Today we’re thrilled to announce V2, the next major version of Atomic!
When we started work on Atomic in January 2014, our founding vision was to make a platform that would transform the product development process. We wanted to make a tool for people who made complex software in large teams. We believe one of the biggest challenges in product design right now is dealing with scale – more people, more complexity, more at stake. That’s why we’re excited to talk about what’s next for Atomic.
V2 is a collection of new features and best practices for prototyping at scale. It brings together some incredibly deep functionality we’ve been working on since day one. It provides powerful new practices to seamlessly integrate prototyping into your product development workflow. The results are truly exciting: ultra fast, massively scalable, and fully collaborative prototyping that will supercharge your results.
Read on for more about how we got here, and where we’re going.
The Magic of Prototyping
As product designers ourselves, we had experienced the massive value of prototyping. It helped us solve problems involving statefulness, sequencing, and interaction — problems that were becoming increasingly frequent as software became more complex. It was quickly becoming as important as visual design in our daily lives, if not more so.
That’s what first attracted us to prototyping, but it was the other benefits that made prototyping an integral part of our workflow. We loved how prototypes helped our team understand our design solutions at-a-glance. We loved how prototypes helped transform our stakeholders into passionate, engaged champions for our products and projects. It created an amazing feedback loop in our design process, and enabled our teammates and stakeholders to become invaluable participants. Most importantly, we were producing better design solutions, faster.
The Problems of Prototyping
But prototyping wasn’t for the faint-hearted. The available software was often either too limited or too time-consuming for many of the design challenges we faced.
The prototypes we made didn’t scale well either—we couldn’t build upon them—and it was frustrating to not be able to easily reuse functionality that someone else in the team had already created. So prototyping struggled to become an integral part of the product development process.
Our Checklist for Atomic
So we knew what designers needed: a tool that would allow them to work at high speed and high fidelity. We wanted to be able to start simple and test rough ideas, and evolve fidelity over time. We wanted to work in a more continuous manner in the same way as our engineering colleagues, starting small and continually improving and incrementing as the project progressed until everything was complete.
We also needed something that would help us scale design as we made more complex software with greater interaction complexity, and we needed our whole team to be able to work together. The system would need to have collaboration baked in from the beginning if it was to work for a team.
Design tools needed to accommodate prototypes on a much larger scale to become integral to the team’s workflow.
We knew it needed to integrate seamlessly with interface design tools, as well as providing our own useful drawing and layouts tools so the designer didn’t need to keep going back and forth. We knew it needed sharing at the core so that the benefits of design and prototyping could be disseminated to the wider team and organisation.
Last September we released the first official version of Atomic. We’ve always known that version was the tip of the iceberg, and so today we’re excited to reveal a whole lot more of Atomic. It represents so much of our founding vision; we never set out to create just another prototyping tool.
Components are like collaborative building blocks for your prototype.
V2: Massively Scalable Prototyping
Today we’re announcing a long list of amazing new features as part of what we’re calling Atomic V2. It’s never been so quick and easy to make full-scale realistic prototypes.
Components & Actions
Components and Actions are two new features that empower your team to create full-scale prototypes that can be built upon and built upon and built upon! Components are reusable building blocks that let you easily break apart — and reassemble — massive prototypes. Actions let any part of your prototype listen and respond to any other part. And because everything is collaborative, your team can easily share Components or use them to assemble Master Views that look and feel just like the finished product.
Data & Inputs
Inputs lets you ramp up engagement by allowing users to enter text, numbers, or values into form elements. Today we’re also announcing Data (coming soon), which allows you to pull data from Google Sheets or others sources into your prototype, and sync changes back to source to leverage functions outside Atomic.
Teams & Workflow
We’re bolstering collaboration in Atomic with Teams (coming soon), a better way to manage how your team and organization accesses Atomic and shares assets. We’ve also just released Pin Comments and our iOS Review App is in the final stages of beta testing right now. We’re adding a Slack Firehose (coming soon) so you can stream notifications, see recent activity, and view prototypes without leaving Slack.
We’re excited to be building a deep API integration for engineers and product teams. This one is still hush-hush though – we’ll tell you more soon!
Powerful functionality demands powerful practices. Our brand new V2 Practice Framework helps your organization scale prototyping and ensures a seamless fit with your product development processes. We guarantee there’s no faster or more seamless way for your team to prototype, period. The Practice Framework is currently in beta testing with our enterprise customers and will become publicly available soon.
Join The Movement
A prototype helps a designer get to certainty faster. A prototype helps the team understand the concept. A prototype turns a listless stakeholder into a passionate advocate. Once a team has experienced the benefits of prototyping, there’s no going back.
Our mission is simple: to achieve great things with ambitious teams who share our vision. If this is your team, we want to hear from you and look forward to welcoming you to the movement.
Find out more at www.atomic.io/v2