Hot trend alert: interactive prototyping tools (here are the best 3)
Prototype tools play key roles in website and mobile app design and development. They do so by providing enhanced opportunities for project leaders, teams, and stakeholders. Specifically, the allow them to better communicate with one another.
A prototype can emulate a proposed software solution in significant detail. It can present it perfectly in terms of its intended look and feel. A wireframe provides a more basic version of a proposed solution. It allows interested parties to focus on its functionality.
How to maximize the potential benefits you can receive from prototyping and wireframing? You should invest in the best app and website prototyping tools you can get your hands on. We’ve researched three such tools. We present them to you here, having taken into account the following criteria:
- The ability of the tool to accurately portray visual and interactive design.
- Features that ensure accuracy and consistency in the design.
- Collaboration support and development of handoff capability.
When you have UI prototyping tools for websites and applications as part of your design toolkit you’re in a better position to validate web or app designs early on and receive important feedback when it will do the most good.
Justinmind is such a tool. It is an all-in-one prototyping tool that provides all the functionality you need to show clients and stakeholders how your design is progressing, and what the look, feel, and functionality of the finished product will be prior to handing the design over to the developer.
Justinmind does not rely on coding. You simply work with and piece together its more than 4,000 pre-made UI elements, interactions, transitions, and gestures to build a prototype that’s for all practical purposes indistinguishable from the real thing.
Other top app and website prototyping tools don’t necessarily integrate with other web design tools. Justinmind does precisely that and works with real data as well to build prototypes that you can test on any device.
Finding out more about Justinmind is easy as it is free to download.
Supernova is synonymous with speed. One of the best prototyping tools you’ll find anywhere speeds up both prototyping and design by automating many of the more mind-numbing tasks associated with mobile app development. These tasks include project creation, file naming, and exporting code and resources to name a few, allowing designers and developers to focus more on their core responsibilities.
Supernova is currently available on the Mac OS X platform. It will be available on other platforms in the near future. Supernova takes you from design to production-ready code in mere minutes by converting Sketch designs into high-quality code for iOS, Android, and Reactive systems.
You’ll be able to experience the look, feel, and functionality of the product you’re creating on any device using companion apps, or on your browser through the Supernova Cloud.
You’re invited and encouraged to try Supernova for free.
3. Savah App
Savah App is another all-in-one, go-to prototyping tool that not only has the necessary features to actively promote design collaboration and feedback but makes it possible for you to design and automate your workflow and manage your design projects and workflows from a single platform.
Savah App also integrates with Dropbox, Sketch App and many other tools designers refer to or use every day. This prototyping tool will also track design history, maintain version control, and display different versions side by side for reference or comparison purposes.
To get started you might try the Forever Free plan which allows you to complete up to 3 projects at no cost. The Solo paid plan is ideal for freelancers, and like the 5-person and 10-person paid plans, you can try it for 30 days for free.
“Free” is always a nice way to familiarize yourself with any new design tool.
The Benefits of Prototyping
Prototyping has its advantages and its disadvantages. Time was, that you’d have to weigh one against the other before making a decision. You considered using an app, website, UI, or interactive prototyping tools. There were expenses to consider including the cost involved in learning how to use new tools.
Today, the advantages vs. the disadvantages of prototyping is no longer an issue. The best prototyping tools on the market today and fast, efficient, and affordable. Sometimes, they are free. They also tend to be so easy to use that training is no longer a concern.
The question you need to ask yourself is how you intend to go about using these tools to the greatest advantage. To answer that question, you’ll want to look at these potential benefits:
- Prototypes and prototyping tools serve to eliminate inaccuracies in system requirements.
- App and website prototyping tools can tell you whether or not a design solution will do what it is supposed to do.
- The best prototyping tools are used to create prototypes for developers. Specifically, interactive prototyping tools serve as walkthroughs for developers. They are giving the developer an insight into a design’s expected look and feel.
- Prototyping helps firm up how the final solution should look and function. Thus, it leads to acceptance and a go-ahead for a developer to proceed.
- UI and interactive prototyping tools are useful for top management involvement. They give clients and project stakeholders a sense of ownership and involvement.
- Prototypes help developers estimate cost, schedule, and resource requirements.
- Prototypes can be used as historical milestones. They provide reference points in the event of disputes during the development phase.
The prototyping tools presented here have a great deal going for them. They can benefit you, your design team, and the development team.
The focus in these presentations has not been so much on building prototypes, which all three do well. We focused on their project management and collaboration capabilities. We also concentrated on the ways in which they help to make a software design ready for handover to a developer.