Source: unDraw Illustrations

Another day, another prototype failure. It’s not uncommon for bugs to run around and mess things up, and equally common for prototype tool functionality to break and cause your user test or demo to go pretty poorly. Such is the story of my life 😕

Source: Sketch Team

Recently Sketch rolled out version 52 of their beloved application, which is loaded with some pretty neat things and some overdue design love. Similarly, ’s handy dandy Craft plugin received a compatibility update around the same time. Since I can’t resist shiny things, I downloaded both. Before leaving for the day, I updated one of my screens on since some people in the organization rely on it as the source of truth for design and progress.

Actual footage of new Sketch and InVision deployments

And that’s when everything went wrong. The next day, I received a message asking what I did to cause some screens to stop working in the prototype. A little confused, but generally not worried since it’s just a prototype and no user tests were planned. Shortly after, I began to see messages with a tone of hysteria claiming that people were frazzled and upset because the prototype failed during an executive review. Oh.

I never really felt blamed (ok, maybe a little), but over the last few days I’ve sat in my time out corner and had a long hard thinking and I’ve only found myself asking the same question over and over; why are we still using InVision (or )—a tool designed for user testing—for ? In 2018 prototyping tools aren’t all that great, which has led us to some very real design tool fatigue since each one has a couple of features that others lack and claims superiority (yet none have figured out how to make a super tool).

Source: unDraw Illustrations


The past is the past and we’ve all learned our lesson (actually history is scheduled to repeat itself soon or later). For any designer or organization looking for better ways of presenting their beautiful designs to executives or stakeholders, let me offer a few alternatives.


That’s right. Whip out ol’ trusty—Powerpoint, Google Slides, Keynote— you choose. Throw some beautiful mockups in a few slides to and show of your design from some neat perspectives.

I highly recommend Angle 2 for presenting mockups

User Flows

Odds are, your team is killin’ it when it comes to documenting your application’s user flows 😬. Ok, probably not actually, but that’s another article for another day. Thankfully there are neat tools like Overflow that help you create diagrams of your user’s journey in a neat, presentable way. I prefer the manual labor of creating non-interactive flows in Sketch or Keynote and exporting it as a PDF so others can print it out, annotate, or easily share the latest with whoever in the organization.

Demo of Overflow

A Working Model

Yes, I know your app isn’t ready, but hear me out. As a designer it’s incredibly important to understand the business value of the product you’re building and to be regularly engaging the product owner and stakeholders. Showing the polished design mockups shows that you understand the value of what you’re building and that you’ve come up with an effective, creative solution to meet the needs of the business and the customer. But it would also serve you well to present a partially working app alongside high-fidelity mockups of your design to show that there’s progress, but not quite yet production-readiness. Over time, your stakeholders get to see an incomplete product become whole, generating trust and excitement about what the team is accomplishing.

Safety Tips (just in case)

There will be times when your team or organization will insist on using InVision (don’t hate them—I’ll do that for you). Here are some things you can do to make the best of the [rather unfortunate] circumstances.

Source: unDraw Illustrations

Set Expectations

Sometimes, all it takes is saying it clearly up front: “This is a prototype and it might fail due to limitations. It does not reflect the high caliber that will be present in the final product.”

Export The Prototype

InVision offers ways to export the prototype as code (preferred for walkthroughs and demos) for loading onto servers as well as a PDF of the screens (and comments if you want).

Check User Roles & Access

If you have admin or editing privileges of some sort it’s a good idea to check that only the people who need editing access to a project are on it to avoid accidents.

Also. I’m bad at conclusions, but I hope you learned something from my mistakes 😩

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