Prototyping software is used in creating the pre-version of product for checking and reviewing it assessed before production level. It also simulates the design created by developers so that they get an idea of the performance and its working in desired environment.
Best Prototyping Software in 2020
- Adobe XD
- Axure RP
InVision- InVision is one of the leading prototyping software tool that enables users to upload any format file for prototyping and works with all kinds of design tools. The software’s digital design and UX application is open source and can be used by everyone without any cost.
Adobe XD- Adobe XD is the UI and UX design software and prototyping software tool. It can be used on website as well on mobile. The software enables users to create interactive prototype without use of other 3rd party software.
Figma- Figma is the wireframe and design software that designs, gathers feedbacks and prototypes the design at one place. It comes with free trial for users. The users can also communicate their ideas before confirming any design with the use of Figma.
Axure RP- Axure RP is the UX platform that enables users to work collaboratively in one platform. The software comes with features like drag and drop, resize, and formatting. This comprehensive platform can be used on Mac as well as on windows.
Macaw- Macaw is the code savvy web design tool. It is flexible software used for designing and prototyping. Macaw is user-friendly tool and comes with customizable grids. The software provides preview feature that enables users to check how their website design will appear before launching it.
HotGloo- HotGloo is UX, wireframe and prototyping software tool designed for building wireframe. It is collaborative software. It lets users to create interactive prototypes without installing any external app. It helps in visualizing the planning process in web project.
Moqups- Moqups enables in streamlining the web app and helps in creating and collaborating in real time on wireframe, mockups, figures, and prototype. It is easy to use tool that designs website or mobile application. It is a visual communication tool.
Pencil- Pencil offers open source GUI prototyping that can be installed by users easily for creating mockups. The software is available in the repositories of Fedora, and ArchLinux. It comes with features like easy GUI prototyping, built-in shape collections, diagram drawing support, export of files, clipart, and inter-page linking.
Flinto- Flinto is the design application used in Mac. It has user-friendly interface and is the comprehensive solution for prototyping software. This software is used by designers for creating interactive prototypes.
Pidoco- Pidoco enables users in creating click through wireframes and UX prototype. These prototypes can be shared for web, mobile and enterprise applications. Its features include mobile simulation, collaboration, interactivity, usability, integrations, and customizable options.
Best Prototyping software is used in creating the unfinished or preliminary version of application. The prototyping software helps in simulating the final version of the design for testing, documenting errors and for delivering feedback on it. The prototyping softwrae tools are used by designing team for decreasing time consumed for building, testing and iterating the design by own instead of developers. Major types of prototyping software that are implemented usually are horizontal and vertical. The Horizontal type of prototype is usually implemented to test user interface. On the other hand, vertical prototyping software is comprehensive and simulates various designs and applications. With these prototypes, it becomes easy to test the design and make changes before launching it.
The global prototyping software tools market is expected to grow from $ 342.6 million in 2018 to $ 511.9 million in 2024 at a CAGR of 10.6% during the forecast period. The software is said to be prototyping software tool if it comes with tools that creates interactive model of the design, it should also provide the library with framework, workflow template, and symbol. Along with this, the prototyping software should also come with interface that enables user to create and edit tools, contains requirement management tool, and has feature of providing feedbacks and component required for seamless communication.
The prototyping software enables users to review the software for ensuring its functionality along with visualization of the features as per requirements. It enables them to work collaboratively and provide feature for seamless communication so that there will be in-depth discussions around product development processes. The major benefit offered by prototyping tool is that it enables users to check the design prepared by them before launching so that all the minor errors are also eliminated. Other benefits of prototyping software comprise; the software enables users to control the environment they are working in, that is if they want to work in design environment or prototyping software one. It can also simulate the design in horizontal or vertical environment, it enables users to work collaboratively and let them editing the coding done in the interface itself.
