Why Should You Create A Prototype and What Tools You Can Use?
Why Should You Create A Prototype and What Tools You Can Use?
Present your prospective customers with more than an idea. Explore the benefits of creating prototypes, and the tools to help you do it.
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One of the prominent challenges that a company faces is not being able to make the clients and stakeholders visualize how an actual product will look and feel like. A prototype can help in explaining the design aspects, giving a functional example of what you are trying to build. In the design and development process, you need a prototype to show your stakeholders and end users the features of the product, and how they can interact with it. The prototype will allow you to know whether your product is addressing a real need and is meeting the requirements of the users or not. Below are some of the key reasons for its importance in the development process.
Visualization of Idea
A prototype gives a realistic view of your idea in front of the users before you make a significant investment. It gives better visualization than static screens and documentation, allowing users to get a better idea of functionalities and interactions. Prototypes make it possible to discover which ideas are good, whether the product has real value and if users can understand the working of the product or not.
A prototype helps in minimizing the time and cost to a great extent as it detects the errors or defects at an early phase. As the prototype is demonstrated to the clients, it becomes possible to bring changes and rectifications before the final product is ready. It also helps in identifying missing or required features to be added to the product.
Prototypes allow giving immediate feedback on the product, ensuring better cohesiveness, productivity, and efficiency. They enable collaboration between the designers, developers, product manager and the entire team, necessary for designing a valuable, useful, and feasible product.
Prototyping includes high involvement of customers before the final product is ready. The approval of customers plays an important role in molding the product as per their requirements. They get a sense of ownership along with getting a complete idea about how the final solution will look and function. Once the acceptance of the customer is received, it becomes easier to proceed to the next stage of the development.
Which Prototyping Tools You can Use?
Whether you are developing a web-based application or working on a mobile project, there are several tools in the market to create a prototype. With so many prototyping tools available, how do you know which one is the best for you? The key is to use a tool that lets you design quickly and delivers an incredible user experience. Choosing the right tools will allow you to create prototypes in real-time, leading to an increase in your efficiency. This post outlines the best prototyping tools worth trying. Hope you can find out the one that fits your exact needs!
Axure RP is a robust tool to design high-fidelity prototypes of responsive websites and mobile applications quickly. It is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive prototyping tools offering a lot of options to designers.
Not only does it consist of a powerful internal library, but also allows adding ready-made components from the widget libraries to make interactive prototypes. You can add interactions, create master pages and upload your own files for integration.
However, it requires some basic knowledge of programming and time to acquire mastery.
Balsamiq is used to create basic, low-fidelity prototype with a quick turnaround time, which is just like sketching on a whiteboard, but through the computer. It has a large library of UI elements, allowing designers to focus on functions, layouts, and interactions.
This tool aims to deliver convenience and ensures speed, encouraging designers with a free spirit of sketching on paper to generate and test new ideas.
JustInMind allows designers to prototype highly-featured mobile apps, web applications, websites, enterprise applications, etc.
The tool helps in creating rich and elegant prototypes but has a steep learning curve. It enables the use of items from UI libraries and download of a variety of add-ons, allowing you to do numerous things. You can even add interactive features or create interfaces from the library.
Mockplus is a good tool for rapid prototyping, specially designed for speed and simplicity, ensuring easy usability. It helps in building prototypes of mobile and web apps quickly. It has a preloaded library with over 200 components for various UI patterns.
Mockplus delivers interactive prototypes in a minimum time with more focus on creating the product rather than using tools. It helps in making functional prototypes with simple drag and drop without any coding knowledge.
InVision is a reliable tool for prototyping with collaboration features, specially designed for enterprises and large teams. It allows uploading design files and adding animations, interactions, gestures and transitions to static images for creating interactive prototypes. You can upload multiple files in various formats like PNG, JPG, GIF, PSD, and AI.
In the team version of InVision, designers can collaborate and discuss the project in real time, along with collecting feedback from the teammates and clients.
Prototyping is an accurate and quick way of knowing the potential of the product. It is an iterative process, which continues until the customers don’t approve. The designers use the feedback given by the clients to rework on the prototype, making the required changes before the final product is developed.
The prototyping tools listed above can be used based on your needs. The ultimate goal is to create a perfect prototype that will help you to visualize your product and give you insights on improvements!
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