Wireframes & Prototyping: planning the futureUser Experience | 15 October 2015
As simple as they might seem, wireframing and prototyping are pressing phases, crucial to the structure of a digital project, boosting and facilitating all the processes of the development of a webpage or application. At Hi INTERACTIVE, we know the importance of structuring ideas. In this article, we demonstrate how optimizing forms of interaction can help to create authentic experiences and we also list 5 wireframing and prototyping tools.
Preparing the ground
In the digital architecture of a business, wireframing and prototyping should be reference points to the whole process. We speak, of course, of a collaborative process, in which customers themselves must take part, ensuring that all the goals and needs are taken into account.
When creating a page that aims to be visited by thousands of users, it’s important to know how this page should work. Therefore, it’s necessary to structure the project in the best way possible and to create a model before anything else is built. Also, we should not forget the importance of partitioning the contents logically, clearly defining each section.
Depending on the expertise of the team members, each one of them must be alert to detect the potential errors. This phase must be seen as an inspection to a building that is under construction: architects, electricians and masons will find different problems (and their solutions) in the structure, so that the construction can be optimized. It’s about testing the page’s user experience: its efficiency will also be evaluated in the prototypes, which look closer to the final project’s design
Through this practices, it’s possible to optimize the navigation within a page, thus avoiding any usability problems in the future; not to mention fact that the wireframing and prototyping process can facilitate the development and programming team’s work, accelerating the whole progression.
5 Wireframing & Prototyping Tools
Drawing on paper is good, but, in the digital age, it is at least impractical (specially if you take into consideration the fact that many teams work remotely). Fortunately, there are already some programs that make it easier to get into these processes:
In-Vision. Built by designers for designers: that's how In-Vision presents itself. This tool allows you to create prototypes; one of its main advantages is the possibility of sharing these documents online, presenting them as simulations of the final project, which truly helps during brainstorming.
Axure. This program does everything that is expected from this type of application and still offers a 30-day trial. This simple-designed application allows you to create wireframes and interactive mockups. The links can be sent to the client, so that this phase of the project can be reviewd and evaluated.
Pidoco. Allows you to share projects directly with customers online. It includes features for collaboration and discussion. Plus, it has its own mobile application.
Balsamiq. With a totally user-friendly interface, Balsamiq allows you to drag and drop documents to easily create a page or application model.
UX Pin. This collaborative online design tool allows you to create interactive wireframes and prototypes, providing a design kit with the most common essentials and a variety of UI elements.
No matter which tool you use, wireframing and prototyping are vital to any digital project. It’s through good planning that we can structure, optimize and create experiences according to the best international practices. We would like to be part of your planning: contact us.