What is Digital Prototyping (And What are Some of the Best Digital Prototyping Tools)

David
Peter Martinez updated on 2020-09-25 17:19:49

These days, the way we render or develop a product has certainly changed a lot. For instance, to give our prospective users a realistic experience of a product, the concept of digital prototyping is implemented. It is a new-age concept that lets us create a prototype in a digital format. If you are not familiar with the term, then you can simply read this informative guide and can also know about some of the best digital prototyping tools out there.

What is Digital Prototyping?


In nutshell, digital prototyping is a concept in which we create a real-world model of our products. In this way, we can get early feedback from its prospective users without actually releasing the product. The prototype is created digitally with all the needed animations and transitions that would look similar to the actual product's rendition. It is not like a paper or a throwaway prototype and is focused on every detail of the product instead.

In digital prototyping, we create a functioning model of the product before the actual development of it. This can be done by using several digital prototyping tools that are available in the market. Since a prototype is in a digital format, we can easily iterate and make changes in it without much hassle, depending on the user's feedback. Ideally, it can have the following basic phases:

  • Analyze the problem and explore the core idea of the product
  • Brainstorm on the development of the prototype in a digital format
  • Use a reliable tool to create a real-world model of your prototype that can be tested
  • Present it to your prospective users to gain valuable insights
  • Based on the feedback, make changes in your prototype and repeat

The 5 Best Digital Prototyping Tools


While there are a couple of digital prototyping tools, I would recommend using the following applications as they come with extensive features and are easy to use.

1. Wondershare Mockitt

The first pick on the list of the best digital prototyping tools is Wondershare Mockitt since it is available on web and desktop. Therefore, you can use it for digital prototyping on any platform of your choice and come up with stunning designs in minutes.

digital prototyping
  • To make things easier for you, the tool has already listed several templates and demos that you can readily use and customize.
  • There are hundreds of static and dynamic widgets and design elements that you can include in your projects and make them reusable.
  • To create a digital prototype with high fidelity, you can include animations, videos, pictures, transitions, etc. as well.
  • There are provisions to import a Sketch project or export your project in different formats like SVG, HTML, or PNG.

Pros

  • Seamless options to share your projects via QR codes or links
  • Freely available on different platforms

Cons

  • Presently, up to 20 screens are supported in the free version

Runs on: Web, Windows, and Mac


2. io

This is a popular tool that is recommended for the digital prototyping of mobile apps and websites. While the application is pretty lightweight, it does offer all the basic designing features to create a prototype digitally.

  • It offers a web-based designing environment that you can access on any platform easily.
  • With simple drag and drop options, you can create all kinds of prototypes and test them as well.
  • There are options to import Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch projects directly.
  • It can be integrated with a cloud service (like Dropbox) so that you can work with your team on a real-time basis.

Pros

  • Projects can be exported as HTML or Javascript as well
  • Instant preview of apps

Cons

  • Only a 15-day free trial is available

Runs on: Web


3. Sketch

If you have been working in designing or product development, then you must have heard of Sketch. This macOS application has tons of features and can help you work on digital prototyping like a pro.

adobe xd alternative
  • Sketch allows us to add different layers on our prototypes to test the UI from all perspectives.
  • You can include any vector from its library or create new designs from scratch.
  • It lets us work on scalable designs that you can export and further edit on other tools (like Wondershare Mockitt).
  • By integrating it with its cloud, you can also collaborate with your team on the go.

Pros

  • Tons of templates and vectors
  • Extensive designing features

Cons

  • Only runs on Mac
  • A bit complicated for beginners

Runs on: Mac


4. Framer

Framer is one of the most popular digital prototyping tools that has been around for a while and can run on different platforms. The best part is that its basic version can be accessed for free.

  • There is a user-friendly editor that would let you come up with a prototype in a digital format easily.
  • You can also include different transitions, media files, and other objects, to have digital prototyping results with high fidelity.
  • One of the best digital prototyping tools, it can be accessed on the web on any platform or via its macOS application.
  • There are also various readily available templates that you can import and further customize.

Pros

  • Integration with Sketch
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Limited features for the free version
  • No desktop application for Windows

Runs on: Web or Mac


5. Atomic

Lastly, I would recommend Atomic as one of the best digital prototyping tools for creating mockups of apps and websites. This digital prototyping solution can be accessed on the web and comes with a free trial.

  • Atomic has made several features available in one place, letting you create a prototype in a digital format easily.
  • You can readily use its templates, work on reusable cards, and import projects from other tools as well.
  • It lets us integrate our tool with AWS and other cloud-based services to collaborate with our team.
  • Apart from prototypes and mockups, it can also be used to brainstorm ideas and work on all kinds of designs.

Pros

  • Real-time preview of prototypes
  • Import/export options in different formats

Cons

  • Limited features compared to other tools
  • A bit expensive for individual users

Runs on: Web

That's a wrap, everyone! I'm sure that after reading this guide on digital prototyping, you would be able to solve your doubts. If you also wish to come up with a prototype in a digital format, then take the assistance of Wondershare Mockitt. It is one of the best digital prototyping tools that can be accessed on the web or via its desktop application. The tool is extremely easy to use and offers a wide range of features to create digital prototypes with high fidelity in no time.