• Ziggy Tashi


Updated: Oct 25, 2019

A growing number of designers tend to see the pen & paper prototyping as a slow and arcane process. Yet less than a decade ago most prototyping was done with pen & paper, and for many it still remains a favoured prototyping method.

But digital, as with so many things, is changing the prototyping landscape, the speed with which design teams arrive at their conclusions, and the quality of feedback derived from user testing.

The rise of digital rapid prototyping applications is changing the way developers are thinking about prototyping processes. Designers can now start building UX earlier in a product's lifecycle and acquire real results around prototype testing.

Main benefit of using these tools is to better bridge the gap between designers and developers, allowing for better communication between the design and coding teams.

A catalyst for these new tools is Lean UX — the process of quickly framing ideas and solving design challenges without relying on style and pixel perfection.

The number of applications available for UX prototyping is substantial. Web Tools

The evolution of front-end technologies and the popularity of cloud software in recent years have prompted a move from stand-alone applications to web-based tools. Web tools are ideal for sharing and viewing prototypes with a variety of stakeholders through internet browser.

When evaluating these tools it is important to think about project objectives, team size, workflow, technical understanding and support.

All of the tools mentioned here are free to try. Emily Schwartzman at Cooper provides in-depth research on prototyping tools.

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