A prototyping tool allows a designer to weave ideas, navigational elements, interactions, and visuals together to represent a solid prototype of a design. 

Launching a small business without the knowledge of coding could be hard. The option you may have here is to hire a software developer and pour five figures into them. But this process of hiring more people and aligning them with your goal might consume a lot of time and effort. 

With growing technologies, everyone can leverage easy-to-use solutions to perform their task and relax.

This is why prototyping tools are one of the best options for companies that need to develop an application with less effort, time, and money. 

The prototyping tools let designers and clients collaborate better being on the same page rather than having conflicting perspectives. 

In this article, I’ll discuss a prototyping tool, why it is essential, and how it helps.

Let’s begin!

What is Prototyping?

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Prototyping is a process where designers implement ideas from paper to digital. It includes various stages that allow product owners, designers, and business analysts to know key concerns, including navigation, user needs, usability, UI, visual design, accessibility, information architecture, etc.

Design is rarely an overnight success that requires a lot of time and tension. This is why businesses need prototyping concepts to save their effort and time. There are two types of prototyping:

  • Low-fidelity prototyping: Fast and cheap and often paper-based that enables a quick preview of a product.
  • High-fidelity prototyping: Realistic functioning and appearing similar to the actual product before the launch. It is good for demonstration in front of stakeholders and investors. 

Why is Prototyping Important?

Why-Is-Prototyping-Important

One of the main aspects of prototyping is that it creates empathy for the customer when done well. The main advantages of creating a prototype before the launch is as follows:

  • It saves time and effort, and obviously your money.
  • You can show your concept and test it on the target user group.
  • It is a useful reference for developers.
  • Serves as the documentation of the project.
  • You can work together with your team which leads to generating even better ideas.

How Can Prototyping Help UI/UX Designers?

Having a prototype makes the work easier to understand the tasks of every UI/UX designer. It gives an opportunity for realistic planning of the development processes and deadlines. To be specific, it helps determine the cost of the work. 

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User interface design is an essential design process nowadays that attracts customers. Using prototypes helps UI/UX designers know the usefulness of their designs without actually designing them for use. This way, designers save time and money.

However, using a prototype can accelerate the pace of development significantly, reducing the need for frequent edits. 

So, if you want to achieve that, here are some of the best prototyping applications with decent features and benefits.

Proto

Bring your innovative ideas to life with Proto in real-time. Entrepreneurs, marketers, product managers, UX designers, and anyone with an awesome idea can use the solution for their needs. Its drag-and-drop and intuitive interface offer you building blocks from which you can start with. 

Get more than 250 UI components that will help you in making your first prototyping experience well and fabulous.

The UI components mimic the native counterparts’ behavior. Furthermore, you will find a wide range of fully customizable and readymade templates for mobile and web, along with the elements and blocks you commonly use. 

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If you need assets to complement the prototypes, Proto.io has got your back. It comes in handy with a variety of animated and static icons, sound effects, and stock images. You will get over 6000 digital assets for your need. Also, you can improve the work environment by communicating with the design’s functionality.

Based on your project’s needs, you can add multiple levels of interactivity and go from a general wireframe to a prototype that seems to be real. Proto.io offer micro animations with powerful features to give motion to your design, such as screen transitions, timeline transitions, and advanced animations. 

Unleash the power of Proto.io and get the solutions you need for your prototyping. Try it for 15 days and visualize your idea. 

Adobe XD

Design the incredible with Adobe XD and create the real UI/UX designs to stand out from the rest. Give life to your ideas with the stunning solutions offered by Adobe XD. Digital is a new era, and everything happens on the screen. 

Let Adobe XD be your design guide so that it can help you in evolving the world of digital. With advanced features, you can create realistic designs that tell the story of your innovative ideas.

Whether you are into web design, application design, brand design, or game design, Adobe XD helps you get events, assets, and templates easily. 

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Get the features that are curated to power your workflow. Some features are 3D transforms, components, states, repeat grids, content-aware layout, import from illustrator, Sketch, or photoshop, vector drawing tools, blend modes, adobe fonts, and a lot more. 

