State or Component? Which Is Better for Prototyping?

With the development of information industry, software development has gained more attentions. Of course, prototype design also has become more important than before. When we are designing a prototype, usually there's two ways: First one is to set all the interactions based on State (some may call it Layer), like Flinto for Mac and Priciple. The other kind is based on components (or widget), such as Axure and Mockplus. But, which way is better than the other one? Let's find out!

1. Based on State

Tools like Flinto for Mac and Priciple have one thing in common: most of them don't have the ability of creating a component. In other words, they can't creat a wireframe by themselves. All the components and pages are coming from the files imported from Image editing tools. Flinto has a great sense, it grabs an opportunity, the opportunity is the rising of Sketch. They have successfully developed a version that almost adheres on Sketch. The truth told us, it's a good choice. When the layers were simplely linked with each other, Flinto gave them an interactive animation, and it looks not bad at all. For UI designers, when they need a demonstration, this is helpful. Principle works the same way as Flinto.
Setting interactions based on the state is a smart way to make a prototype, but there are also problems. If this page has massive interactions, this model of interaction setting will have to face a huge challenge: How to present so many layers on the same page? It seems that they have no other way but just lay them out on the ground.

2. Based on Component

Prototyping tools like Axure, Justinmind, and Mockplus have the function of creating components. They could draw a wireframe by itself. Well it is granted that most of the interactions in these tools are based on components. This model makes the whole designing process more flexible. Also this is the reason for quickly and effectively to present the requirements at the beginning of the development.

I believe that many Axure users did not recieve what they were expecting in the new version, but Axure is absolutely still the tool has the most users. The model of Axure provides an example for a lot of prototyping tools. Some tools even "copy" Axure. But, Mockplus didn't just follow Axure's step. The drag-and-drop operation mode is highly effectual than other method. And, with this drag-and-drop mode, the visualization has been promoted to a higher level. Even though you need to set a lot of interaction, you can still catch up with align developing. Meanwhile, if all the interactions are based on components, it is not necessary to worry about the lay out of your pages.

Based on state of components, the "best" prototyping tool is just for the certain designers. At the statement of user requirements, Mockplus and Axure are on the high land. But, when it comes to demonstration, Flinto for Mac and Principle have more advantages.

Whichever you need, choose the one that fits you.

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