Prototyping tools in 2020
Updated: Jan 25, 2022
Users can be involved in testing design ideas by using experimental, incomplete designs know as prototypes. Designers can create either a high or low-fidelity prototype depending on their purpose, allowing them to test a feature, application, or website. Developing prototypes is an integral part of the iterative user-centered design because it enables designers to try out their ideas with users and to gather feedback before the product is fully developed.
Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of prototyping: paper-based and computer-based. Software prototypes are dynamic simulations. Users can try out operations by interacting with the system in "real-time" but usually, the functionality is only partial or is simulated. There is no shortage of ways to showcase the design’s interaction with the numerous prototyping tools available to designers. We’ll be taking a look at the top 5 tools that can help UX/UI designers develop the ideal interactive model for their design or product concept.
Adobe XD is one of the most common apps among UI/UX designers as an all-in-one wireframe building prototyping platform, immersive prototypes, website designs, sports, smartphone apps, voice interfaces, and more. It allows teams to work together between platforms in real-time while receiving valuable comments and feedback directly from clients.
Figma provides a very easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor to create wireframes and practical prototypes. It also has a lot of immersive elements to animate the prototypes. Most designers already know the famous web-based UI design tool. While Figma is widely referred to as the UX design app, it also has software for rapid prototyping. Additional features include plugins such as Figmotion and Autoflow plus the availability of Arc Tool and Vector Networks.
Webflow is becoming really popular now as it speeds up the job of developers by providing clean and semantic code and designers, basically, it helps in prototyping while simultaneously building a live website. Webflow is a well-known prototyping method for developing zero-coding sensitive websites. Designers can use its pre-built complicated features to create high-fidelity designs that Webflow can transform into a production-ready website with just a click of a button.
Sketch is one of the most widely used user interface and prototyping software for millions of programmers around the world. Sketch is one of the best applications available today to create all forms of user interfaces. It’s like a more sophisticated and widely-supported version of Figma. Although only available on iOS. It is a vector-based graphics platform with an elegant GUI for manipulating styling, scaling, and design templates and attributes a wide range of boundaries, gradient fills, blending modes, and more. Supports a seamless production process where designers will produce high-quality designs.
InVision is another web app that operates with a focus on architecture. It provides all the materials you need to switch from wireframing to UI designs. And it comes with a lot of helpful methods for better teamwork and prototyping. InVision is one of the biggest, and most popular prototyping tools used by designers and top enterprises today. It supports real-time design changes and gathering of feedback quickly from teams while allowing the designer to organize their workflow, this causes for much more simplified project collaboration.
Other Prototyping Options
Balsamiq— The industry-standard low-fidelity wireframing software with plenty of online courses and resources to learn wireframing and UI design.
UXPin — Design, prototype, collaborate all in one place on Windows, Mac, or simply in any browser.
Framer — Best known for its versatility, immersive interface, functional designs, and intuitive templates.
Origami Studio — This is a macOS desktop application created and used by Facebook.
Axure RP — Combines powerful design tools, SVG import, and Sketch and Adobe XD integrations with world-class prototyping, you can easily share Axure RP prototypes and artboards from Adobe XD and Draw quickly and collect input on top of your screens; inspect the layout, get CSS snippets, and download assets; and convert static images into dynamic Axure Cloud prototypes.