For prototyping and animation, Adobe XD offers auto-animate, voice prototyping, scroll groups, anchor links, gamepad support, audio playback, and more. You can send CSS snippets to the developers or publish the links to share. 

Adobe XD lets you showcase your work. You can build an online portfolio and get effective feedback from the largest community of Behance.

Keep your team aligned on the same project to process coediting. Furthermore, you can save your assets to the cloud to share quickly with other designers, access files from anywhere, and keep your team on the same page. 

Find the best plan for you starting from $9.99/month and create stunning prototypes. Avail yourself of a 7-day FREE trial

Figma

Give life to your ideas with Figma by testing concepts earlier. Create a blueprint for future development. Turn the static design files into an awesome interactive experience without a single line of code. Connect UI elements with ease and choose your animations and interactions. 

You can define subtle interactions, such as on click, pressing, hovering over a button, and more. Experience your design using the Figma mobile application available for Android and iOS. Show your ideas but don’t dictate your vision.

Figma lets you take your guesswork out for development by spelling out the details you envision.

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Animate similar objects automatically and automagically to create detailed transitions. You can use animated GIFs to show motion designs, subtle animations, and video elements. Also, create different layers of dynamic overlays. 

Stop jumping from one tool to another; Figma allows you to design, prototype, collect feedback, and share all in one platform. Easily toggle between your live prototype and design file so that design edits instantly appear in your prototype. 

Make your prototype shareable so you can view it anywhere on the internet. Embed comments in your prototype to receive valuable comments on your ideas. With Figma, you can observe the test subject, interact with live prototypes, create presentation slides, and integrate with third-party tools.

Create your Figma account and try it for free. 

InVision

Create robust prototypes in minutes with InVision without writing a single line of code. It offers various animations like hotspots, interactions, headers, transitions, overlays, and more so that you can choose the right template.

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Enhance your design quality with feedback. Unleash the power of interruption-free development and start fast with the correct specifications. Figma’s design tools help you build better as its sketch integration streamlines the workflow. 

Explore the importance of prototypes and bring your ideas to life in real time with advanced features, templates, assets, animations, and integrations. InVision is free forever. Create an account and start prototyping in no time. 

ProtoPie

Become a prototyping superhero with ProtoPie. It offers outstanding prototyping tools for your digital product from a mobile device to IoT and from desktops to powerful experiences. With ProtoPie, you can convince stakeholders instantly, will never make wrong decisions or assumptions, and will save time as well as money. 

ProtoPie lets you completely embrace the connected future. Create any prototype with ease and connect them to various screens, hardware, APIs, and devices. It is also considered the ideal prototyping solution for automotive HMI and car UX.  

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Quickly test your realistic prototypes on your wearables. It is the ideal prototyping tool for the smartwatch UX. Take your static smartwatch application designs off the desktop screen and make your designs interactive. Craft realistic and amazing experiences across different devices. 

Moreover, prototype desktop and mobile games for consoles, such as Xbox SeriesX/S or PS5 which are fully immersive, realistic, and playable. ProtoPie is the most versatile tool for your design team working on tablets or mobile applications.

Since applications are not limited to a single device, prototype cross-device experiences are really necessary so that anyone can test easily. Start prototyping right away with a free trial and enhance your prototyping experiences. 

Mockplus

Mockplus is the most powerful product design solution for prototyping, design systems, and collaboration. With its advanced features and animations, you can design faster and collaborate better. Turn your brilliant ideas into functional prototypes with the help of interactions, icons, and components.

Streamline your validation and design process without writing a single line of code. With Mockplus, you can create a connected product design and bring designers, front-end developers, and product managers to work together as well as better.  

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In addition, you can build available, reusable, and dynamic design systems. Establish predictability and consistency across your team to manage, share, maintain, and iterate easily. Collaborate with other members effectively with Mockplus cloud and save time. 

Mockplus RP gives you fast prototyping, fast interaction, and fast testing. Manage design systems easily with Mockplus DS and get all-in-one libraries, design tools, and shareable links. Join many Mockplus users to build the best product.

Sign in to Mockplus to start prototyping for free. 

