Choosing a GUI Prototyping Tool

 Having a clear GUI prototyping will help to better the communication of the navigation and interactions of a specified design on your site. A prototype can be developed in different design stages, which include Actual test and Analysis. There are several categories of prototype apps that are present to match your specified purpose, set of skill and the needed loyalty. When you want to choose the prototype for the sake of your Graphical User Interface, you will select one that is suitable.

The category of the prototype that you choose should have the needed aspects. 

Choosing a GUI Prototyping Tool

Low Fidelity Prototypes

This type helps to roughly explain the design direction. Normally, some conceptual sketches will be discussed in the course of an interview of the stakeholders. The sketches here may be drafted on sticky notes or on paper or they would be made using certain tools like Microsoft Skecthflow. They are usually created as low fidelity prototypes, which tend to be easier and faster to create. In addition, the sketchy look of these prototypes maintains the abstract design focus devoid of being distracted. They will not be affected by such things as the color, size or alignment.

Medium Fidelity Prototypes

These do not communicate a conclusive look, nevertheless, they communicate such aspects like interaction flow, hierarchy of information, labels and navigation. They are at times referred to as Wireframes. The real content in this category is signified by matching widgets. The images on the other hand, are signified by placeholders and other text is restored by the subjective Greeking called Lorem Ipsom. The main aim at this point is on the relative positions and sizes of the several elements displayed on the screen but that are not the real content. 

The positive side of these prototypes is that you can decide the relative UI element positions, despite the actual content not having been terminated. The coverage and diversity of the available interactions will depend on the type of software to be used in a medium fidelity prototype.

High Fidelity Prototype

These are close to the final product, devoid of a definite back end coding. Typically, the visual mock-ups will be utilized as start points for the creation of high fidelity prototypes. The relevant connections are appended to the existing widgets inside the mockup. Such elements like GUI Design Studio, Microsoft Expression or Flash Catalyst to create the mockup visual design. Such apps like Flash Catalyst may be used to import designs that have been developed in Illustrator or Photoshop. This is the easiest way, which will permit the simple addition of counter-activity layer at the top. 

Factors to Consider 

When you want to choose your GUI prototyping tool, you will need to consider some factors. These factors should relate to the need of your site. 

 The Starting Point

You should consider if the tool pictures the concepts on paper like high fidelity or medium fidelity prototypes. This can help you determine the available elements to initiate the prototype, therefore, administrating the choice of the application. 

Availability of Export Options

The prototyping tool that you choose should have the availability to export items. This is because the screens that have been created might be re-used as the ultimate mockups or wireframes. You should therefore choose one that lets you export your content without restrictions. 

User Friendly 

The tool you choose should overly be easy to use. The main point of using such is to ensure the design and visual display of your site are appealing. Therefore, when you are choosing a given prototyping tool, you should consider its ease of use. Such tool should let users, who have no special knowledge or skills to create the prototypes devoid of any sophistication. Whatever function or problem solving you might be needing, the prototype should not be challenging to use. 

Versatile/Not for Web Only

The majority of prototyping tools that are present, work great for web application and websites, however, they should not be locked only for web apps. They should be able to work perfectly on the desktop, even without a web connectivity. This allows flexibility in the usage of the tool because several functions can be done on the desktop, or off the web. 

Visualization/Efficient 

The specific tool that you choose should be able to design appealing displays with the available features on it. They should be well customized to fit in a platform and deliver top quality results as well as giving results that are visually classy. It should give you great results that are helpful to your site and ones that will improve the graphical user interface. 

Interactivity 

The prototyping tool that you use should be lively and interactive. These two features are quite important in a prototype. The tools should allow the softwares’ visual appearance to be designed in a different graphic editor. They should also display the system functions, interface logic and design. When you need to create an extra dynamic prototype, you must ensure that you are not limited to it. When you choose a prototyping tool of your preference, you will need to ensure that it is interactive enough.

Ability To Work On Different Platforms

There are so many platforms available, ranging from Linux to Microsoft, therefore, you will need to pick a prototyping tool that can run on different platforms. The tool should be able to run perfectly under different operating systems. This is because you might decide to change your organization’s operating system. For that matter, if you decide to change the OS of your organization, then the prototyping tool should still work on the new installed platform. 

Conclusion

Basically, you can choose the prototype of your preference, however, the tool should be able to cover a number of aspects. You should consider these aspects when you are choosing a tool for prototyping. One of the major factors is that the tool should be easy to use and be able to run even off the web. There are various functions that you might need to carry out and therefore, your GUI prototyping tool should be flexible and reliable enough.

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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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