Design is constantly evolving and becoming more complex. User interface design is no longer limited to wireframing and designing icons. Today, designers work with a broad array of useful tools that range from the simple to the sophisticated, including graphics software and prototyping tools. Whether you’re creating Web applications or mobile apps, prototyping requires preparation and specialized software. However, with the number of prototyping tools growing every year, you must make a difficult choice: Which tool would enable you to work most efficiently and effectively and create the most useful prototype. In this article, we’ll consider the pros and cons of some of the most popular prototyping tools.
We once asked the designers on our company’s UX team about their favorite prototyping tool and got several different answers. The creator of each tool focuses on certain attributes—such as fidelity, an easy-to-use user interface, or time-saving functionality—that help their solution stand out and stay competitive in the marketplace.
How can you choose the best prototyping tool for you? When choosing a tool, keep the particular requirements of your project in mind, first and foremost. When defining these requirements, make them as precise and exhaustive as possible to ensure you can create a prototype that provides a thorough representation of how a future product would look and behave. Don’t omit what may seem like minor technical details; they can affect the whole project. Read More
I recall vividly, when I was about twelve years old, going to Disney-MGM Studios and visiting a sound-based exhibit called Soundsations with my dad. I walked into a small booth and sat on a padded seat. I was instructed to put headphones on, close my eyes, and imagine I was R.J. McBean, a newly hired executive at a major motion-picture studio. The lights dimmed to complete darkness, then, suddenly, I heard the sound of a door opening and a male voice boomed in my ear. The sound was so clear and vivid and oriented so perfectly that I felt I was the person to whom he was speaking. He walked around, going farther away, then nearer—eventually opening a refrigerator door to get a drink. He opened a can of soda, seemingly 18 inches from me. It sounded so real that I recall reaching my hand out to take it. Then, I quickly reminded myself that this wasn’t real—just amazing 3D sound. Read More