The competitive leadership mapping section offers detailed info for the Prototyping software. Vendor assessments are typically based on two broad groups: products offered and business strategy. Each category has numerous criteria, based on which vendors have been assessed. The assessment criteria considered under product offerings comprises of the breadth of offering, delivery, features and functionalities, product quality and consistency, and product differentiation. The assessment criteria considered under business strategy include geographic footprint, channel strategy and fit, vision alignment, and effectiveness of growth.
The Prototyping software in this category are: InVision, Adone XD, Figma, and AXURE RP.
The Prototyping software in this category are: HOTGLOO and Moqups.
The Prototyping software in this category is: Macaw.
The Prototyping software in this category are: PENCIL, FLINTO, and PIDOCO.
What are the different types of Prototyping Software?
For understanding the best prototyping software tool, it is better to understand the prototypes and its types. Prototype is a operational model, replication or just a simulation of the design that lead to make negligible amount of changes in the product design. The major use of prototyping software is into validating the designs and ideas so that it can be converted into the actual product. The prototyping software of the product can be anything like the operational model, non-operational model, small replication of model, videos or photos demonstrated model on the basis of various factors like problems for solving, client requirements or investor and company requirements.
The Prototyping software is in various forms like paper, 3D-print, digital, miniature or minimal usage product. Such prototyping software forms falls in the areas like operational, display or a small model prototype. The operational prototype focuses on the functionalities of the product and not on how it appears. The display prototyping software focus on the appearance and functionalities is the least priority. The small model is formed by combining the both operational and display prototype and is the miniature of the main product. The types of prototyping software for implementation are chosen based on the planned idea of prototype, the usage and the anticipated permanence of the prototyping software.
The major types of prototyping software are throwable and non-throwable. The throwable prototyping software enables users to get idea of how product will look whereas, the non-throwable prototype will give room to the users to make improvements in the design made.
There are various types of prototyping software available. Here are few listed:
This type of prototyping software is made by the use of videos for giving users the graphical or visual representation of the design of product.
The feasibility prototyping software is generally designed for determining the feasibility of numerous solutions. It is implemented for resolving any technical errors related to the product based on how it is performing, its component compatibility and many more such factors.
The horizontal prototype is used for clarifying the scope and the requirement of the products designed. It is basically a user interface created by using screenshot, demonstrations of external layer like menu, screen and windows.
Rapid prototype is used for instantly engineering the initial stage of design with the use of 3D CAD whenever there is need of producing it in a less time.
Simulation prototype digitally creates the physical product for predicting how it will perform when actually launched.
Storyboard prototype enables users in describing the product in the form of a story and demonstrations in particular sequence based on the requirements of the presentation. It determines the useable sequence for displaying the data.
The vertical prototyping software tests the front end of the product by generating the database. It improves the design, tests major components at initial phase and displays the operational model for checking the required functionalities.
Wireframes are the main outline of the product. It is represented in the form of diagrams and captures the characteristic design of the product like the idea, layouts, forms, architectures or sequences.
Animation Prototyping software are the images drawn and arranged in the sequential manner that enables users to understand the entire structure through the three dimensional arrangement of the product.
Mockups provides the visualization of the product or design. It does not show any functions of the product. It just arranges the product as per design without any active features.
What is the purpose of a Prototyping software?
Every time there is the requirement to create the prototyping software right from start, lot of time is consumed for initial stage of planning. The idea of the prototyping software designing should be finalized after giving lot of time in thinking whether it will work or not. The process of prototyping software development life cycle (SDLC) needs to be followed before going ahead with development and implementation. It is very costly and prolonged process that can take lot of time which can also lead to couple of months at times.
The process starts from the time when the company is understanding what exactly clients want. Post that, the designing process takes place in which the user interface of the product is designed. Once this is finalized then coding is done. This can take long time for translating the codes created. This code is reviewed properly and all the bugs found are fixed before launching the final the product. Rarely does it happen that after launching the product, few changes needs to be done. By using the prototyping software, huge amount of overhead cost and hassle can be avoided for the considerable time.
