Fortunately for designers, there is vast variety of tools they can use to create a prototype of the project. However, the difficult part is choosing the right one. Today we are going to help you choose the best prototyping tool . But first of all, let’s find out a bit more about prototyping itself.
What is a prototype and why do we need it?
A prototype is basically an early sample of the project in mind. It shows its main features and design to the clients in order to make sure you are on the same page. Additionally, prototyping is a tool that helps you collect feedback from the target audience.
Prototyping may take quite a lot of your time, but it is worth it due to several reasons:
- Firstly, you save your time and effort. It allows to make necessary changes on early stage;
- Secondly, it’s the source of strong arguments to backup your design decisions;
- Thirdly, you can better present your image of the final design;
Finally, let’s review the prototyping tools that are the most popular.
Figma is gaining popularity due to its team approach. It’s an all-in-one prototyping tool that allows designers, developers, copywriters and clients collaborate on the prototype. It’s entirely cloud-based and provides native software for both IOS and Android.
Advantages of Figma:
- It allows to continue actual design after working with a prototype
- It has the responsive grid option, which means you can work on your prototype on any mobile device
- It’s easy to learn how to use due to its intuitive usability
- Perfect for teams working remotely as you are able to collaborate on the same files in real time
Flaws of Figma:
- Usually works slowly when working with large files
- No offline mode
Balsamiq is a tool dedicated entirely to prototyping. It has numerous templates that can be used for almost any scenario. It is perfect for new designers, as it is really simple to use. Balsamiq is the best when you need to create a wireframe for your project.
Advantages of Balsamiq:
- You can learn fast and create wireframes quickly
- Library of basic elements to be used for any interface
- Has an easy view option, which is perfect for brainstorming and discussion
Flaws of Balsamiq:
- No collaboration ability
- Not smooth work with imported images – they are often of a poor quality and can make the file lag
3. Adobe XD
One of Adobe’s children, Adobe XD is a multifunctional tool for designers. Here you can easily switch between Prototype and Design modes. Besides, designers can import their files from other Adobe tools to save their time. It’s continuously upgrading to provide even better experiences to its users.
Advantages of Adobe XD:
- Very easy to import your files to other Adobe products such as Photoshop or Illustrator to boost your productiveness
- It can be used for everything, from low-fidelity tasks like wireframes to high-fidelity design
Flaws of Adobe XD:
- No design-to-code export. Developers have to code your prototypes manually
- Only one person can edit a file at a time, so collaborating with a team is not possible
InVision runs on the web, that’s why it enables the collaboration for teams. You can create prototypes quickly and share them with others for feedback. Moreover, using LiveShare you can demonstrate your prototype interactively.
Advantages of InVision:
- Clear interface
- Easy to switch software. If you were working with other tool and decided to go for InVision, no difficulties will arise
- Seamless communication and feedback
Flaws of InVision:
- Basic and limited library of transitions and animations
One of the oldest software for designers, and still one of the most popular ones. It is considered to be standard to create wireframes and prototypes. Also, its consistency and functionality makes prototyping speedy and easy.
Advantages of Sketch:
- Reusable elements and plugins come in handy when you like quick delivery. And even without plugins you can enjoy the natural simplicity of its functionality
Flaws of Sketch:
- Unfortunately, this software is an option for you only if you are a Mac user
- It’s usually not a good choice if you want to make a high-fidelity prototype. As a result, users prefer to start with Sketch and then go on to other tools like InVision
Definitely, the right prototyping tool helps you make the best prototype. Although finding your perfect software may be lengthy, eventually it will be worth the search. The right prototyping tool will help you feel at home