Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite tools make it possible for print professionals to build interactive apps within InDesign. Sounds easy, right? While learning how to use the tools is easy, transitioning your two-dimensional page thinking into a compelling, interactive tablet experience can be challenging for designers like me who grew up in a print-centric design environment.

Although I’d been an eager, early consumer of tablet magazine apps, when it came to creating my own interactive content, I felt stuck. Interactive design is dimensional and rich with new experience possibilities. However, trying to imagine those possibilities and simultaneously build them with my newbie DPS skills was proving too cumbersome for me. It was fun to see my experiments come to life, but my ideas were flowing more quickly than I could execute them. What to do?Interface Sketch screenshot

When in doubt, grab a pencil! As soon as I reverted to the simplicity of paper and pencil, ideas flowed. I could leave an idea mid-sketch and jump ahead to draw out an alternative solution. But I immediately wanted a template to speed up the process. On the Interface Sketch website, I found a wonderful set of free iPad sketch templates in PDF format. This is a great set of printable tablet page maps in a variety of configurations—large, small, horizontal and vertical—for a variety of brands. It was exactly what I needed to free my mind up to imagine and sketch.

Even as I become more proficient with the DPS tools, I’ll be reaching for these sketch templates for the first stages of conceptualization.

What tools, articles or experiences have helped you think interactively? Share your tips in the comments section below.

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Posted by: Mary Lester

Contributing author Mary Lester leverages her deep experience with storytelling, design excellence, multi-platform publishing, and technology-focused content to help leading-edge businesses meet the challenges of today's rapidly changing media industry.