The prototyping software enables users in visualizing the main product before any kind of investment by the company. It is not have to be the replication of the product always, it can be the quick mockup process that can give idea to customer that how the particular product will appear and how it will function. It will also give conclusion if the investment is worth investing. The prototyping software also enables users to design the product in a way that it is user friendly and seamless.
Below are the steps that are usually followed by the software companies when they work on prototyping software particular product.
This the very first step in software development. In this step the problems are identified and its solutions are discussed. This will give clarity on activity that will be using this software. All the details related to the prototyping software features are collected. The ideas with regards to the design of the software are entertained. Any specific modifications in the product design as per the company brand can be done. All the small to big specifications related to the prototyping software design and development is collected by developers from clients.
Based on the requirement that how much detailed prototyping software is required, clients can specify everything to the developers so that they can understand the product clearly and code is generated accordingly. This is most important step as it decides how the end will be.
Initial Prototype Development
Usually, the Prototyping software are mainly concentrated on the normal arrangement of the product appearance and its features in the initial stage. They can be in the form of low fidelity on paper wireframe, which outlines the entire structure of app, highlights required basic features and describes the process completely.
Detailed Prototype Development
If there is the requirement of viewing the detailed operational prototyping software then the designing and development teams uses high-tech user interface designs and prototyping software methods for creating the complex and complete model.
The major reason of implementing Prototyping software and using it for simulating the product is to minimize the errors that can occur in the later stage of the product development. This clearly means that the designers should collect huge amount of feedback from the clients and should consider their ideas. By vigorously supervising the process and giving feedback to developers, clients eases the process of product development by making the developers understand their exact requirements.
Incorporation of Feedback
This is the last stage of the prototyping software process. By continuously collecting the feedback provided by the clients, developers incorporates it in the prototype ensuring that it is designed as per the requirements of the clients. After this stage, only client’s approval is pending so that once it is approved final product can be designed. Last two steps have to be performed simultaneously for getting the best prototyping software required. Apart from this, there is some amount of trial and error performed by the developers, which encourages the developers for solving any problems.
Top features of Best Prototyping software
Updated UI Libraries
Prototyping software comes with outstanding UI libraries. The Prototyping Software frequently updates its UI libraries. These UI libraries enables users to ensure that app’s appearance and feel is steady with the entire UI whatever may be application for like android prototype, iOS prototype or any other application.
It avoids the operating system design fragmentation. Usually lot of time is spent for checking the device specifications, OS style guideline and other practices used for particular device. With the UI libraries it becomes possible to save lot of time with the readymade UI sets that enables to create digital prototype with instant drag and drop option.
The prototyping software tools libraries are kept updated so that there is no version that is not latest. There are multiple user bases of mobile app designers, developers and business owners who access their UI libraries daily.
This is especially crucial when users designs both android and iOS prototype, since designing applications for varied platforms is complex as compared to designing the app for the varied OS updates.
Stunning mobile apps are also designed with the prototyping software. With the quick drag and drop option , mobile apps are designed instantly. These are backed up by stunning UI libraries. With the help of these libraries, it becomes possible to design the mobile apps quickly without the knowledge of any prototyping software coding.
Capability of implementing gestures
The gestures are the most important things for any mobile app that cannot be compromised. In today’s era people rarely interact with their phone with button touch, with these UI tools, it becomes more realistic while interacting with phone. Hence, it is important to design the prototype that can react on these inputs. The prototyping software designs the prototype that has ability of translating the gestures regardless of the device used for sending input signals. So it can be the smartphone (android or iOS) or it can even be the desktop browser.
Flawless Integration with all type of file formats
Spending time in converting the file format is not at all productive. It also breaks the link while working and designing. Modern software do provide features of file format support but it is important to get the support from the file formats that are used industry wide.
There are various tools available in market that do not support the desired file format. Hence, it is important that the prototyping software should support all the industry accepted file formats. If not all then at least few heaviest hitters’ formats in the industry should be supported by the software.
