You might be asking yourself if you even need a prototyping tool. Testing with a low-fi or paper version can often provide useful results. Nevertheless, being able to show a client a working, high-fidelity prototype that’s difficult to distinguish from the real thing, and use it to test for last-minute design glitches, has huge advantages.
You want to make any choice you the right one, and for a UX/UI tool, making the right choice can depend on a number of factors.
These guidelines may be of some help:
- Look for a tool that has usability testing features; especially a tool that places an emphasis on qualitative testing methods.
- Make sure your selection is right for your end product; website, web app, mobile app, etc.
- Unless you are a lone wolf prototype designer, look for a tool with impressive collaborative features (even if you are a lone wolf, you still need to communicate with your client).
- Make certain what you select will be a good match to the size and complexity of your projects, or the size and physical distribution of your team.
If you are looking for the best product design and collaboration platform on the market, stop right here. InVision has everything an individual web designer or a small design team needs.
For complex projects or large, interdepartmental teams, InVision Enterprise is perfect for your team to build, iterate, and gather feedback on clickable, high-fidelity prototypes with ease.
Unlike some competitors, for whom usability testing is nothing more than the ability to display a prototype on a real device, InVision features truly powerful usability testing capabilities by relying heavily on qualitative user feedback to provide valuable results.
The ability to see and hear user responses is what usability testing should be all about.
There are even a couple of bonuses if you select this leading product design tool. There is no need for coding when building or testing your prototypes, and your first prototype is free.
Proto.io makes it possible to turn out interactive prototypes in minutes. This UX/UI productivity tool includes collaborative features that enable you to keep team members and project stakeholders in the loop at all times.
There’s never a need to concern yourself with the possibility of a communications breakdown with other team members, your project manager, or your client. As far as keeping everyone aware and able to contribute to what is happening, Proto.io has you covered.
If you would like to give a premium prototyping tool a try, you can try Proto.io for 30 days for free. A credit card is not required, which means you won’t suddenly find yourself in a paid subscription trap. The creators of this prototyping marvel fully recognize that most of those who try it will want to subscribe. It’s a win-win.
A high-fidelity prototype usually focuses on anticipating what users will want to see and do. Appsee Mobile App Analytics ensures that UI elements are easy to access, understand, and used to facilitate user actions.
Not all usability tools are equally effective in meeting these objectives. With Appsee, you will have what large numbers of designers and practitioners in the app design business consider to be the best usability testing and UX app analytics platform on the market.
Appsee relies on both quantitative and qualitative measures, with emphasis on the latter. User session recordings enable you to see how users react to every user interface.
Touch heatmaps will track when and where users swipe, tap, and pinch, against the responses received, or tell you if there are no responses.
What you will like best about Appsee is that you get useful and accurate usability data every time, including data and information that other usability testing tools often miss, saving countless hours in the process. This is one of the most powerful tools you can use to guarantee successful user experiences.
One way to determine whether a prototyping tool lives up to its claim of being easy to use is to see what its user base has to say.
Pidoco’s users will be the first to tell you that it is one of the easiest to use tool of its type. You can build a working, interactive prototype in a matter of minutes.
Pidoco has all the key feature prototype designers look for. It has a large library of UI elements and icons, it features page linking, screen transitions, commenting and collaboration, and there is no need for coding to create advanced interactions in your UX prototypes.
Lucidchart is a cloud-based, flowcharting, diagramming, wireframing app that features a comprehensive library of design shapes and icons for use in designing iOS and Android applications, drag and drop functionality, and a powerful collaboration support function.
While it is primarily designed for use as a prototyping tool, it is also a handy tool for your diagramming needs, such as flowcharts or mind maps. Where Lucidchart will really help you is by allowing you to avoid the necessity of having to repeat previous work.
If you like using PowerPoint, you’ll absolutely love what PowerMockup can do for you. PowerMockup is a mockup and wireframe tool kit featuring a library of more than 800 UI elements and icons.
These elements and icons are created entirely from PowerPoint shapes.
Creating an interactive prototype is merely a matter of selecting the UI elements you need, and dragging and dropping them onto PowerPoint slides. You can then present your working prototype for all to see as a PowerPoint presentation slideshow. To see how it can work for you, simply request a download of the free trial version.
As its name suggests, Patternry is about patterns; building and storing patterns to be more specific. The advantage this design tool offers is that it allows you to store code and design patterns for later reuse.
Doing so makes your work easier by allowing you to avoid repetitious tasks.
Since Patternry gives you the ability to capture and share design elements, including style guides and other design documentation, it puts you in a position to create UIs that have a measure of consistency; and consistency counts when a great UX is your design objective.
Most UX/UI tools focus primarily on the design aspects. For some, collaboration is of a secondary consideration, and for some, it is not a consideration at all. Notism’s primary focus is on collaboration. You can collaborate via notes and sketches, and communicate directly on design content.
Notism makes it easy to get real-time feedback information from associates or clients on designs and videos. On videos, users can place comments even on timelines.
As for web and mobile design and prototyping, Notism is an excellent prototyping tool. It enables you to turn static screens into interactive web and app prototypes – without requiring a line of code.
Loop11 may well offer the best and most comprehensive usability testing functionality on the market. As you’ve seen from this list, several of the prototyping tools featured have strong usability testing functionalities.
If, however, you are looking for a top-of-the-line UX-optimizing tool, give Loop11 some serious consideration.
This user testing tool allows you to collect useful and important heatmap, path analysis, clickstream information, and other qualitative and quantitative data, and in tests involving up to 999 participants. If your usability testing ventures to date have been providing less than optimum results, do yourself a favor and check Loop11 out.
If some of your past web creations have featured one or more forms, you are probably familiar with problems that can at times occur as users attempt to fill them out.
With Form Analytics by UseItBetter, you can drill down to these problems, find their causes, and make the necessary fixes.
Web users easily become frustrated when a form field isn’t responding as it should, and if you don’t want users abandoning forms, and possibly abandoning your site and affecting your conversion rates, Form Analytics is a valuable asset to have.
If you are looking for nothing but fine tools, you should find it here, whether it is a UX/UI tool for your use, for your team’s, or for large and complex projects where high quality, reliable feedback and collaboration is often critical.
Emphasis has also been placed on usability testing features. Usability testing is an extremely important activity, and one that is sometimes neglected or done using inferior techniques.
Each of the tools described here can significantly improve your productivity and the quality of your design efforts. These tools have been selected as the best of their type for a reason. You can’t make a wrong choice by selecting any one of them.
This is a sponsored post.