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Rapid prototyping makes you build sites faster

Friday, April 3rd, 2015 by Servage

prototypingPrototyping in web development is the process of creating prototypes of a software application, interface or functionality – without actually building the product. This process provides a visual mockup, overview and basic understanding of the functionality in order to make adjustments easier.. Prototypes are also a great tool to get a more precise overview of a project before starting the actual development. Many details are often only revealed during prototyping, which then gives the opportunity to change plans. Realizing major conceptual problems too late may cause projects to get delayed significantly – or even fail.

You can do prototyping by simply drawing interfaces on paper. That is the most basic way of doing it, and it works just fine. However, as prototyping becomes a more integral part of regular development processes, even prototyping itself has become subject to improvements – and nowadays there are plenty of tools available to aid the process. Below are a few examples of tools that can help you build better web projects faster.

Good prototyping tools

Invision is a prototyping tool with focus on collaboration. You can easily upload design work and convert it into workable prototypes using their tool. You can add hotspots for interactivity in the mockups, and communicate with your team about it. The collaboration is live and thus very efficient.

Proto.io is a prototyping tool with focus on animation. You can quickly get static ideas working with basic movement and interactivity. Turning ideas into such primitive but working prototypes is a great ability to make everyone understand a concept or an idea clearly.

Pop takes a slightly different approach, as it focusses on literally turning your paper mockups into interactive prototypes. The process is stunningly simple, and you really get a feeling of crafting something with your hands. This tool is probably a favorite among the ones who prefer to start with pen & paper rather than Photoshop.

Marvel is yet another tool which focuses on turning pre-made graphics material into interactive prototypes using hotspots. You get access to an easy editor where you can upload your material, and by point & click you can build interactions between views, and thus creating a workable prototype quickly.

The process is more important than the tool

The list above is neither exhaustive nor in a prioritized or ranked order. There are tons of tools available, and most of them do the job quite well. While it may always seems a bit annoying to spend time learning and getting used to new software, it definitely pays of to implement some kind of prototyping into your development process. It even makes sense for teams as small as just a single person. Why? Even the most experienced designers and developers forget things, or overlook scenarios to take into account when planning. Therefore turn your ideas into working tests and make sure you have covered everything. It is time well spent, which usually comes back and rewards you later, because you reduce the amount of bad surprises. However, no one says that prototyping using a fancy tool is better than the pen & paper version.

Rapid prototyping makes you build sites faster, 4.8 out of 5 based on 4 ratings
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