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What is your favorite prototyping tool?

7 months ago from , Researcher

I am writing an article on the best prototyping tools and I'd like to get some feedback from people who use the tools. Let me know if there are tools that you love, or hate. Thanks!

Ps if anyone would like to throw me a quote then please do... I use x because... or I hate y because...

46 comments

  • Philip A, 7 months ago

    html/css/js :)

    23 points
    • brian sheridan, 7 months ago

      Thanks! It's hard to beat that combo :-)

      0 points
    • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 7 months ago

      +1 for that, I switched to HTML/CSS/JS recently and it's so much more realistic and flexible than any other tool on the market.

      1 point
      • Michael AMichael A, 7 months ago

        +1 I've tried Framer, Principle, Origami and many others. They seem like great tools! But, I always end up outputting more quickly if I'm working in the browser. Codepen is the best!

        1 point
  • Chris Johnston, 7 months ago

    I am really liking Adobe XD right now. The prototyping in it is very easy to use and very straight forward.

    7 points
  • James Young, 7 months ago

    It's so odd to not see Axure on these lists. I haven't worked anywhere in the last 12 years that doesn't use Axure. Perhaps because its less of a designer tool than sketch or photoshop.

    I typically build B2B web applications perhaps that's the difference? I don't do a lot of mobile unless its consumer-facing and maybe that is why I don't gravitate to the other tools. I will (time permitting) use html css & js.

    6 points
    • brian sheridan, 7 months ago

      Axure really should be on any list of tools as it is still such a much used tool by so many teams. It is especially common to see larger teams working with Axure. It is reliable. One of the major problems which faces not only Axure but most every tool is that it is very difficult to do end to end ideation to handoff with just one tool. That is also why so many tools integrate with Sketch or Adobe and because both of those are so good it is not so easy a choice to move to another tool. But, then again, there are so many tools because different people, different projects, different teams just have so many different requirements.

      1 point
  • Fredo Tan, 7 months ago

    Check out https://protopie.io while you are exploring and if you are looking for an easy tool with the highest expressiveness possible.

    6 points
    • , 7 months ago

      Thanks, I'll have a look at that. Think I might have seen it already but thanks anyway.

      0 points
    • Dexter W, 7 months ago

      Let me just say that anyone who wants a replacement for Framer classic...this is what I've been looking at.

      3 points
    • Greg Warner, 7 months ago

      Yep, for a quick, non-code, really high-fidelity option that pairs with Sketch or other raster tools (I've used it with static assets from Affinity), Protopie is the way to go.

      1 point
  • Nelson Abalos JrNelson Abalos Jr, 7 months ago

    i may be biased when I say this but... Webflow ;)

    3 points
  • yh limyh lim, 7 months ago

    Sketch, Framer.

    2 points
  • Scott Liang, 7 months ago

    By "prototyping" do you mean high-fidelity screens with interactions?

    If so, I use Sketch + the native InVision integration for long workflows and Sketch + Principle for detailed interactions.

    Adobe XD recently got an update that includes a feature called Auto-Animate (https://helpx.adobe.com/xd/help/whats-new.html#AutoAnimate), which works much like the screen-to-screen animating found in Principle. I'm excited to try it out!

    Cheers.

    2 points
    • brian sheridan, 7 months ago

      Yes, sorry. I do mean high fidelity screens with interactions. I haven't tried the new Adobe feature but it sounds like it could be a great feature judging by your link.

      0 points
  • Nick Orland, 7 months ago

    You mean prototyping tools? Well, it's a process and it goes like this: Paper for sketches or table and chalks for the team, but it's kinda old school. Then you can do some nice design in Microsoft paint and export frames to Windows Movie Maker where you can create nice animations, you can also go with PowerPoint, it depends on the client. But printing and pasting the presentation on the wall is the best practice, it's very transparent + later you can use paper for heating in the winter period or gift homeless people and they can learn UX for free. The more we print, the less we pollute the digital world.

    1 point
  • Shivala Tilak, 7 months ago

    Try Fluid UI, its simple, fast and smooth

    1 point
  • Fernando Lins, 7 months ago

    IMHO: Pencil, paper, and talking to a user or stakeholder. If you're talking to a tech-savyy user then you can ask them to help you design with Keynote, Powerpoint or Google Slides. Cuts all the bs and goes straight to results. Later you can choose a digital tool. If you're writing about digital tools (there are many articles like that already...) then I'd say Axure and Webflow.

