One thing I try to improve is my workflow. It’s easy to get stuck with old habits, a comfort I’d like to erase. There are so many designers out there and I think one way to become more effective at what we do is by sharing our skills. I will try and write down some of my best practices and hopefully I can inspire or be helpful!
I first learnt about this trick from Mariusz Ostrowski over at GitHub, real cool! It’s a feature that has been around in Illustrator and it’s a really powerful one, especially when working with wireframes or creating UX flows.
Alright, let’s talk about 9-slice scaling. In short it’s about defining the area you’d like to be scaled when changing layer size. Note that it’s only the middle area that will scale both horizontally and vertically.
Let’s create an arrow.
Once you’re happy, flatten the layer; navigate to “Layer ··· Flatten Selection To Bitmap”.
Let’s slice it up! Go to “Layer ··· Image ··· Convert to 9-Slice Image”.
Define the area by dragging the dots, it should look something like this:
That’s it, it really is that simple! The only backfire is that 9-slice scaling only works with rasterized images.
I’ve released over 30 arrows as well as 128 UX flowchart cards that you can download for free over at UI/UX Assets.