Kind of messed up headline, ey? I guess by the end of this article it will make sense to you… So let’s not waste anymore time and dive right into it.
In a previous article – A puppeteer’s playground – I’ve introduced you to the concept of wireframing. And it’s common mistake to confuse wireframing with prototyping. Uuuh, how exciting – we’ve learned a new word: pro-to-ty-ping! What should we notice here? The first three letters – it starts with “pro”, because professionals do it, amateurs ignore it completely!
Start acting like a Pro!
The first thing on your list – understanding the difference between the two processes. If wireframing offered you an overall view of your website, getting you to concentrate on a conceptual level, prototyping is a high-level representation of your website’s UI and Ixd (just to be on the same level – UI means user interface; IxD is the design of interactions). If, somehow, you can dedicate the necessary time for a high-level representation, at least allow it to be developed as a medium-level portrayal.
The purpose of a prototype is to offer a fair image through which you can see what the users are going to get on their screens and how will they interact with the website – so it’s not only about looks but also about behavior.
What’s the prize?
Well, firstly, you’ll bring your website to life, the right way! Then, if you’re an Agile adept (and if you’re not, you should be) you’re definitely understanding the benefits:
- clarity along the way
- deliverability at every step
- testing and control
- development flexibility
- come up with the NEEDED product
There are some great tools out there, like InVision, and by using them you’ll add clarity to your project from an early start.
Remember those days from your childhood when everything was fun? You can bring them back – work efficiently, while having fun. Don’t just trust me, give prototyping a go!