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Interview with Nathan Manousos from Flinto.com

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Nathan Manousos, the designer responsible for the awesome Flinto.com.

flinto.com logo

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Nathan Manousos, the designer responsible for the awesome Flinto.com.

Flinto.com has come up with one of the most innovative solutions for app developers. Using Flinto you can tests the design and usability of your app without even developing a single line of code. All it takes is some PNGs, a few links and some awesome custom transitions and you re done!

Check out this demonstration:

Now let’s hear what Nathan had to say about his app and the evolving world around us:

The interview:

1. Hello Nathan and thank you for the interview! Would you like to introduce yourself?

I’m Nathan, I live in San Francisco and grew up in Santa Cruz, a couple hours south of here. I studied computer science in college but ended up dropping out. I started my career mainly doing front-end web development for startups and eventually moved into design consulting.


2. How did you get started with Flinto?

While working as the design of Echofon, an iPhone Twitter app, I found myself wishing I had a way to test out my ideas on my iPhone. I was trying to design the interactions first, rather than the visuals. There were not many tools that supported that.

developing using flinto

3. Flinto is such a convenient tool for developers, do you mind giving a brief description of what it consists of?

Flinto has two main parts, an editor and a viewer. In the editor, designers add screens they’ve designed that represent their app, and link them together. We focused on making the editor really really fast, you can link up your prototype in just a few minutes. We made a video of it here. The other part is the viewer. You can send an install link to your phone, or anyone else’s phone, which can be used to install the prototype on-device. It’s great to see your app prototype on your phone with it’s own icon, just like a real app. And we’ve recreated the iOS transitions very accurately so it really does feel like a real app.


4.How was Flinto’s concept born?

I had the idea while working on Echofon, but didn’t get a chance to actually build it until I was teaching an iOS UI design class at CCA . The students needed a way to prototype their designs at the end of the class so I built a very rough version of my idea. It worked well so I continued to refine it over the years and eventually partnered up with Kaz who is the original creator of Echofon. One year after launch, he and I are continuing to work full-time on Flinto.


5. Is there a particular objective you hope to achieve through Flinto?

I’m motivated almost entirely by creating something that I think is cool and works really well. I hope that Flinto continues to be useful, and that it is regarded as a high-quality tool. I hope that providing this kind of tool encourages designers to test their designs more and to consider interactions more.


6. We have recently begun to develop mobile applications at our agency and Flinto has become incredibly useful to us . How has the rest of the community responded to your project?

The response to Flinto has been amazing, I didn’t realize there were so many mobile app designers who would fall in love with it. Every day we receive a few messages from people explaining what a benefit Flinto has been to their workflow. It’s really nice to hear, the community has been very supportive of our two-person bootstrapped company.

developing apps with flinto

7. Is there any other development tool your team is working on at the moment?

We’re just working on Flinto, but we have lots of cool ideas about where we’d like to take it. Flinto will slowly evolve, it will be fun to see!


8. What has been your biggest achievement since joining Flinto?

It’s hard to point to just one achievement, it’s been a series of small things. Whenever I find that a company I know and like is using Flinto, that feels like a good achievement.


9. Many of our students are very interested in the app development industry. Could you explain what are some of the basic technical requirements needed to begin a career in the mobile application world?

Creating software requires a very wide range of skills. I think learning to code is a very important step for designers these days in order to really operate at the highest levels, you need to understand the technical aspects of creating software. A good sense of traditional graphic design principles, and interaction design are also a must.


10.The world and the way we relate are drastically changing. How much of an impact do you think mobile applications will have in our daily lives in about 10 years?

I think iOS has set off a fundamental change in computing. For most people, these devices are a comfortable way to use a computer.

It’s almost like we can finally get started creating software for everyday folks whereas the software industry has largely catered to businesses for the past several decades. We may move entirely beyond our current concept of mobile devices in that time, but in any case, I’m sure software will play an increasingly important role in the world.

Find out more about Flinto at their webpage

Follow Nathan on twitter


And with those inspiring words Nathan concluded his interview. It was a great pleasure to get the chance to share some words with people that have such an impact on the developers community that shape the same reality we live on everyday.

Hope you enjoyed it as much!

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