A prototype can manifest your idea into something clear and useful.
Creating this physical version of your idea allows you to determine which parts of the design need improvement or removal.
Further down the design process, a prototype will allow the team to ensure the application is functioning properly and the production process is streamlined to cut costs.
Plus, having something for potential customers to see or hold will make them more likely to buy your product.
Select a prototyping tool based on your current needs
Before any code is written, creating a prototype will allow the idea to be manipulated and run through different usability tests.
As the web design field continues to expand, new tools have entered the market.
Here are a few quick questions the developer should ask before choosing a new tool
What are the objectives of the prototype?
Who is the audience?
What is the learning curve?
What level of fidelity is needed?
Is there teamwork support?
There is no right or wrong answer. Make your selection based on your current needs.
Define your key objectives and audience for quicker results
Not all projects are created equally. Therefore, don't get stuck trying to use the same tools for each project.
The designer should know who their intended audience is, what their intended goal is, and use that information to select the best tool for their team.
Showing proof of concept might involve a tool with a very collaborative interface, low learning curve, and low fidelity. When you want to expand into user testing, you will likely want something with much more control over less frequent use cases, error prevention, and other granular components.
Choosing the right prototyping tool
Here is a table of top prototyping tools for you to choose from.
Use this as a guideline for your next project. Explore these different options on your own and see which best fits the needs of your project.
Remember that tools are just that - tools! They should not dictate how your idea comes to life.
Instead, use them in different ways to manifest your idea into something clear, useful, and accomplishes your end goal.
As with any other list, these recommendations are subjective. We're all different, so get your hands dirty and see what brings your idea to life!
What tools are working best for you right now? Leave us a note in the comments section and we can continue the discussion!