Top Prototyping Tools for Designers to Use
Some web design tools help to make the design process easier. Others help to ensure you’re getting things right. Still, others do both, as is the case with the tools and resources described here.
During the design process, it’s helpful to touch base with teammates and clients to check status. You need to ensure you’re on the right track or get feedback and suggestions.
We know one of the most efficient and effective ways to accomplish these things. You best partner here is prototyping!
Prototyping has other advantages too, as will be discussed later. Now, you can look through this selection of premium prototyping tools. Check out what they can do to make your design work flow more smoothly.
Proto.io satisfies all your prototyping needs. Whether you wanta low-fidelity prototype to share a design concept or approach, a high-fidelity model for testing,or something in between, this tool helps you design, preview, share, test, and collaborate, all from the same platform.
One of the best ways to speed up the design process, while at the same time ensuring or improving on the quality of your product, is to follow an iterative, or rapid prototyping approach. Proto.io’s version control features allow you to make rapid changes without losing configuration control over your prototypes or design.
Although most Proto.io users are designers; developers, product managers, and entrepreneurs can also benefit from using this tool, as no special design skills are required, nor is coding required. The latest version, Proto.io.6 is in fact easier than ever to use, thanks to the redesigned user interface.
Prototypes can be designed from scratch, using the built-in Windows, iOS, and Android UI components; or design files can be imported directly from Photoshop or Sketch.
Design Systems by UXPin is an excellent choice for a prototyping tool. What’s great, however, is that it’s much more than just prototyping.
The end-to-end UX platform supports prototyping, design systems, documentation, and developer handoff. The feature set is pretty focused on improving design consistency and bringing designers and developers closer together. It also integrates with Sketch, Photoshop, Slack, and Jira.
We found the design systems features most compelling – it’s not just a pattern library. You can add metadata (code snippets, use cases, etc) to elements which follows along in projects. That means everything syncs to the source of truth.
If you’re looking for “the one UX tool to rule them all”, UXPin is probably your best bet.
Any designer or developer that works with real clients knows that successful projects depend on the quality of communication with the people who write the checks.
That’s why our third recommendation – Fluid UI – stands out from the others with it’s easy to master prototyping workflow, array of built in collaboration features and free lifetime account.
Starting with prototyping, Fluid UI has nearly two dozen built in libraries for prototyping Web, Android and iOS apps. Interactions and animations are added to create a mindmap or “site flow” diagram. Designs can be completed alone and shared for comments and feedback, or during real time collaboration sessions while chatting on a live video stream.
With customers like Google, Linked In, IBM and Samsung, it’s no wonder Fluid UI is considered by many to be the #1 tool for making sure your web and mobile projects come in on time and budget.
What Makes Prototyping So Important?
There are at least two ways to start and finish a task. You can dive right in, and work non-stop until you reach the finish line. Or, you can periodically ask for feedback and advice and check to ensure you’re on the right track. Like this, you can catch small mistakes before they cause major problems.
Professional web designers take the second approach. They use prototypes to test design functionality along the way. it also helps them to share information and to solicit feedback. And, they use prototyping to eliminate guesswork.
- Prototyping is a powerful aide for defining, and evolving ideas and design concepts
Building a prototype is time well spent. Creating a progression of prototypes can speed up the design process. As a result, the time spent prototyping is a fraction of the design time saved.
- Prototypes show you what’s working, and what isn’t
A good idea on paper doesn’t always translate into an effective design. A prototype can show you whether your idea is practical before you share it with a client. This is an area where low-fidelity prototypes pay dividends. They help to get you on the right track and save you time in the long run.
- Prototypes can detect design problems you might otherwise miss
Failing to discover a design error before the development stage kicks in can be costly. It gets even worse when the problem isn’t detected until after the project has been launched.
- Prototypes provide excellent vehicles for collaboration and sharing information
Prototyping can significantly cut down on the number of necessary meetings and consultations. How so?
By eliminating the need for unnecessary ones. High-fidelity, interactive prototypes can reduce time spent in design reviews.
When you purchase a quality prototyping tool, you can expect the return on your investment in no time. You will realize it long before you’ve completed your first design project.
You’ll not only save design costs, but you’ll make life easier for the developers as well. This can also be translated into money saved.