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Ask DN: The best prototyping tool?

almost 6 years ago from , Designer & Front-end Developer

OK, with the release of a new prototyping tool every week and the arrival of both Flinto and Principle, what is the best prototyping tool? I have tried Framer, Pixate, Principle, After Effects, and Flinto. Yet, I'm undecided on the one (if any) to purchase. I can see it becoming an helpful/useful addition to my workflow.

What features would you want from the perfect tool?

What if the prototyping tool was included in Sketch? What if they generated full HTML + CSS + JS or Swift or Java code? (That'd be nifty) What if they were all free instead of paying $99?

4 comments

  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 6 years ago

    I don’t think there is an overall winner. Different tools are good at different things, and different tools will suit different people.

    If you already have the static design built (or parially built), then Flinto or InVision or Principle could be great choices, especially if you want to get a feel for the overall flow of the app.

    If you feel at home with CoffeeScript or JavaScipt, then you might find Framer really easy to use, and the most powerful and flexible of the bunch.

    If you want to nail a specific and complex interaction, Origami or Principle could be the best choice.

    If you just need a quick and crude example to discuss an idea, a rough sketch on paper or a GIF created in Photoshop might be the shortest path.

    If you have already done a lot of motion design in After Effects, then why not just stick with that?

    If you’re an experienced web developer, maybe pure HTML, CSS and JavaScript would actually be quicker?

    Or, if you’re already an iOS or Android developer, sometimes it’s faster to just write native code.

    What features would you want from the perfect tool?

    I don’t think I want one tool. I like having many options available, with different strengths.

    What if they generated full HTML + CSS + JS or Swift or Java code?

    Have you seen much tool generated code before? Sometimes good, if it’s within tight constraints (hi, PaintCode!), but often terrible.

    What if they were all free instead of paying $99?

    Then development would stop, because the developers couldn’t eat or pay their rent. :P

    3 points
  • Crystal McDonald, almost 6 years ago

    Hi, I actually wrote an article about this. http://devboxpro.com/top-10-most-popular-wireframe-and-prototyping-sites/ I hope it answers your questions.

    1 point
  • Numecca .Numecca ., almost 6 years ago

    Tool Fomo

    1 point
  • Maciej ZadykowiczMaciej Zadykowicz, almost 6 years ago

    To second what Marc said, there isn't one. On any given project I can jump between three or four different tools, because each of them excels at different interactions or scale. For tap events I like Form; scrolling / dragging I prefer Pixate; animating a sequence on a timeline, Principle; prototyping entire flows - there's InVision. I'm fine with that.

    0 points