As the small is getting smart, prototyping software tools has to be smart as well as small. It means that UI libraries stays updated with the elements of both apple and android wearables from typefaces to tiny scrollbars. It also include outstanding templates, mockups, and many more.
Autosave and version control feature
With the apps developing on the daily basis based on the approvals and feedbacks it is necessary to save all the versions and even to auto save every version of the software. The prototyping software does exactly the same. It has the feature of auto saving the changes made as well as the version control feature. The versioning issues come up when usually there are multiple team members working on same product. To avoid such issues this feature is crucial. It becomes frustrating if some changes that were told before and missed on saving them. With prototyping software, it becomes very easy to go auto save and control version.
Collaboration and Feedback
Considering the fact that offices are becoming virtual, the collaboration feature is very important. The prototyping software, comes with outstanding collaboration and feedback features and benefits developers for working together as well as they can make changes based on the feedback provided to them. There are multiple prototyping software available in the market that enables users in sharing the mobile application prototype with friends, family, beta testers, clients, team members and with every other person who feedback is important. They can take notes physically or even markup them. Prototyping software also provides room for adding comments or feedbacks digitally so that all the important feedbacks are stored safe in the interface itself.
There are couple of vendors who may also ask users to register for providing any feedback on the prototyping software and puts limits to such feedbacks. On the other hand, there are also vendors who lets users to give feedback without any threshold limit.
Easy A/B testing
With A/B testing for functionalities, designs, etc. it becomes possible to get maximum ROI from the prototyping software tools. This can help users to quickly create the new app with easily available option of drag and drop. From there, users can collect the information required for quantitative as well as qualitative data for making the best design version of the app.
Data security is one of the key thing to look after before making any investment in prototyping software. Data security is required for protecting the details stored in the application regardless of the purpose of that application. The data that has to be secured varies from the bank card details to the unique design selected for developing the application. Various vendors also offers encryption security that locks down the client server communication in their own cloud environment.
There are various prototyping software tools that are loaded with features and give everything but needs lot of time in learning that tool and make it complex for developers and designers. Whereas, there are few tools that are easy to use and understand but does not have the fascinating features for making the impressive designs. The prototyping software comes with advanced functionalities as well as various tutorials, learning documents and an amazing onboarding experience for the user.
With the use of prototyping software workflow it enables users to switch their working modes from designing to prototyping software in the interface itself. This enables users in identifying the errors in the prototype mode and immediately they can switch their mode for fixing it.
Wireframe is a blueprint, or template for particular design used for particular prototype designing. It enables designers in adding the wireframe in the design with the prototyping software tool.
It enables users in adding customized micro and macro interaction in designing mode and helps them in testing it in the prototype mode. This makes sure that all the interactions work as per the requirement.
Considering the small size of mobiles, designs should be optimized to such change. The mobile preview functionality enables users in viewing the prototyping software in smart phone to check its compatibility.
Coediting functionality enables numerous developers and designers to make changes and modifications in the design in real time. This makes the work much easier for the teams that work on similar prototype. With this feature, team members working remotely can also actively participate in the designing without the need to be present in office physically.
Prototyping software sharing enables users in sharing the designs right from their platform and let them in controlling the viewer access. This functionality makes sure that only approved users see the Prototyping software that are mainly helpful for the confidential prototype. Sharing right from the interface is very helpful as it takes less time, rather the time needed to download the file and export it somewhere else to share.
MP4 download functionality enables users in downloading the video of the design created so that it can be shared with other users immediately and for giving better understanding of the design created. These can be embedded on website.
This functionality enables users in storing and managing the designs in the cloud environment. It ensures that the designs stored in cloud are backed up automatically and enables users in organizing the library of designs.
Who uses the Prototyping software?
Prototyping software is majorly used by the software developers and designers. Even the professionals uses the prototyping tools without prior knowledge of software designing.
Software designers makes best out of the prototyping software as the design is simulated by this software at the very initial stage so that any errors in the design is eliminated. These tools are also used by the team members in analyzing their design and for pitching the ideas to higher teams.