Axure RP 10

Get unlimited power and infinite interactions with Axure RP 10. It is the only UX tool across the globe that gives power to UX professionals in order to build functional and realistic prototypes. There are unlimited combinations of conditions, event triggers, and actions to give a digital thrill. 

You can use touch, keyboard, and mouse events to trigger interactions. Add variables and conditions to your design and take your prototypes to the top of everything. Leverage robust Axure RP 10 widgets to create sortable grids, dynamic interfaces, and working forms. 

The drag-and-drop option can create working droplists, radio buttons, and text fields. You can use multiple-state dynamic panels to make your design swipe-able, scrollable, and work on mobile screens.

Axure RP’s repeater widget allows you to create data-driven grids and tables so that you can filter and sort tables or grids dynamically. 

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Get the adaptive views feature so that you can preview your prototype on desktops, phones, and tablets on a single page. All you can do without the need for code knowledge. With Axure RP, you can make functional, realistic, and UX prototypes easily. 

Furthermore, you can create diagrams, wireframes, customer journeys, and other UX documentation next to your functional and rich UX prototypes. Flow diagrams, notes, and specifications are also part of Axure which makes prototyping easy. 

Click the button and publish your UX prototypes to the Axure cloud in order to inspect, share and gather feedback from the team. Embed prototypes into Confluence and Jira and used Axure’s Slack and Microsoft Teams integrations to keep everyone on the same page. 

Get it at a starting price of $25/month/user and avail yourself of all the features. Try it for FREE and experience the new style of prototyping. 

Sketch

Get the powerful tools you need for your collaborative design process with Sketch. From your ideas to pixel-perfect prototyping, everything starts here. If you are building stunning prototypes, collaborating on new concepts, or crafting the perfect application icon, Sketch got your design process covered.

Come up with your best work with the use of intuitive UI, benefits that you expected, and thoughtful features from a great Mac application, such as support for native font rendering, super-fast Apple Silicon performance, and P3 color profiles. 

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Work together with your team on the same document at the same time inside the Mac application. There are no pinging files back and forth, save conflicts, and hassle. Just you and your team or collaborators to explore infinite Canvas. 

This tool will help you bring your fabulous ideas to life with easy-to-implement features and tools and test your prototypes on your preferred devices with ease. In addition, you can share a link with your team so that they can view your prototyping in their browser and give you valuable feedback.

Sketch allows you to bring people and designs together to share feedback and build out beautiful design systems. With responsive symbols and reusable styles, you can easily build your design systems. Customize your workflow by choosing from various integrations, assistants, and plugins. 

From animating interactions to accessible designs, Sketch can help you a lot with its powerful platform. So, create your own workspace today for FREE and start prototyping.

Framer

Design stunning prototypes and publish them with your team with Framer. It is packed with awesome features and everything you need to start your design process. Its adaptive layout features allow you to start with a powerful foundation and iterate on your ideas. 

Create customizable and interactive components. Start with small designs and combine them later into a powerful prototype. You can add rich media, beautiful assets, and interactive components quickly to kickstart your project in just a click.

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The inbuilt interactive tools make your every transition a joy. Experience the presentation setting offered by Framer to make sure your work is ready for display. Pull in your developers, work with other designers, and quickly give an overview of your designs. 

Framer can generate animation codes that are used further during 1:1 production. Put your new prototype on the website and add some context to it to get feedback. Learn the basics and take hands-on tutorials to take the speed for designing and publishing your site today with Framer.

Start it for free and experience a lot. 

How to Choose the Right Prototyping Tool?

The right prototyping tool will help you describe your thoughts and opinions to your clients. With so many prototyping tools in the market, choosing the right one can be confusing since every tool is different with respect to features, pricing, offerings, etc.

So, when you choose a prototyping tool, keep in mind these points:

  • It must be easy to learn and use
  • Must offer multiple sharing options
  • Usage for your needs
  • Fidelity of the software to produce desired results
  • Budget-friendly

Conclusion

No-code prototyping platforms have opened up many possibilities for businesses to create and innovate. With prototyping tools, it has become easy to build websites and applications without being a coder. Thus, choose the right prototyping solution that suits your requirements.

If you working on a design project you can use these tools to create mockups in minutes.