Tools for Software Prototyping
This page shall give you an overview of tools to support the development of UI prototypes, Landing Pages as well as functional prototypes in Business Design projects. We also show the example usage of most interesting ones.
1. Example Tools
We have been using the following tools to design and build software prototypes in Business Design projects:
Pen & paper
In many cases the best tool to get started! NO CODING
Haptic tools and templates to draw user interfaces for web or mobile applications NO CODING
Easy to use PowerPoint / Keynote template to design wireframes and user flows NO CODING
UI templates for PowerPoint / Keynote NO CODING
Powerful software for creating interactive wireframes for Mac and PC NO CODING
Similar to Axure RP but fully integrated into the Adobe Creative Suite NO CODING
Browser-based tool to quickly develop click-dummies (web and mobile) and share them with others NO CODING OH FAVORITE
Software for MacOS to build high fidelity prototypes for web and mobile NO CODINGOH FAVORITE
Cloud service to create interactive click dummies and wireframes for web pages and mobile applications NO CODING
Similar to Protoshare, however, this software generates user interfaces in the scribble look NO CODING
Intuitive front-end framework for web development
Similar to Bootstrap but with more ready-to-use UI elements
Generic framework for developing and statically rendering HTML websites
Prototyping software for Android and Apple iOS
A/B testing software for mobile applications (iOS and Android)
UX tool for App Designer with possibilities for real-time updates. Cool!
Software prototyping tool for a variety of devices (mobile or desktop)
Software library for vector graphics in the browser
Similar to Paper.js
Graphics library for different platforms. We love it!
PHP-Framewok to quickly develop web-based server systems OH FAVORITE
Ruby-Framewok to quickly develop web-based server systems
and much more
This list is far from complete and is just a short summary with a focus on UI prototypes and mobile / web applications. Make up your own mind and use a tool which fits your need.
2. Example Resources
If you don't want to start from scratch there are a lot of resources available which will help you to start building prototypes very quickly:
Free resource collection which is a great first starting point to kick-start your prototypes
Huge resource list of ready to use web templates (landing- and application pages)
3. Example Usage
Pen & paper
Especially for UI prototypes, pen & paper is in many cases the best tool to get started. Pads with a device frame help you to consider space constraints. Due to its low fidelity, pen & paper prototypes are a great way to force your team and stakeholders to focus on core elements rather than on choosing the right color or design elements. And the best part: You can easily change and adapt them - even during discussions.,
If you need high fidelity prototypes, e.g. mockups, Sketch is a great tool to work on more detailed UI concepts. Downloadable UI-Kits can help you to start right away with designing your web applications and mobile apps. High fidelity prototypes are best suited for detailed discussions and feedback about user experience and look & feel. Has nice integrations (e.g. MarvelApp) and a huge ecosystem (e.g. https://www.sketchappsources.com).
4. Q & A
I'm a little overwhelmed about all the possibilities I have. Which tool should I use? Don't focus too much on picking the "right" tool. Pick one you are comfortable with. Our prototyping engineers are familiar with many prototyping tools and the specific nature of Business Design processes. They can help you to build prototypes in a couple of hours - not days!
Which tools can we use in synchronous work sessions to create a common understanding? It's not very likely that UI prototyping will happen during actual workshops at the level of a realisation in tools like Sketch or Ionic. We usually use pen & paper in these sessions to create drafts that later can be turned into a more advanced prototype with a higher fidelity using support of a tool. It is not important to push teams to use a tool right from the beginning (other than pen & paper) if they are not already familiar with the usage. To speed up the process, you can ask our prototyping engineers for support.