Design is an art. But sadly things don't work out from the beginning to the end of a design project? If your design project didn't work out or didn't manage to take off at all, it is possible that your creativity needs a direction or route. Prototyping is an integral part of UI/UX design services that can give your efforts and creating new direction and prevent debacles from happening and speeds up the design process. Moreover, it identifies errors that would involve more significant expenses during later stages.
Prototyping tools facilitate seamless communication between client and designer to ensure the same context instead of having conflicting perspectives. The clients get an overview of what is actually going take shape, explore new avenues and overcome barriers that become apparent when you test something. Prototyping tools have become an eternal source and robust tool to explore creativity and experimentation for the product team.
The most significant benefit of prototyping tools is the minimization of risk. The earlier we fail, the quicker we would learn. A failed mockup — gives the chance to validate things that work, repeat, iterate and improve.
How to choose the right prototyping tool?
One of the most critical parts is selecting the right tool, which allows collaborating with your clients, team, and relevant stakeholders. With the rapid proliferation of online prototyping tools, choosing the right one is not an easy task. Every tool is unique from each other as it lacks or has a new feature to stand out from the rest.
- Ease of Learning
Is prototyping easy-to-use? or is it a maze of complexity? It is hard to decipher? Is it easy to adopt? We are talking about the learning curve i.e., how long it a designer takes to adapt the tool. Since all tools are distinct from each other and provide various functionality, it would consume a lot of time for the designer to learn the tool.
- Team Collaboration
As collaboration is vital for design, it is essential to understand how it facilitates teamwork. The tool should provide seamless collaboration ability for different groups of users, ensuring complete sync. Since every designer offers a unique perspective/idea for a project, everyone must stay on the same page.
- Cost-Effective Proposition
There are many prototyping tools available, many of which with niche features. But unfortunately, there is always a catch with these tools, that they might be out of your budget. And hence, we should be careful while selecting tools and not get carried by the features.
Will you need a mockup of the app layout or require something that supports more details and complex interactions?
What are the project requirements?
Low, medium, and high fidelity
When the focus is on layout, information, and interaction design, Medium fidelity would be the option. High fidelity would be related to visual design, animation, and micro-interactions.
Here is a list of prototyping tools
- SKETCH (MACOS ONLY)
The Sketch is a digital design platform used by many designers and includes Precision, the Inspector, Tools, Exporting, Native, and Mirror. Nearly one million designers— from freelancers to some of the largest companies— use Sketch to transform their ideas into incredible products, every day. This platform empowers designers to share and collaborate on designs. Sketch allows designing using the Inspector. The Mirror feature flawlessly amalgamates all devices in real-time collaboration.
This app is one of the most preferred for drawing and prototyping with the feature to store all the projects in the cloud. This ensures all the data is safe, and nothing will be lost in transit even in case of hardware failure. InVision is compatible with a variety of managing tools like Trello, Basecamp, Jira, Dropbox, and Slack.
- Convert ideas into screen designs with vector-based drawing and flexible layers.
- Animate transitions and add micro-interactions to transform static screens into working prototypes.
- Navigate the design process in one place, keeping everyone engaged and notified of changes.
It is Browser-based tool to allow real-time collaboration; with vector tools that are capable of illustration, prototyping, and code generation.
- Multiplayer co-editing
- Style libraries to simplify the creation and updating your design system
- Integration with Principle (Mac-only)
- A web API which connects Figma to other tools, scripts, and web apps
MockFlow is a suite of applications that helps in several tasks in the typical project process. WireframePro app is a good option for prototyping to use, especially if you're out to plan to test new ideas.
- Create new wireframes easily with MockFlow.
- Work on initial ideas to build basic layouts quickly to get thoughts into a presentable form.
- Plan better UI by rapidly sketching interface layouts in a short time without any complexity
Marvel is another prototyping tool that comes across as a great choice when it comes to producing quick ideas and refining an interface.
- Marvel offers an immaculate way of building pages and enables you to simulate your design through a prototype.
- Integrations with Marvel means you can interpolate your designs into your project workflow.
Flinto is a design tool to create unique interactions within your designs.
- Use gestures and create simple and smooth transitions by designing the before and after states.
- Flinto identifies the differences and then animates it for you.
- FLUID UI
Fluid is an intuitive tool to build rapid prototypes and work up designs. It packs some creative assets to get you going with rapid prototypes and once you've upgraded, it's easy to assemble your own symbols with your preferred UI assets.
- AXURE RP
Comprehensive drawing and prototyping tool eliminating the need for code and make functional prototypes. This tool allows making informed choices even on your most urgent projects.
- Create any content, from pictures to design models and animations.
- Controls are a little complicated, but not more than Photoshop.
- Design options and easy sharing so you can create projects collectively.
- Make rich, functional prototypes to make informed choices even on your most urgent projects.
All-in-one prototyping tool to create faster, smarter, and easier prototypes with drag-and-drop, supporting mobile, web, and desktop apps prototyping.
- It is equipped with 3,000 icons and 200 components. Drag these components into the canvas for a combination to prototype your app ideas.
- Scan the generated QR code to preview prototypes on the native device instantly.
- It allows collaboration for the entire team to work on one project without any issues.
We hope you will find this list useful. Do you have any tools that you would like to share?