The prototyping software provides visualization of the design that helps web designers a lot. This enables them in identifying the potential issues in the visual form of design itself. They can quickly fix such issues as per the simulated interactions.
As the software can be used by non-coders as well, product designers can make best of this tool even though they do not have any coding experience. Prototyping tool helps product designers for brainstorming and for presetting theit designing idea of product that can be forwarded to the developing team for further coding.
Advantages of Prototyping software
The prototyping software offers many benefits and advantages to users and their clients. Here is the list of few benefits offered by the prototyping tool:
Can start with design immediately
Designing the new software app can be tedious work. It is not possible of thinking every functionality that the software can perform. If there is no surety of the design then also the designers can start with this process right away and as a trial and error can check few ideas as per the client requirement.
Defines the vision
The first step of prototyping software solution is of gathering the information. With this information, it will become possible to get exact idea that what clients requirements are and how to go about it. This information can be the good start for the designing process and can ease lot of potential issues and rework. This will clear two issues:
- When the product is seen on the screen it is possible to have interaction with the product and check if there is any room for improvement. Ideas can becomes more better than the imagination. If the design is not ideal or not as per the requirement then with the feedback, clients can let developers know about the desired changes.
- If it happens that developers miss out some crucial information from client then they will be clear now about the requirement of the client. Apart from this, strong logic can also be built by identifying the gaps in the design and requirements.
Communication and collaboration
The prototyping software needs huge amount of discussion interaction between client and developers. Staying is sync all the time is very important. With this software, clients can provide their feedbacks and reviews on the design created by designers. With the continuous interaction between them it becomes possible to get the ideal design created quickly.
There are many clients out there who want to see quick results, this is what prototyping software does. The basic prototyping software will enable users in ensuring that the designers are aware of the exact client requirements whereas, the high fidelity prototypes software enables users to check how the product will appear after completion. It enables clients in interacting with this type of prototyping software by going through screens, clicking on buttons and ensuring that the app is working seamlessly.
Since the prototyping software process is based on clear communication, it enables the users in sharing different ideas for flowing freely. High level of collaborative work between designers and clients and other team members enables the participants to participate in problem solving activity. This becomes helpful when there is the need to remove bugs and making the prototype a perfect one.
Early user acceptance testing
Acquainting the users with the newly launched product is tedious work. When any software is implemented in the organization, then it becomes really hard in ensuring that all the employees are catching up with the prototyping software working and using it wisely. Even though there are various trainings, there are multiple users that may still face issues with the software working. This problem can be solved with the software development prototyping software as it helps users to catch with problems even before the development is initiated. Here are few strategies that can be adopted for overcoming this issue:
- Including end users in testing process- The prototyping software is best if it suits properly with the abilities of the users. Companies can ask for the feedback from the employees about the software that how easy it is to understand or are they able to work on it independently or how are the features of software are they easy or complicated. This survey definitely helps in understanding the employee’s point of view whether they have understood the software or not.
- Using the prototyping software as the training model- When the prototyping software has reached the desired level of functionalities then it can be made available for the users for understanding its working and functionality. This will be very helpful testing strategy. Based on the feedback provided by the users, the design can be modified slowly. The high-fidelity prototype can be used by the users till the time product can be launched. This will make them easy to switch to the new software and can be adopted easily.
Saves time and money
Any new software if implemented in the company can be a problem if it misses the majorly required functionality. With this not the company and nor the designer will be satisfied. This can be merely waste of time and money from both the sides. It can also delay the implementation of the prototyping software in the company as there will be need for new modifications in it. With the prototyping software tool it becomes possible to identify the potential problems at an initial designing stage only that saves organizations time as well as money required for the prototyping software designing.
Adobe XD prototyping software is a simple to use and collaborative UI/UX design tool that enables users to create and prototype visually engaging and applications. It allows customers to showcase how the end product will look like along with its functionalities. It accommodates the usage of vector-based graphic tools to create stunning illustrations and allows the reuse of creative assets. It enables users to include interactions and triggers to elements, thus, making the design more practical.
