Selecting the best UX prototyping tool

It’s all about the finding the Fastest Viable Medium for the problem you are solving.

Tom Söderlund
Jan 28, 2015 · 3 min read

“What’s the best wireframing/prototyping tool?”

Being the founder & CEO of Weld, I hear this a lot. It’s a popular question, but there’s no simple answer. It all depends on:

  1. The goal with the prototype. This is the big question, and you shouldn’t begin building your prototype without knowing this.
    Is it to answer a specific question, or to explore a larger topic area?
    Is micro-interactions (gestures, animations) important, or is it more about understanding the flow of a complete app?
    Will the prototype only be shown to you and your team, or will it be shown for external stakeholders or test subjects, in which case:

“…always prototype in the Fastest Viable Medium.”

Given all of the above, you should always prototype in the Fastest Viable Medium. The whole point of prototyping is to iterate fast, i.e. run through the Build-Measure-Learn loop as many times as you can:

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“Creation is Discovery”, as Bret Victor once said. The thing is, you simply don’t know what you will learn before you build and test your prototype, so the faster you can get it out, the better. Your second iteration will always be infinitely better than the first.

“Your second iteration will always be infinitely better than the first.”

Common UX problems and tool suggestions

So. Getting down to the actual tool recommendations. Here are some typical scenarios:

  • Solving a specific UX question (not a complete app), internal testing only: I’d recommend pen & paper, Balsamiq, Keynote. A word processor such as Google Docs or MS Word is an underestimated tool for text-intensive prototypes (e.g. a product landing page).

And placed on a grid to make it more clear:

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Summary

To summarize the above:

  1. There is no “best tool” that solves every problem, so

UX Prototyping

The processes, skills, people, and tools for prototyping…

Tom Söderlund

Written by

I build tools for creativity 🧩. CEO of @Weld_io , a #nocode tool for marketers. Father of two. Feminist. Fan of espresso and movies. Still learning.

UX Prototyping

The processes, skills, people, and tools for prototyping great apps and websites.

Tom Söderlund

Written by

I build tools for creativity 🧩. CEO of @Weld_io , a #nocode tool for marketers. Father of two. Feminist. Fan of espresso and movies. Still learning.

UX Prototyping

The processes, skills, people, and tools for prototyping great apps and websites.

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