Ideating digital products is easy. It all stems from ‘I wish I had an app or a platform for…’. But designing the same takes effort and special skills. And unfortunately, not everyone possesses such skills.
What if there were a platform to help you create digital products, regardless of your design or technical background?
Uizard – Startup Review By Feedough
Uizard is an AI-powered design assistant for non-designers. The tool enables decision-makers, managers, engineering teams, and business analysts to quickly and effortlessly create interactive prototypes for web and mobile apps without all the noise and complexity of traditional design software.
Today, almost every company requires user-friendly software to serve its customers or serve its staff and operations. But not every company has skilled designers, mainly because they don’t have the resources to hire or because existing tools require a unique skill set.
This is where Uizard found its offering’s application. The company developed an AI-powered design assistant for non-designers to build interactive prototypes for web and mobile apps without hiring designers or learning complex tools like Adobe Suite, Sketch, Figma, etc.
The tool works similarly to most presentation tools like Google Slides, Powerpoint, or Keynote and helps the users visualise their thoughts using a simple drag and drop process.
Uizard provides you with a simple drag-and-drop designing tool to help you design your mobile apps, web apps, websites, and desktop software in just a few minutes.
The tool comes with hundreds of templates you can choose from and even has the ability to convert your wireframes into actual prototypes just by letting you upload an image.
Moreover, you can efficiently collaborate with other team members using just a simple link.
The best part?
This freemium tool works directly in the browser.
The Value Proposition
Uizard uses AI to make the design process as simple as making a wireframe on paper, capturing a photo, uploading it, and automatically converting it into a prototype.
According to a company’s spokesperson:
The Uizard platform is the world’s first prototyping tool that leverages machine intelligence to make it as frictionless as possible for non-designers to test their ideas quickly. We aim to make it as easy as possible for anyone to use our product, which means that we strive to give our users an optimised, breezy experience. Unlike the norm among prototyping and design tools, the entry barrier to use Uizard is very low because most of the complex tasks are carried out by the core AI. This allows non-designers to express their ideas creatively, sans technical skills.
We discussed the startup’s concept, vision, and prospects with Thea Silayro, the Community Manager at Uizard. Here are her thoughts on the startup –
How is your offering disrupting the industry?
Uizard started as a machine learning research project back in 2017. We experimented with deep learning and tried to train neural networks to generate computer code from a single input image. This project was called pix2code and was, to the best of our knowledge, a world-first as far as end-to-end code generation from a single image input goes.
This inception work received significant press in June 2017 and was featured on WIRED, The Next Web, Fast Company, Hacker News, among others. The implementation on Github was the 2nd most trendy project of June 2017, ahead of big projects such as Facebook Prepack and Google Tensorflow. Uizard pioneered developing technologies for converting images to code with deep learning and demonstrated to the tech world that AI-driven design and development was no longer science fiction.
Computers finally had the potential to adapt to the way people work instead of forcing us to adapt to the way machines operate. Uizard is the epitome of this.
What about the competition? How are you better than others?
Beyond our AI-driven features, Uizard may remind you of some other design tools. However, one thing’s for sure: It’s easier to use. You don’t need design nor development experience to get started in Uizard. You just need an internet connection, a modern web browser, and you’re good to go.
While other design tools are designed as general-purpose graphic design software, Uizard is made explicitly for effortlessly designing and prototyping digital products, such as websites and mobile apps. Therefore, you don’t manipulate pixels and vectors in Uizard; instead, you directly use interactive components and templates.
Apart from that, Uizard also enables easy live collaboration with your team regardless of whether they are working remotely or at the office.
The history of your startup (how it all started)?
Uizard’s Co-founder and CEO, Tony Beltramelli, worked as a part-time front-end developer for a digital agency when he realised that the design workflow is completely broken.
Designers sketch on whiteboard and paper before recreating their drawings on prototyping tools for validation. After this, once the user interface design is finalised, developers need to implement them, essentially recreating the same thing the third time, this time in code.
Not only that, product managers, founders, and other non-technical design stakeholders, who take part in the design thinking process, can’t express their ideas to the full extent as they do not know about manipulating specialised tools.
Tony realised that the traditional design workflow is not only time-consuming, but it also has high barriers to entry. It’s expensive, impractical, and downright frustrating.
As a then-graduate student of Machine Learning, Tony had appreciated Deep Learning’s ability to generate English descriptions given an input picture (Vinyals et al., 2015). He thought that if this was possible, it might also be possible to produce code, a textual output, from visual input, such as a UI design. That was when Tony wrote the well-received pix2code paper, the earliest version of Uizard.
He then got together with his co-founders Henrik Haugbølle, Ioannis Sintos, Florian van Schreven. Three years and $3.6 million in funding later, Uizard is as we know it today — an AI platform that makes it possible for designers and developers to work faster and for non-technical design stakeholders to create live mobile and web prototypes, as they’d never had before.
Tell us about your team
Uizard was founded in April 2017 by friends Tony Beltramelli, Henrik Haugbølle, Ioannis Sintos, and Florian van Schreven in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Tony, Henrik, and Ioannis met in college in 2013 while studying for a Master’s degree in Computer Science. Henrik and Florian met as colleagues in 2015 in a startup and then co-founded Sidely to help front-end developers work more efficiently.
Henrik has more than eight years of experience building customer-facing web-based applications for organisations of all sizes, from startups to banks. Florian has been a growth hacker in multiple startups and learned HTML as a kid. Ioannis has been designing cloud-based infrastructures in highly complex and demanding environments such as financial institutions. Tony specialises in data science and machine learning, and his work before Uizard has been recognised globally and featured in international media such as WIRED, Forbes, The Huffington Post. Tony was listed among the Forbes 30 under 30 in 2019.
We are now 13 in Uizard and are a strong, internationally distributed team of software engineers, designers, and AI researchers with one thing in common: a genuine love for cutting-edge technology and beautiful design!
What’s the progress till now, and what are you expecting in the future?
There were more than 120k sign-ups to Uizard’s private Beta waiting list as of January 2021 (the majority being decision-makers, managers, engineering teams, and business analysts in startups and Fortune Global 500 companies). Uizard’s first paying Enterprise customer is a Fortune Global 100 company. We just launched out of Beta two weeks ago, so now we are focused on growth and optimising our current users’ experience.
Is there something else you’d like the world to know about your startup?
If anything, it’s worth sharing Uizard’s mission:
Humanity is facing unprecedented challenges, and we believe information technology can be at the core of many possible solutions. However, the complexity of modern technologies is growing exponentially with time, thus leaving a minority of people able to use them to create digital solutions. By leveraging artificial intelligence’s power, our end goal is to tighten the accessibility gap between every human and modern technology such that more people can help tackle the complex challenges faced by our civilisation.
Our first humble baby step toward this end is to help teams and enable individuals from various backgrounds to turn their ideas into testable apps and digital solutions easily. We believe that design democratisation is one of the first steps needed to tighten this accessibility gap between human and modern technology.
Feedough’s Take On Uizard
The demand for design is rising and this trend will stay for long. This required an easy to use design tool that could save time and money of the founders. Uizard found it the right track.
The user interface and user experience is smooth and provides good value to the user. The company capitalised on a rising demand and will only get better with time.
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A startup consultant, digital marketer, traveller, and philomath. Aashish has worked with over 20 startups and successfully helped them ideate, raise money, and succeed. When not working, he can be found hiking, camping, and stargazing.