Figma prototyping software help to converts the static design files into a decorative one without using a line of code. As it is available online, the platform can be run over any operating system from anywhere. The rich-features of application and also its ease of access makes it preferable over those applications that have device compatibility limitations.
Axure RP unites the websites, desktop, and mobile applications to design prototypes and web pages without writing the code. This makes it user efficient. Prototyping is required to visualize the software requirement at an early stage in the development. It processes the development and correcting issues as per the feedback from clients. The software has features such as condition logical functions and applying animations.
Moqups Prototyping Software is a streamlined and intuitive web application that helps to create and collaborate on wireframes, mockups, diagrams, and prototypes. It allows the shaping of visual ideas and gives direction to the project with professional diagramming tools. Also, it keeps effortless sync with work design and diagrams. Moqups work remotely and are adaptable to the system. The team can easily collaborate and the design can be shared with other stakeholders. The prototyping tool helps in making the concept a reality through design.
Macaw is a drawing tool that converts the images into the HTML/CSS3 coding format. It enables the user to find a wide range of functionalities on one platform. Macaw focuses on the structure of web pages such as the length, position, size, and border. All the features are put together to form the webpage as per the user requirement.
Flinto Prototyping Software is easy to use for creation of interactive animated prototypes for users app designs. It provides various features such as animated transitions, micro-interactions, drawing tools, Sketch and Figma support, scrolling, sound effects, 3D rotation, video and GIF export, video layers, scroll animations etc. It provides Dribble integration and 10+ gestures which are easy to use. It has features which allow designers to create rich interactive prototypes of different sizes and depths.
Fluid UI is a powerful online prototyping and wireframing tool for desktop and mobile. It has several features in prototyping including drag and drop, collaboration, software prototyping, UI prototyping, usability testing, UX prototyping, and features in wireframing including collaboration, desktop interface, mockup creation, presentation tools, mobile interface, page linking, feedback management etc. Fluid UI is used by designers and product visionaries to design, test and share their prototypes.
Helio is a prototyping software. It helps the user gain insights and analytics and thus, increase the growth in business. The platform provides many great features such as dashboard engagement, preference tests, mobile features and many more. It provides a time to time report to the user which contains all information. Also, Helio provides it as an app so that the user can use it on mobile as well as on desktop. It gives any product of a company a complete new look with powerful analytics and insights.
Marvel Prototyping Software is a compelling user design and experience platform that enables users to create visually appealing and interactive prototypes using powerful design and wireframe tools. It allows users to import designs from other applications to enhance the aesthetics of their prototype. Users can add elements and design components without any coding on their part, Marvel takes care of it on its own. This frees up copious amounts of room for designers to get really creative with their design and intended interactions.
Placeit Prototyping Software is easy to use with a multitude of designs, templates, mockups etc. Placeit allows users to drop design and generate mockups, Smart Templates adjust as users make content edits, and also provides easy to use video and slideshow templates. Placeit provides ease and flexibility with its feature of moving and resizing layers and Fast Preview features which allows users to view the video changes live while making edits. Placeit also provides a wide range of ads and social media templates and several logo designs.
ProtoPie Prototyping Software is an interactive easy to use prototyping software that works efficiently on both Windows and macOS. The user can create complex designs and prototypes without having any knowledge of coding and can upload the design directly from Adobe XD, Sketch and Figma. It supports sensors like proximity, 3D touch, compass, accelerometer, tilt, and sound.
The UXPin is a novel UI/ Ux design and prototyping platform that allows organizations to create functional and aesthetically pleasing mock-ups and wireframes. They incorporate several tools and interactive elements that allow users to design prototypes that almost mirror the final product. It aids in collaborative design and working, with plenty of room for users to customize their interfaces. It allows the import of code snippets and packages to improve interactivity. It enables consistent, scalable and economical prototyping.