Wireframing and prototyping are standard processes in companies that need to visualize their upcoming products or projects like apps and websites. Some companies, however, confuse these design concepts, if not even thinking they’re the same thing. Yet, they are two different terms and they do have differences, even though complex terminology can easily frustrate those new to the industry.
Let’s take a look at what stands behind wireframes and prototypes, and what’s the difference between these popular techniques.
Wireframe tools are best described as the skeletal framework of a particular project. It’s basically a guideline of how a website, app, or other technology works.
A basic description sometimes collides with how designers and developers describe it. Sometimes wireframing tools are used to describe how key components of an app or website work. For instance, one developer might wireframe a description of how navigation works on a developing app.
In many cases, wireframing tools are used to map out the visual aspects of a mobile app or website. Despite the fact that it’s all about visual elements, it doesn’t mean that the wireframe is created in color or with intricate details. Since it’s meant to represent a basic idea and map out the content It usually depicted as simple unvarnished drawings or sketches.
Prototyping is the opposite to wireframing. Prototyping tools are used to create a more meaningful picture of what an app or website is going to look like. A prototyping process also frequently includes envisioned interactions with users to test how the project is going to work.
The prototypes are used for testing of the future product on a real audience to gauge opinion and bring an agile approach to improving it.
On a visual level, a prototype has the look that’s closest to the final version of the product but skipping technical details, like programming codes etc.
Why Prototyping Sometimes Supersedes Wireframing
The real benefit of making prototypes is the opportunity to present an app or website to the client and later to a real audience before it goes to market. Thus, important changes and improvement can be made before they become crucial. Plus, it’s easier to create prototypes thanks to various tools and software available.
Many digital tools are available for both wireframing and prototyping, making it a bit overwhelming to choose the most suitable ones.
One standout wireframing tool is Wireframe.cc, its simple interface makes wireframe sketching an ease. A web-based tool is free for a basic template, though also charges for three different tiers.
One of the prototyping tools to watch is Proto.io. It outputs HTML/CSS, plus offers touchscreen capabilities. They offer the opportunity to test your app as if in use in the real world.
And of course, there’s no need for special technology when you have a whiteboard! It is one of the most common, traditional tools used for both wireframing and prototyping, just sketch out your designs and ideas on a smooth surface!
Contact us to find out more about how Bootstrap Boards can assist in solving your wireframing or prototyping challenges.