Prototyping software is one of the most important steps in user interface (UI) design. You can use your prototyping abilities to gain any number of clients and collaborators.
What To Look For In Prototyping Software
UI designers can currently access a remarkable number of free prototyping tools. When comparing different tools, you should prioritize ease of use. As a designer, you have to use quite a few different applications in the course of your work. That’s why it’s crucial to seek out software with a forgiving learning curve. If you plan on designing as part of a team, you’ll want to seek out design software that is optimized for collaboration. Here are three of the most versatile free prototyping tools available today.
1. Adobe XD
Adobe is one of the most vaunted names in visual design and multimedia. Thanks to programs like Photoshop and After Effects, Adobe has long been the only game in town for multimedia editing in the Windows environment. In 2017, Adobe wide-released XD, a serious play for the prototyping market. XD prototypes for all major operating systems. XD is a powerful prototyping tool that has developed a loyal user base. Though XD boasts an incredible array of features, this software’s learning curve is not too intimidating. Through the Adobe XD Ideas content hub, users can quickly find answers for their XD questions. Due to the well-established nature of the Adobe brand, the online community of XD users is remarkably large and knowledgeable.
2. Origami Studio
Invented at Facebook, Origami is well-respected in the design community. Whatever your opinion of Facebook, there can be no doubt they have devoted a lot of effort to this versatile software. This tool is tailored for professionals who design for mobile devices. Origami runs on OS X and produces prototypes for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems. When building a prototype with Origami, you use a patch editor to piece together the logic supporting your app. Origami provides users with a wide array of patches. These include switches, animated elements and boolean logic operators. You can even build a prototype that processes readouts from phone sensors. Unfortunately, Origami is not really optimized for building prototypes with many unique screens. If that isn’t an issue, you’ll find Origami perfectly adequate and budget-friendly to boot.
Invision is the most popular free prototyping software available today. Because Invision is a web application, it’s slower than many other prototyping tools. Nevertheless, Invision is a powerful and well-loved brand in the design world. Currently, Invision prototypes for Android, Apple’s iOS and the Web. Invision’s free version restricts you to maintaining one project at a time. This should prove more than adequate for freelancers and beginning designers. If you absolutely have to work on multiple projects, you’re better off going with Origami or XD.
The right prototyping software can help you turn your ideas into reality in an expeditious manner. Fortunately, the average quality of available free prototyping tools is remarkably high.