I attended the Nokia presentation at Le Web 10 yesterday afternoon. The UX part of the presentation was particularly enjoyable even though the speaker was a fill-in for the actual UX designer which remained stuck in Finland.
We were introduced to Flowella and had a very short peek at it, but after downloading it and trying it out this morning, it seems pretty good and definitely useful albeit buggy.
Here are some questions and comments about it.
Are you planning to make it open-source? It would be a good idea to make it so even with a LGPL license so the community can improve it. You already did that with Qt, so why not?
Why don't the various export formats (e.g. the Flash export) embed a back button? It would be very convenient to have the same level of control inside the exported files as in the preview mode of the app.
It would be great to be able to see the actual navigation tree and flow from the exported files as well.
Being able to configure transitions between screens would be a big plus. It could be done by attaching a transition behaviour to a hotspot.
Network file paths are not supported properly: if I create a new project and add files located on a network drive in my library, then save the project, close it and reopen it, all the resources I added appear as 'null' in the UI. After checking inside the saved file, flowella simply saved 'null' values instead of the actual filepaths. Using local file paths fixes the issue but it's more restrictive, especially when various people are involved in the same projet, one creating the screens, another taking care of the storyboarding and definition of the app navigation logic.
Flowella is really fantastic for reducing workflow process time. I don't know if Andreas mentioned it or not, but it was originally a tool that was built inside Nokia Design by designers who were tired of creating flows in powerpoint and then having people comment on the wrong things. So in essence, Flowella came from our designers not wanting to sit in meetings :)
When it comes to features, I do find it ironic that it lacks a back button, thereby making Flowella guilty of the thing we advise most strongly for in our UI style guides. However, I think it's primarily because Flowella was originally built to be as streamlined as possible, and an overlaid back button weakens its use as a prototyping/usability tool. I'll check to see again about the feasability of an all over back button for the next update.
There are transitions available between screens if they're in flash, have you checked that out?
I think the primary thing with Flowella becoming open source is that right now, we're trying to make it flow (haha) better with our planned Qt offerings. I'll have a talk with the person who's most closely working with Flowella to see about making it open source, that's a great idea!
When it comes to the bugs, I'll shoot them over to the team.
In general, we've got some really good documentation in the snstallation package, I recommend trying it out if you haven't already.
Found a couple of bug in the app, if you have multiple touch areas linking to the same image, only the first link works. You cant use large images, as you cant scroll within the work area.