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Prototyping tools are one of the best means of design communication. They are popular among interactive software system designers, developers, and project managers. Prototyping tools have proved to be key to successful design and development. Same goes for the deployment of both web and mobile-oriented software applications.
Wireframing has its place as well. Wireframe tools help team members focus on a software system's interactivity. Both methods are valuable for showing clients how the products are expected to work.
To take full advantage of what prototyping can do for you, you'll want the best prototyping tools. Those described here are the best of the bunch for visual and interaction fidelity. They ensure design consistency and accuracy, collaboration, and quality information handoff to developers.
Justinmind is precisely the tool you'll want for validating your web designs early and throughout the design process, whether your choices for doing so are clickable wireframes, fully functional UI prototypes, or both.
To assist you with either approach you have access to more than 4,000 web, iOS, and Android premade UI elements. You can then use your wireframes or prototypes to optimize communications with developers, and hand over a complete set of quality design specs to them.
Justinmind also provides the means to build prototypes as a team effort or share your prototypes with team members and others for feedback. The rewards are simple but huge; you'll save time and money by speeding up the design work and avoiding costly rework.
With Justinmind, you can create your own UI component libraries, use design assets from any library, file system, or design tool, and design and validate the navigation flows of your proposed software system as you switch effortlessly between prototypes and flow diagrams.
You can download Justinmind for free.
Supernova is currently available for use on Mac OS X, with other platforms to be added in the near term. This prototyping tool converts Sketch designs into production ready code for use on iOS, Android and React Native devices. The code produced is comparable in quality to what a professional developer would create.
The package includes companion apps that allow testing on mobile devices, in addition to Supernova Cloud from which mobile applications can be run on the web. Supernova also automates the more repetitive and laborious mobile development tasks including file naming and exporting of code and resources
Mobile animation, navigation, and automatic localization to 30 languages can also be created using Supernova, making it worthy of inclusion in any listing of best prototyping tools because of the wide range of useful functions it performs.
You can try Supernova for free.
3. Savah App
Savah App features an imposing set of app and website prototyping tools, including a few features not usually found in many of the best prototyping tools.
For example: This all-in one platform for prototyping, designing, and collaboration can test prototypes across all devices, including Smartwatch and iPhone X. It also automates your project design workflow, provides a password-protected repository for the design elements, designs, and prototypes you create, and promotes team collaboration and information sharing.
With Savah App you can create a prototype, including transitions for mobile devices, in minutes. Your prototypes are placed under version control which allows you to view design changes and progress on side-by-side design screens. Savah App integrates with Sketch, Dropbox, and many other commonly used design tools.
A free, 3-project plan is available together with the Solo, 5-person team, and 10-person team paid plans. Savah App is best suited for smaller teams and freelancers.
The Benefits of Prototyping
Although prototyping has both advantages and disadvantages, the former far outweigh the latter. In fact, the best prototyping tools on the market made prototyping easy. It also became affordable and effective. In fact, so effective that advantages vs. disadvantages are no longer an issue.
Prototyping is in general considered to be an ancillary task. Yet, it becomes more and more essential as projects become larger and more complex. App and website prototyping tools and UI prototyping tools benefit their users. They contribute to higher quality software solutions produced in less time.
These benefits are as follows:
- A prototype can help eliminate ambiguities that at times pop up in system requirements. It also can reduce the errors that can occur when interpreting functionality.
- A well-designed prototype demonstrates what the software product is supposed to do. Not what it might do or ought to do.
- Prototypes benefit developers either by providing insights into a design, overviews. Or, by focusing in detail on the working, look, or feel of a system's component part or parts. This is valid whether the component is integrated with other parts or stands alone.
- One of the most important aspects of prototyping is the ability to discover problems. You can do so early on as well as clear up misunderstood requirements or features.
- Prototypes firm up how the finished software product is expected to function. They can play an important role in accepting and signing off a design prior to handing it off to a developer.
- The ability to offer comments or provide feedback on a prototype is great. It gives clients and other stakeholders a sense of involvement in the design process. It also gives them a greater appreciation of what has gone into producing the end product.
- Prototypes and prototyping tools can help developers estimate the development costs. Resources required to complete their part of the project can be estimated, too.
- When version control is maintained, prototyping tools can be very useful. They can provide reference points in the design phase that can be referred back to for a variety of reasons. For instance, should disputes arise later in the development cycle.
These three of the best app and website prototyping tools can be valuable assets to you. They enable prototypes to be built quickly and shared. But more importantly, they save time and money in both the design and development phases. Also, they promote team collaboration.
One of the things these tools share in common is that each can be regarded as an all-in-one or go-to tool. It can be counted on to reduce errors, speed up design and development workflows. It can give project stakeholders a sense of ownership of the overall process.