Prototype vs Wireframe vs Mockup, Here are the Differences

Peter Martinez updated on 2024-06-06 13:46:13

Prototype vs Wireframes vs Mockups can be very confusing most especially if you are new to the designing industry. Wireframes are the basic version of designing with a simple and clear layout of the final product. Mockup on the other hand is slightly developed from the Wireframes and it includes actual images in the model. Prototypes closely resemble the final product and show how the final product would be. The only difference between the Prototype and the final product is the functionality. In this article, you will learn more about each of these as well as get to know the best tool to use to create Wireframe vs Mockup, and Prototypes easily.

What is Prototype

The prototype is a High Fidelity wireframe sample or model and which is a representation of the actual product; how it will be looking and working. They are also rich in animations, UX pieces, and interactions which would appear if you click on a button. A prototype gives you a feeling of using the real application only that they are a series of images connected. The only difference between the real product and the prototype is the missing functionality in the Prototype wireframe model. However, Prototypes can be used as the best tool to present your ideas to your family members, friends, and investors.

There are different types of Prototypes and they are simply categorized based on what they represent and how they are used. Some of the most common prototypes include;

1. Functional Prototypes.

Prototypes of this kind are used to display the actual functions of the real product. Mainly used for products that are more dependent on the function than the display.

2. Display Prototypes.

This Prototype focuses more on the appearance and feel of the product rather than the functions. Display prototypes are mainly used in the fashion industry.

3. Miniature Prototypes.

These are basic versions of the product and may also lack some of the qualities of the actual product. However, this prototype focuses on both the display as well as the functionality of the product.

4. Throwaway Prototypes.

This prototype refers to ones that are gotten rid of rather than being developed to the actual product. They are simply used to show how the product would be.

5. Evolutionary Prototypes.

It involves creating a basic but robust prototype. Unlike Throwaway, this prototype can be further developed to form an actual product.

What is Wireframe

A Wireframe is a 2-D model showing the page structure, functionality, layout, and intended behavior of a webpage or an App. Wireframes design can be created digitally or even drawn by hand, however, this will be dependent on the details that are required on the Wireframe. Colors, styling, and graphics are used sparingly on the wireframes since they can be distracting. In a Webpage wireframe, the model defines and clarifies the features of the website.

There are three main types of wireframes and the differentiating factor between them is the number of details bestowed on them.

1. Low Fidelity Wireframes.

These are the basic visual design representation of the webpage or an app and mainly serves as the starting point of designing.

2. Mid Fidelity Wireframes.

They are a more accurate representation of the layout with more details bestowed on each component and the features are clearly distinguished from each other. Different text weight may be used on the Mid Fidelity wireframe to distinguish the heading from the body contents.

3. High Fidelity Wireframes.

These are the most advanced wireframes and may include actual featured images with significant content written on it. More so, the pixel-specific layouts are more improved in the High Fidelity wireframes.

What is Mockup

Mockup slight resembles mid to high fidelity wireframes. Mockup displays the overall environment of the product; typography, navigation visuals, color schemes, and the layouts of the App or product. When designing Mockups, you should use the color contrast tool to check how your text will be legible against the background of the screen. Also make sure to explore your size, spacing, type, and font of your typography. Colors should be used in the Mockup to the model more aesthetic and appealing to the audience. Mockups are more intuitive to the investors and stakeholders than the Wireframes as they can easily see how the final product will be.

Mockups can be categorized into three types;

1. Graphic Design Software.

This type of Mockup is mainly used when more emphasis is to placed on the visual contents of the model. In such a case, you will have to use a graphic design program that you well conversant with such as Photoshop.

2. Mockup Apps.

These are tools and programs that are specifically created for designing products digitally. Some of the applications include Sketch and UXPin.

3. Coded Mockup.

This is an efficient and easiest way to create a Mockup thereby saving you more time and resources.

The Best Tool to Make Prototype, Wireframe, and Mockup

Application and programs are designed to perform a specific and particular task. There are tools out there that are good in creating Wireframe, some Mockup, and some of them excellent in making Prototypes. There are only a few tools in the net that are capable of creating all the three and Wondershare Mockitt application is among them. It is a special and a unique tool with amazing features that will enable you to create any design and as you wish it to be.

wireframe vs mockup

The amazing features of this tool are;

  • Wondershare Mockitt is compatible and can easily be accessed from any type of device, Windows and macOS computers as well as Tablets, Android, and Apple mobile phones.
  • The program has a QR code and a link that allows you to share the Wireframe, Prototype, and Mockup with the team members.
  • The library is rich in widgets, icons, and templates that you can use to design your project effortlessly. They can also be used to maintain consistency in your project.
  • You can add Team and Project collaborations in your project so that you can get insight and recommendations from the team about how the designing is flowing on.
  • The Cloud service in Wondershare Mockitt allows you to access your project anywhere, anytime, and from any device. More so, the progress of your project is automatically saved by the system.