One Tool for All? Prototyping Is Not That Easy!

Prototyping is an essential part of Software developing. But we have so many options while choosing a prototyping tool. If you just make a choice among them with the idea that one is for all, well, you are terribly wrong. In fact, you will need these tools all the way through the entire design process.

Draft/Wireframe: Paper and Pen, White Board, Balsamiq, Mockplus

There are Art design, UX design, and UI design. But, no matter which kind of design you're focusing on, you always need to draw a draft or wireframe. When you are picturing your product as the most beautiful star in the sky, just leave the recording works to them.

Don't even mention the greatest inventions for designers: Paper and Pen. The tools created in 21 century are also pretty good. The wireframe tools like Balsamiq and Mockplus are the gifts from technology. With the sketch style, Balsamiq has gained a lot of users. Even though there are rarely big moves in recent years, it still has a firm foundation on the number of users. Mockplus is on its way of rising. It has not only the sketch style, but also wireframe style to meet more different needs of users.

Interaction Design: Axure, Justinmind, Mockplus, UXPin

After the design of drafts and wireframes, we are moving to the next step, Interaction design. Interaction is the most important issue that affects users-experience. This process should be more serious. At the beginning of software design, many programmers are responsible for the designing works. For this reason, tools like Axure and FramerJS were really popular.

However, the speed of product developing and updating is much faster than before, Align development is rising. What's more, with the rising number of designers, there are more options when you need a prototyping tool. The younger, easier, and faster tools have gained more attentions. Mockplus and UXPin are typical tools of them.

We just said that Mockplus is a good wireframe tool, at the same time, it is also a nice interaction design tool. With the darg-and-drop operation and highly visualization, Mockplus has simplified the process of designing. Three ways to create interaction and 8 ways to test a prototype, I think what they have are useful. UXPin makes a great prototyping tool, at the same time, they also write great books. Check it out, you will learn something.

Demonstration: InVision, Flinto, Principle, Chainco

These tools have something in common: they can't create pages or components. All these stuffs coming from image tools like Sketch, PS, and AI. InVision is one of these tools. It's not necessary for InVision to be banded with other tools like Flinto or Principle. It can import most of the image files. The main operations are setting the hot spot and page links. Flinto and Principle are more about state switching.

One program cannot cover the process of design, even just prototyping design. The best choice would be choosing the one that suits your job.

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