I recently used Flinto to build a prototype for some mobile user testing sessions. After a few days of learning the program (i.e banging my head on the keyboard screaming obscenities at my co-workers), I’m finally at a place where Flinto and I are friends. Not best friends yet. Not really even close friends — maybe more like neighbors. I wanted to share what I learned along the way that will hopefully help you in your Flinto friendship journey so that you can Flinto can become neighbors too.  Good luck!

1. Create a separate Flinto asset artboard in Sketch.

In your Sketch file, make a separate artboard called ‘Flinto assets’ and use this artboard to export to Flinto. I found when I was exporting from all of my main artboards assets would get messed up, behaviors would stop working, and just general madness would ensue. Having one artboard for exporting was much better for my work flow and kept my sketch file organized. Just move the assets you want to export to that artboard and send it to Flinto.

2. Set your layers and symbols free! 

Before exporting to Flinto, take all layers out of folders and detach any symbols in Sketch as Flinto will *sometimes* flatten folders and symbols. If you are like me and love a nicely organized Sketch file, this will hurt a little, but get over it and remember you can spend the next 10 minutes organizing your Flinto file back to the way you like it. Hurray!

3. Get fast! Create an export to Flinto shortcut.

Create a Custom shortcut for exporting to Flinto by downloading this plugin. This plugin has been the best shortcut I’ve ever made in my entire life. I don’t have much to say about this except DO IT. 

4. Behaviors that behave.

When naming Behavior folders, use a name that explains what the behavior does or controls, not just what is inside the folder. For example, I made a reply button that, when clicked, shows reply options. I named it ‘Select reply option’ versus ‘Reply button’.  This makes it much easier when trying to find and edit a behavior later on.  

Also, when I create behaviors, I like to have my whole artboard organized and in place before I start. Then I start on the one that is the most inside. Look at it like a Russian Nesting Doll — do the behavior that is the most nested, and then work your way out to the big Putin Doll.

5. It’s not me it’s you, Flinto

Sometimes Flinto is just plain buggy. I like to close out my preview window after I’ve made changes because I found it doesn’t always update with the changes. I know it’s obvious, but save often and make backup-ups whenever you do some major changes. When you have a file open, Flinto allows you to revert to earlier version, which is super handy, but sometimes you mess something up so badly that even that doesn’t fix it. Trust me, do your own version control.

Do you have any Flinto tips that help your workflow? Write them in the comments below because we’d love to hear them!

5 Tips for a Friendship with Flinto

Sarah Cottle

Experience Designer @ HomeAway

Category: UI/UX
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