Top Prototyping Tools for Designers, Why & How You Should Use One
The design world is always fascinated by Prototyping. A picture is worth a thousand words but a prototype is worth a thousand meetings. Turning your vision into a reality and a tangible thing can be achieved by prototyping and it is determined by the levels of the fidelity it offers. Prototyping helps you in maintaining the consistency of the design while planning, testing and building.
Tools make it easier to display the idea & concept and make your concept tangible. You might be wondering if there are any tools for prototyping and will they make my work easier?
So, the answer is yes. You have a library of tools available on the internet, most of them are freeware and some of them offer premium features at a reasonable cost.
So, which one you should be using in 2020 and which of them are perfect for you, how and why you should use them?
We try to answer as many questions as possible with this post.
Understanding the requirements by clients is one of the crucial tasks a designer has to do. Many of us fail to understand what the requirements are, hence, we tend to go for many meetings, phone calls and emails to deliver the thing they have in mind. This problem can be overcome with the help of prototyping tools.
Tools allow us as well as our clients to communicate better and collaborate on a parallel level. Tools also offer a way to avoid conflicts and mismatches in the development and clients also get a comprehensive look at what is going on and what designers are creating.
We can say, the tools are a chance for designers to explore their creativity and experiments.
The biggest advantage of any tool would be, it allows you to take risks and recover from the damage at the earliest stage. Yes, prototyping helps you in getting a demo of the work you are going to deliver. With tools, you can get things validated with the users, iterate and improve.
How you can use prototyping tools?
Customer engagement can be driven through user experience. Creating mockups and wireframes would lead to constant communication with the client which can be irritating for them. With the use of prototyping tools, you can avoid thousands of problems regarding design and improve at the earliest stage. With these tools, as mentioned before, you can bring your ideas into reality.
How to choose the right tool for you?
With a bunch of tools available around the internet world, it can be cumbersome for you to choose the perfect one. We help you with the choice here…
Judge the right tool with these factors
1. Learning Curve
First, learn how simple is it to adopt the tool. Is it easy to use? Is it easy to learn? We call it a learning curve. Research how much time will it take for you to get a hold on it. Since all tools are different from each other and offer different options, it would take a lot of your time to learn it.
Design is better with collaboration. Check how well the tool suits your collaborative approach. The tool should offer you the freedom of collaboration and people around you should be in sync with you through the tool. Since all the people around you would have different and vibrant ideas, it would be better if you guys are on the same page.
Another important point to consider is the usage of the tool. Does it suit your design methodology? Are there any other tools that offer you the same usage freedom? If the tool can use the same files created by your current designing software whether it could be Photoshop, Illustrator or the Sketch, it would be really nice. If the tool doesn’t support your previously created files, it would be difficult for you to build everything from scratch.
4. Comfort level
You should get comfortable with the tool as soon as you get used to it. This will stop wasting your time and help increase the output. It should decrease the number of steps required to complete a certain task instead of increasing it.
You get a bunch of tools on the internet, many of them will offer core features, but here’s their trick, they won’t match your budget. So, be careful while choosing the right tool for you. Read every feature offered with these tools and match with your needs. If a certain tool is offering a lot more features than your requirements and fit in your budget, go for it, you can learn the new features and expand your skillset further.
Why do you need the tool? Is it just meant for making a mockup of the design layout or you want to design something very sophisticated? Your requirements and needs are classified in three major fidelity, they can be low, medium and high fidelity. Low fidelity is just to check the validation of the idea. Medium fidelity would be for the layout, interaction and information style and high fidelity would be for the visual designs, animations and accurate interactions.
Ultimately, everything comes down to one single thing, your comfort level with the tool, affordability and ease of use. Choose wisely and design great!
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