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Intuiface Review

03.21.2019 | Jacob Hansen

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Intuiface is a software package that allows users to design, program, and deploy data-driven interactive experiences for any screen. Coding knowledge isn’t required, so anyone with an understanding of design or prototyping software could easily pick it up and start working in it. I started using it back in August 2016, when I started at 2 Fish Co, and it has become an integral part of my daily workload.

Software

The software package consists of a Composer, Players, and your account for handling storage and data. Intuiface Composer is where you design and program your experiences using a Windows PC. Once an experience in finished, it can be published to your Intuiface account’s cloud storage. Intuiface Players allow you to access your cloud account to download and deploy experiences anywhere. From your web browser, you can access a data tracking page where you can review and analyze specific collected data on your experiences.

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Design & Development

If you’ve worked in programs like Sketch, Adobe XD, or InVision Studio, the Intuiface Composer should look very familiar to you. Wireframes can be easily recreated, so you can quickly start prototyping and testing. Elements such as shapes, images, video, audio, 3D renderings, or even HTML snippets can be dropped in and adjusted using the Properties panel. I’ve had some issues where playing videos will affect the performance and frame rate, so it’s best to be smart about limiting video usage. Once your design is finished, you can substitute your wireframes with final designs you’ve created elsewhere using a robust content library system.

Now it’s time to start making things work! Intuiface doesn’t require you to have any knowledge of coding, as everything can be controlled through a simple visual Trigger/Action system. For example, say you want to make a button that takes users back to a homepage. You would select your home button asset, then add the trigger “when button is tapped.” Actions are the result of a trigger taking place, so you would want to add “go to page—Home” to complete your interaction. Several actions can be added to every trigger, so it’s possible to create really complex scenarios or beautiful, multi-step animations.

There are tons of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that can be linked to Intuiface via a built-in API Explorer, so you can take your user experience beyond the screen and have it link to other web-based services. We’ve successfully used the Phidget Sensor and Phidget RFID API in the past, allowing user to interact with physical products to trigger on-screen actions.

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Deployment

So you’ve designed and developed your first interactive experience in Intuiface… Now what?

In Composer, tap the Publish button to upload your file to the cloud. Once that’s ready, you can access your Intuiface account from any web browser to view all of your published experiences and deployment options. It lists every Player and computer that is available, and you can tap a button to easily begin deploying your experiences. These features make remote support and version control quick and simple—all you need is an internet connection. Intuiface experiences with lots of media can turn into pretty large files, so having a good, consistent connection is important if you’re using remote deployment. If you’d rather deploy manually, files can be loaded onto any USB device, copied over, and run like any other executable.

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Data

During the design process, you can set up data tracking triggers that can be assigned to anything a user could possibly interact with. It can also be set up to collect data from forms. This is all available to you in your online account, where you can set up data to be logged in services like Google Analytics or exported as an Excel document. Every account comes with 1000 trackable data points per month, but more can be added by upgrading your plan. This has been more than enough for us, and tracked data often helps us make important user experience decisions for new projects.

Final Verdict

Intuiface has come a long way since I started working in it. It used to be plagued with crashing errors and bugs, but the developers have clearly worked hard to resolve so many of those issues over the past two years. The current build is extremely reliable, and they continue to make meaningful quality-of-life adjustments pretty regularly. Our support with their team has been phenomenal, and they also have a very tight-knit developer community where they engage with users and take feature requests. I would highly recommend Intuiface, as it allows us to create amazing touch screen experiences efficiently for several of our clients.


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