Create Better Projects and Save Time With These Top Prototyping Tools

To successfully complete a web project, you need to make periodic checks to ensure you’re on the right track. If you don’t perform these checks, or enlist others to do so, you’re apt to miss the mark; sometimes by a wide margin.

That’s why prototyping is important. Also, that’s why having a good prototyping tool at your fingertips has so much to offer.

Prototypes are valuable assets. You can use them to receive feedback and suggestions. Moreover, it is easy to use them to ensure you’re on track with respect to what you expect to see in the final product.

Prototypes can uncover errors that might otherwise go undetected until development.

You can avoid these problems by using any of these three tools.

Proto.io

If you’ve been limited to using wireframes or mockups to share design information, or not using either, Proto.io is going to be a real eye-opener. It’s easy to use, and you can expect to have several times the return on your investment the first time you use it on a web design project.

Building a low-fidelity prototype at the beginning of your project will enable stakeholders to provide feedback on your design concept, and will give you an insight as to whether your design will require any major changes.

A high-fidelity prototype, built at the end of the project, will serve you well as a means of user testing, as a vehicle you can use to secure design buy-off, and as an aide to the developer.

Creating a series of iterative prototypes from beginning to end will serve you even better; and Proto.io can do all of this for you. Proto.io enables you to maintain strict version control over your design, it supports collaboration activities, and it is an invaluable tool for user testing.

UXPin

UXPin is a cloud-based design, prototyping, and collaboration tool with the features and functionality that enable you to create your own software design and pre-development system.

If there’s any one feature your apt to like best about UXPin, it will probably its ability to simulate product behavior for a range of scenarios, including the use of your product on various platforms or devices.

UXPin’s automated handoff and simplified buy-in and collaboration systems will save you countless hours, and make it easier for you to have in place the style guides and specifications you’ll need when you’re ready to hand your project over to a developer.

Support resources include e-books, white papers, webinars, and a free e-Course containing tips on website trends you can use for the benefit of your site’s users.

Fluid UI

Fluid UI is the #1 choice when it comes to collaborative and team based prototyping.

Featuring a wide range of built in component libraries, Fluid UI allows for real time collaboration between distributed design teams, including live video presentations and teamworking, chat, comments, annotations on designs and more – all within the same tool.

You can build prototypes from scratch using a searchable index of over 2,000 built in components or upload your existing design files from other tools. Components can also be created and saved in your own customised own libraries.

Interactive web prototypes can be shared online, while mobile prototypes can be previewed on your device using dedicated apps for iOS/Android – perfect for mobile testing.

Fluid UI also has the benefit of being more reasonably priced than many competitors and unlike other tools, Fluid UI will continue to store all your data for free between projects.

Why Prototyping is Essential

If you want to get where you’re going, you must look where you’re going. That’s what prototyping will do for you. You need to test your ideas as your design evolves, and prototypes serve as ideal testing grounds.

Prototyping will save you a ton of time as well. It may seem counterintuitive at the first sight. But the more time you spend building prototypes, the faster you can complete your project.

It becomes easier to:

1. Set your design concepts, refine them, and allow then to evolve as you progress

You’ll get the best use of your prototypes if you build a series of them through iteration, as your design evolves. With rapid prototyping, you can typically complete your design work in less time. You can also produce a better design in the process.

2. Find out what’s working, and what needs some added attention, or isn’t working at all.

Just because you have a great concept in mind, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll end up with a superior product. There’s no magic wand here. You need to continuously test your concept and its component ideas. Check them for feasibility, practicality, and usability.

3. Uncover errors that have worked their way into the finer details of your design.

Low-fidelity prototypes usually catch the big errors. High-fidelity prototypes uncover the smaller ones. They can be expensive to fix once your project is in development, or your website has launched.

4. Communicate and collaborate with clients, team members, and other stakeholders

An interactive prototype contains more information than numerous slides of text and images. This is especially relevant when several different working scenarios are under discussion.

Using prototypes can easily reduce the time taken for product reviews by a factor or 10 or more – which translates to money saved.

Summarizing

A prototype can simply serve as an aid to check the status of your design. If you have one of these powerful tools at your disposal, you’ll soon discover what the true benefits can be.

By using such a tool, you can dramatically speed up the design process. You can also make your design efforts more transparent to your clients and team members.

In addition, spotting design errors before they cause a big expense will be a breeze.