Monday, 16 January 2017

Enhance & Facilitate Design Process with 8 UX Prototyping Tools




Enhance & Facilitate Design Process with 8 UX Prototyping Tools

ux-prototyping-tools

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Drawing sketches on paper is tried-and-true, but maybe it’s time for a change? UX prototyping has moved from paper to screen with the appearance of multifunctional prototyping tools. They can enhance and facilitate your design process at a glance.
However, each of these tools has its pros and cons. Read this article to find out what prototyping tool is right for you.
Today there are so many prototyping tools that picking one becomes a big deal. Luckily, making your choice will become easier when you answer these five simple questions:
  • Are you an experienced designer or a newbie in this field?
  • What exactly are you prototyping – websites, desktop apps, mobile apps, or everything?
  • Do you need high or low fidelity prototypes?
  • Does the prototyping tool include sufficient collaboration features?
  • How much are you ready to pay for the tools?
Things get much clearer, don’t they? 🙂 Now let’s have a closer look at eight popular prototyping tools, taking into account the criteria mentioned above.

Founded in 2002, the company has introduced one of the most comprehensive and widely used prototyping tools, Axure RP. It allows to create both high- and low-fidelity wireframes, no coding required. This tool is also great regarding sharing and collaborating (only in Pro version). However, its learning curve is rather high, and the prices bite. It costs from $29 to $99 per user, per month.



Axure
Image source: Axure

Price: $29 - $99/month
Trial: 30 days
Type: Windows app / Mac app
Best for: Websites, mobile, and touch
Fidelity: Low to high
Learning curve: High
User community: Large community
Collaboration features: Feedback and sharing (Pro only)

This tool from Adobe claims to be “the first all-in-one tool for UX”, promising vast prototyping opportunities. In it, you can create wireframes, visual designs, interactive prototypes and production-ready assets – and easily share them. The app is ideal for both websites and mobile apps. Now, Adobe XD is available on Mac only, but Windows version will soon be released. Like Axure RP, this app is mostly for experienced designers who want a fast, highly functional prototyping tool for any project. They charge £17.15 per month for one app.



Adobe-Experience-Design
Image source: Adobe

Price: £17.15/month or £45.73/month as part of Creative Cloud
Trial: No
Type: Mac App; Windows version coming soon
Best for: Websites, mobile, and touch
Fidelity: Low to high
Learning curve: High
User community: Large community
Collaboration features: Feedback and sharing

UXPin is one of the most popular prototyping tools. In it, you can effortlessly create wireframes, mockups, and prototypes. Secure collaboration, built-in usability testing and design management make this prototyping tool stand out. We recommend you this app if you want to switch from paper sketches to screen prototyping easily. They also offer free Ebooks and tutorials, check out uxpin.com/studio. The prices are rather affordable: $19 - $49 per user, per month.



uxpin
Image source: UXpin

Price: $19 - $49/month
Trial : 30 days
Type: Web app
Best for: Websites, mobile, and touch
Fidelity: Low to high
Learning curve: High
User community: Large community
Collaboration features: Feedback, sharing, user testing

Pixate is trusted by major companies and numerous design teams. No surprise, as it is an excellent tool for prototyping iOS and Android apps.It allows to test out complex mobile interactions, animations, and transitions, offering high fidelity prototypes. Learning how to work with it might take some time, but the results will be rewarding. An especially nice thing about Pixate is the pricing – you can get it for free (without sharing) or buy a $5 monthly account that allows sharing.



Pixate
Image source: Pixate

Price: Free or $5/month
Trial: No
Type: Web app
Best for: Websites, mobile, and touch
Fidelity: Low to high
Learning curve: High
User community: Large community
Collaboration features: Feedback, sharing, user testing

Another great tool for prototyping mobile apps. Fluid is easier to learn than other tools and has extensive libraries covering all operating systems. Its user-friendly structure lets you effortlessly create pages and widgets, add links and transitions, preview and share your design. You can work with one 10-page project for free or buy a monthly plan from $12 to $49.



fluid
Image source: Fluid

Price: $12 - $49/month
Trial: Project limited
Type: Web app
Best for: Mobile and touch
Fidelity: Low to high
Learning curve: Medium
User community: Large community
Collaboration features: Feedback, sharing

InVision is for those who love fast, quality prototyping. In fact, you can get a high-fidelity prototype in 5 minutes, and this is amazing. The app offers numerous cool features, and they are constantly adding new ones. InVision’seffortless and convenient system for project management and communication leaves others far behind. Moreover, the app is easy to learn and fits for both website and mobile apps prototyping. And all of that is delivered for reasonable prices: one project is free, and for more, you’ll have to pay $15, $25 or $99 per month.



InVision
Image source: developereconomics.com

Price: One project – free; more - $15, $25 or $99/month
Trial: No
Type: Web app
Best for: Websites, mobile, and touch
Fidelity: High
Learning curve: Low
User community: A very large community
Collaboration features: Feedback, sharing, user testing

Solidify lets you create clickable prototypes from sketches, wireframes or mockups. This app is useful for both website and mobile prototyping. If you don’t have much experience in UX design, Solidify will be an excellent choice for you, as it has a low learning curve and gives you a better understanding of how users interact with your product. This tool is outstanding regarding sharing and user testing. As for the pricing, you can get a basic monthly plan for $19 and a plus for $49.



Solidify
Image source: mockplus.com

Price: $19/month – basic; $49/month – plus
Trial: 30 days
Type: Web app
Best for: Websites, mobile, and touch
Fidelity: Low to high
Learning curve: Low
User community: Large community
Collaboration features: Feedback, sharing, user testing

This is a great tool aimed to recreate the experience of whiteboard prototyping. A perfect option for newbies in this field, as its interface is intuitive, user-friendly and easy to learn. Use Balsamiq to create low-fidelity prototypes of both websites and mobile apps. The app’s strong sides are unique design and extensive libraries. There is a 30-day trial, and afterwards, you’ll have to pay $89 for a single user license.



Balsamiq
Image source: Balsamiq

Price: $89 – single user license
Trial: 30 days
Type: Web app, Windows app, Mac app
Best for: Websites, mobile, and touch
Fidelity: Low
Learning curve: Low
User community: Medium community
Collaboration features: Feedback, sharing (Web app only)

Conclusion

If you are new to UX prototyping tools, hope this post will help you choose a perfect one. And if you are a UX ninja, feel free to share your favorite prototyping tools in the comments 🙂 And at the mean time, you are welcome to check out our collection of .

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