    1 point
    • brian sheridan, 7 months ago

      I don't think this answer will ever be wrong. Any design sprint, where you have a problem that you are trying to solve will or at least should always start with a pencil and paper. Any tool then is just a way of communicating the ideas that are generated. Also, being able to communicate with senior management who might not care too much about the process of how you got to a solution but just want to see the solution might not be so impressed unless they can see a high fidelity prototype. Similarly, clients want to be wowed and this is another aspect which has to be take into consideration if you spend your time trying to win over clients and build up an agency or if you are a freelancer! But, having said all of that, thanks for the answer.

      0 points
  • R. KamushkenR. Kamushken, 7 months ago

    There are tons of such articles already. Switch to something more useful

    1 point
    • , 7 months ago

      Thanks for the suggestion. But, tools are changing so often as a result of new features and bug fixes that it is always interesting to see how some have improved and some have stood still or even gone backward.

      4 points
  • Taylor PalmerTaylor Palmer, 7 months ago

    If you want to know what people are actually using, I hear UX Tools is pretty cool for that...

    1 point
  • scott parsons, 7 months ago

    Paper prototyping is still useful at times, though with so many tools available which are so fast to use I quickly move digital.

    I still use omnigraffle for early clickthrough prototypes. It is still faster to use than the more modern software (Sketch, XD etc) for low-fi sketches to wireframes. At least in my opinion.

    For more complicated protoypes showing functionality I use HTML/CSS/JS. Most commonly I use Pinegrow as my code editor as it has great visual control for really fast prototype creation. You can build pages by dragging prebuilt components into a page and end up creating pages and sites lightning fast.

    For animations, I use a mix of HTML/CSS/JS and principle.

    1 point
    • Dexter W, 7 months ago

      I have Pinegrow. How would you say it's useful in prototyping between team members? I'm thinking about the components feature...which is more robust than Webflow because you can change properties.

      0 points
  • Thuy Gia NguyenThuy Gia Nguyen, 7 months ago

    Handsdown my favourite prototyping tool is Flinto. I've tested out most of them, and nothing compares to Flinto.

    1 point
  • Elwin Ha, 7 months ago

    My workflow mainly consists of Sketch/Marvel/Principle for digital, and Illustrator/InDesign/Photoshop for print. Additionally, I also use a projector to visualize what large prints would look like (like booths or large billboards), to overcome size limitations of monitors.

    But my favourite app to use is Cinema4D and other 3D apps whenever clients or work warrants a need for it, or if I'm doing physical product prototyping.

    1 point
    • brian sheridan, 7 months ago

      Thanks. Interesting that you switch between Sketch and Illustrator for digital and print. Did you ever use Illustrator for digital?

      1 point
      • Elwin Ha, 7 months ago

        Yep! Illustrator is much better at vector manipulation than Sketch in my opinion, so I tend to do most icon and illustrations on there, and then export to Sketch afterwards to put into my design library where I can apply overrides and stuff to it.

        1 point
  • Hideyuki M, 7 months ago

    The click dummy plugin. this plugin generates local html prototypes. Made with very simple code, so I did customize it for page transitions, hover actions, iframe and more.

    1 point
  • James Jun, 7 months ago

    Sketch's prototyping for just simple transition from screen-to-screen, Principle for any basic animations, and Framer Studio (not X) for anything more complex than that. I would use XD if not for that fact that it's layer styles are still barely enough for anything more than basic shapes.

    1 point
    • brian sheridan, 7 months ago

      Thanks! Sketch really is the go to tool. Did you try Framer X. Some people seem very impressed but then others are not so happy with it at all. As a first iteration, I think it is pretty good. Though, they have a long way to go.

      0 points
  • Jason FestaJason Festa, 7 months ago

    framer is great for quick hi-fidelity protos :)

    0 points
  • zafer o., 7 months ago

    plain paper & pen / illustrator

    0 points
  • Alen Faljic, 7 months ago

    As a business designer, I use google spreadsheet and whiteboard. My favorite process is discovery-driven planning, which I like to call prototyping with numbers. Happy to share more if this is in the right alley. :)

    0 points