5 Mobile Prototyping Tools You Must Consider

The right mobile prototyping tools have helped teams improve on their creative abilities and encouraged a collaborative experience during a project design. They have helped team members get automatically updated, document decisions and track the design progress. They have helped clients get an actual feel of the project and get to further understand the project.

Mobile prototypes have also helped detect errors earlier and they have instant feedback and update features where every team member can access. This has lead to quicker implementation of designs. It has helped designers test multiple ideas and come up with the best solution through collaboration. When the design ideas are validated early, they help the users have a visual guide to the end product. It is a cheap and fast way to create ideas from sketches and building on them.

5 Mobile Prototyping Tools You Must Consider
Pop Prototyping

This tool works by sketching ideas on a paper or napkin, taking pictures of each screen with an iPhone app and adding clickable hotspots to the image. POP has tagging categorizing features that make it easy to find what you are looking for in the files. POP has transition allows the flow to look like the real thing, gestures that allow you to navigate the app like your users, changes are automatically synced to your Dropbox account enabling you to work from different devices.

It supports JPG, PNG and BMP. It allows you to share your progress with others through its multiple sharing methods. It also allows you to turn the project private by turning off the sharing feature. It allows you to leave a comment enabling easy communication between the clients and the team and eliminating the need for sharing many emails during discussions. This tool is not meant for large interactions. It is mainly used to validate simple design ideas at the initial phase of the project.

Solidify

Lets you create clickable models from sketches, visual mockups or wireframes by simply uploading them on the screen, hotlinking them and testing the ideas with the users. It halps you know what your users think about your idea, it allows you to even have a desktop experience. It helps you view your testers from various platforms. The first one is one-on-one interface where you are able to see as they use your model. The second is remote interface where you interact with the testers through the web conference.

The third is unmediated where you let the users use your model and review later to see the comments they left. The fourth is using a network of user testers to purchase unbiased quality results. It has analytic features that are able to collect statistics such as; average amount of clicks, the page the user went on before the current page, the page the user was on before the current page and the longest time spent on a page. This feature is used together with usability testing of an interactive model that is controlled by strict set of tasks for the statistics to be more significant. It has a feedback mechanism that allows the users to offer feedback on any aspect of the model.

InVision

InVision works by uploading your designs and adding clickable hotspots. It allows the team to present and collaborate on their ideas by sharing links of their ideas. It automatically tracks version history, to mean that you can be able to view previous designs and comments if need arises. Your updates are always automatically updated as it syncs with your Dropbox. This has the most official feedback system of all the tools because conversations can be tracked as possible bugs which allows the teams to close conversations as they are going through the design process. It also allows teams to track incoming comments per project which is helpful in tracking new design ideas from voluminous feedback for teams which are geographically spread.

Proto.io

Allows you to create beautiful, animated prototypes that are fully interactive. It has a drag-and-drop interface which helps your prototype app get the same look and functionality like a real app. You can be able to move items from one position to another and define their duration. No download or installation is needed to use this tool, you simply need the web browser to build, share and collaborate on prototypes. It has an instant feedback feature that helps eliminate communication gaps between design teams. It allows you to create PDF documents for printing, export the prototype’s screens to PNGs or embed your prototype on your website.

Prototyper

This tool allows you to share and test designs on devices. It is ideal for users who have no knowledge in programming as it is code-free. It has widgets that help you create interactive wireframes, mockups that work like the real prototype and helps communicate faster and better between designers. It is able to design smart forms and data grids enhanced with advanced behavior and conditional navigation to help you personalize your data and can be tested instantaneously. It’s the only tool among the five which is able to support mobile and desktop prototyping experience.

 

Conclusion

These prototypes are easy to use and the animation features make them beautiful to look at when working. They have helped bring designs into reality in a quicker way. It has improved communication between designers and developers thus enhancing interactions and contributions during the design phase.

The teams are able to access the status update of the project making the design process to be smooth and fully interactive. They have also allowed design teams to share design evolutions over time without having to go through multiple file copies. These advancements are a major step in changing how projects are designed but the mobile prototyping tools need to improve on the prototypes and make them feel more like the real thing and manage the system complexity issues that come along when the design goes beyond the original scope.

Megan Wilson
Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)walkme.com
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