Facebook opens up origami offering

Posted on February 15, 2014


Facebook has decided to offer up something quite interesting for app designers free of charge; a piece of software called Origami.

It’s a design prototyping toolkit that can be used to give an interactive example of an app’s workings and interactions to a prospective or existing client. The usual process of prototyping an app usually involves static images, but these can make it hard to visualise the workings and flow of an application. Troubled by this sticking point, the team at Facebook developed Origami as an answer to this problem.

Origami basically acts as a layer over an existing piece of software called Quartz Composer, which is primarily a motion graphic tool. Without Origami, making this type of interaction prototyping would be quite difficult.

A range of effects and interactions are available with Origami, most of which are familiar and used in app design. Some of them include:

• Switch Toggles
• Scroll
• Bouncy Animation
• Classic Animation
• Transition
• Color Transition
• Image Transition
• Interaction 2
• Layer
• Text Layer
• Button
• Hit Area
• Phone
• Timer
• Counter 2

Further details of all these functions and what they can do for the user can be found on the Origami section of the Github website. A list of improvements to Quartz is also provided there, together with a visual representation of how Origami works.

This tool will no doubt prove invaluable to any designer wishing to show his client how the app will flow, thereby giving them a better understanding of the completed product than static images ever would.


Steven is Engage Web’s go-to man for all things web-related, bringing his knowledge of current trends in web design and development to the team.

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