🌱 Design your own FOLIO app—no need for programming



##:seedling: Design your own FOLIO app—no need for programming
For all creatives, idea people and designers interested in FOLIO: You can now start to mockup your own interactive prototypes of apps for the FOLIO platform—and even share your prototypes with the community. No programming skills required.

##The story :book: :cookie: :tea:
I have been using the prototyping tool proto.io to create the interactive prototype for the FOLIO platform :arrow_upper_right: itself. Someone asked if it was possible to get access to some of my wireframes so they could start mocking up apps for the platform. I then talked to the nice guys over at Proto.io and they agreed to give us an extended trial (2 months) for anyone wanting to mockup apps for the FOLIO platform. If prototypes made with the tool are published to Proto.io Spaces, the prototypes will still be viewable after the trial expires.

##How to try it out :arrow_right:

  1. :key: Create an account using this link: https://proto.io/promo/folio/
  2. :scissors: Copy the FOLIO starter project :arrow_upper_right: I’ve made (for help on this point, read Importing a project from Proto.io Spaces to your account on this page :arrow_upper_right:)
  3. :rocket: You’re good to go! The FOLIO starter project contains instructions on how to use the project itself. The project is a version 1 right now, meaning it is quite elementary, but if people start using it, I can update it with more advanced elements and templates as we go along.

##Proto.io support—ask Filip :speech_balloon: :slight_smile: :thumbsup:
Since Proto.io has agreed to give us free access to an extended trial of their software, I agreed with them to provide support for the tool for anyone in the FOLIO community in need of support. If you need help getting started, let me know and we can set up an online meeting where I introduce you to the tool, the FOLIO starter project and the principles of designing for the FOLIO platform.

##Other formats :floppy_disk::twisted_rightwards_arrows:
The great thing about proto.io is that it enables you to actually build a prototype that feels a lot like a real product. There are other tools that do this as well—and the same effect can be achieved in more simple tools that allow you to create hotspots and link between different pages and screens. If we all use the same platform, it’s definitely easier to maintain a library of graphical assets, but if anyone is interested in alternative formats for this—Photoshop, Sketch, Powerpoint, Google Slides, PNG images, InkScape—just let me know and I will provide you with the assets in a format that works for you :slight_smile:

##Share your app idea with the community :woman::bulb: :left_right_arrow: :bulb::man:
If you want to, you can share your app prototype here on Discuss—use the tag :bulb:App Ideas. That way, other people can find your app idea easily, and chime in with feedback and support. Maybe they will even offer their help in developing the app, in case their own institution could use the app you envision :slight_smile:


This is fantastic, Filip. Unfortunately, the task force I am working on asked me to postpone a prototype, so now I don’t have a project. I might, however, have a different project later in the fall. In the meantime I will tinker with it. Thank you for setting this up. I Adam


I have worked a lot with Koha and even if I do like it a lot I wouldn’t mind giving both coders and librarians a fresh start. MARC is for example so deeply integrated into most systems that leaving it is quite painful. I’ve looked through the webinars and UX guidelines. The app analogy seems smart at first, but I discovered that I’m a bit worried that users will lose the help of a consistent UI. The thing that makes it sort of bearable to use apps that do only one single thing on a smartphone is the consistent UI of for example Apples iOS. Having a consistent global look and feel of a system used up to 8 hours a day seems like something we might want to preserve(?)


That is a good point, @Viktor. One of the things that the UX team is creating is a common “style guide” (there is probably a better term) for apps on the platform. I would also expect that teams developing apps for FOLIO will be working more closely together than developers of mobile platform apps.

Thoughts on this, @filipjakobsen?


I suspect that you are correct @peter - it will likely be a smaller set of developers creating apps for FOLIO and that would hopefully help. Still I’m glad to hear about a style guide. If it contains a standard library of widgets that would be a great help (using a specific JS library for web apps for example to style UI elements while also adhering to UI conventions)


By the way - is there major difference using FOLIO compared to writing your own system on top of an API layer of some random other system?

(This might be the wrong thread, but I’m trying to assess the strengths of different projects and have not yet learnt how the FOLIO community works)


At its core level, FOLIO is RESTful APIs atop microservices. What makes FOLIO special is the built-in support for library data and its sensitivity to library needs (such as patron privacy). With those pieces provided by the platform, we anticipate and expect it will be easier to build apps that manipulate and display that data.


4 posts were split to a new topic: Details about Koha’s exploration and implementation of a RESTful API


I agree that they style guide is a good development. If the apps are too different from a UI perspective it will be problematic. I am sure most library staff can live with a little bit of difference, but if it is radically different I foresee various issues for libraries implementing them such as training and possibly workflow concerns.