After seeing Flash Catalyst, I thought it looked really sweet. So on my current design project I stopped making the prototype directly in PowerPoint and started making it in Photoshop CS4 instead. From Photoshop, the plan was to move them into Catalyst and add interactivity. However, I have yet to launch Catalyst at all.
The reason is that I really don’t actually make prototypes, nor do I want to. What I make are storyboards. I tell the product story through a series of screens to describe the interaction and experience details. So adding interactivity would be antithetical to my needs because I do not want the audience to click around; I want them to watch the story as I am describing it.
In terms of specific interaction design, we have patterns in place that work well and I don’t want to specify something different accidentally in a new tool. Being in Photoshop means I have to be alot more speciifc because engineers will assume that it is “pixel perfect”. As always I feel the “pixel perfect process” of throwing a design over the wall to engineers is slow and flawed. It is much better to iterate in real code and refine interaction as a partnership with the real developers. Many companies, unfortunately, do not allow this and end up with sub-optimal results.
Of course, one might say, “But in my company, we have to do XYZ because….” That is fine. I am not trying to say Catalyst isn’t cool. All I am saying is that I can’t use it myself. It would take me backwards, not forwards in building awesome products based on my circumstances. Sorry Rachel. (Rachel is good Adobe folk and probably will comment that I am in the minority and am clearly insane. It’s OK, she is likely correct)