for your team to share the style guide back and forth.

Infragistics saw that there was a better way.  You shouldn’t have to be a wikimaster with a rack of servers just to communicate with all stakeholders from inception to implementation, from designers to developers to executives.  Quince Pro is a SaaS (Software As A Service) that’s completely hosted in the cloud, so you have no IT support costs, no backups to manage, no software to install (it is accessible from any device running Microsoft Silverlight 3)–Infragistics manages all of that for you.

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Figure 4. Quince Pro users exchange notes that are tied to this example in an ongoing, easily tracked design conversation, and can they can further annotate examples with attachments, related patterns and callouts.

Quince Pro lets you annotate examples and comment on patterns as the design conversation evolves, with all communications tied directly to your design collateral instead of disconnected in an isolated e-mail thread in your Inbox, or discombobulated in your memory of a water cooler discussion last week.  Developers joining your team months later can instantly come up to speed on why decisions were made, and what solutions worked best.  No more designs will be getting lost between the vision in your mind’s eye and the hands that must create it with Quince Pro.

Attachments of URLs and files let you bring any collateral you may have into your Quince Pro design libraries.  If you are designing a Web site then perhaps CSS stylesheets are needed, in Quince Pro you can attach them.  If you are migrating your style guide for a brand overhaul into Quince Pro and have legacy artwork, you can attach that, too.  Want to keep certain resources on-premises, but refer to them from Quince Pro, then you can even link to them with URLs onto your site.

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Figure 5.  Quince Pro lets you markup examples with its palette of drawing tools for creating callouts, highlights, sticky notes and more, each a potential starting point for further design conversations.

Drawing tools let you create callouts on examples, so you can identify any point or rectangular region within the screenshot for further discussion with other members of your team.  Highlight passages of text, draw boxes around important UI elements, even add sticky notes anywhere on the screen.  A virtual workspace window in the lower right corner means that you can zoom out, and have an essentially infinite amount of space on which to markup each example with notes and drawings.

When you need a hardcopy of your design library for a face-to-face presentation or handout, Quince Pro provides printing support and the ability to export into Adobe PDF format a richly-formatted document containing your design library’s examples and their related collateral.

Do you want to communicate securely and effectively to all members of your team, no matter where they may be, without your own IT staff?  Quince Pro is the solution for you, and you can try it free now for 30 days.

Cultivating Consistent User Experiences

Creating immersive user experiences is not a project with a finite beginning and an absolute end, instead your pattern library should grow and evolve as new ideas and technologies converge and emerge.

This isn’t possible when you’re publishing enormous, binder-encased style guides and air-mailing them to team members in other offices around the globe.

This isn’t possible updating and integrating changes to massive Word documents diseminated to team members by e-mail that can grow obsolete and stale.

This isn’t possible when you must spend all of your time administering staff, servers and budgets instead of the UX design guidance that you’re passionate about.

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Figure 6. It’s easy to start a 30-day free trial of Quince Pro that you can evaluate with up to 5 separate users on your team and 5 GB in total storage.

Quince Pro is available today as a free, 30-day trial so you can start creating your design libraries today.  In Quince simply select “Quince Pro Subscription Options” from the Help menu and click the “Try a 5 User Subscription” to start your 30-day free trial immediately.  At the end of your trial period, we’ll keep everything you’ve created safe for up to a year so you can sign-up for a Quince Pro subscription for your team, and everything you created during your trial period will still be there for you.

Infragistics offers Quince Pro as a one-year subscription based on team size (5 User, 30 User, and Enterprise team subscriptions are offered).  With Quince Pro, you and your team can be collaborating, communicating and cultivating consistent user experiences across your project, department and company faster and more easily than ever before.

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Copyright © 1996-2010 Infragistics, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Infragistics and the Infragistics logo are registered trademarks of Infragistics, Inc.  Quince and Quince Pro are trademarks of Infragistics, Inc.  All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owner(s).

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

J. Ambrose Little
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United States United States
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