All designers have ideas upon ideas. Some are great whereas other may not be, but the key to determining that is examining them in real life. Prototyping tools are where ideas meet the paper in the most effective way possible. Tools and resources are a huge help to designers when now almost everything is done digitally. One step back is two steps forward in the long run.
Wireframes and prototypes are the two most common practices associated with UX design. These terms are used interchangeably by the design community but there is a significant difference between the two terms and they both serve different purposes.
Wireframing is one way to design a website at the structural level. A wireframe is most predominantly used as a way to layout content and functionality on a page which considers a users navigation and journey. They are also used in the early process of the development process to work out the basic structure of a page before the more taxing visual design is implemented.
To being with wireframes are a pathway to the future. They help design studios to create purposeful visions and the path they are going to take to achieve the end goal. Wireframes have been compared with architectural blueprints of a building because they are a detailed plan. You will see given blocks and sections that have been allocated space but not the polished design.
Prototyping is the process of exploring an idea by building an interactive experience. A prototype is at the medium stages of a full design which aims to simulate user interface interaction. Prototyping is the first phase in which designers can actually interact with their creation.
When strategising ideas to start a project, designers have to deal with complicated issues when making their designs appealing to the intended audience. Tools aid them to ease through certain tasks and cut down on time spent prototyping in the initial stages. Thankfully UX design tools are widely available on the web through sites such as UX Store.
Using a sketchbook can be beneficial in helping you quickly draw mobile UI ideas and work with developing concepts on the go.
A responsive pad can be great for sketching cross-platform ideas to handle how the website might adapt to varied screen resolutions and mobile versions.
When designing prototypes by hand a Stencil can be beneficial in providing commonly used icons and touch gestures to incorporate in your design.
To shape your app design ideas a stainless steel stencil can help create a precise wireframe for neat flow concepts.
With many design tools and practices on hand in the digital space going back to basics and using physical resources can be extremely useful in the early stages of a project. Using physical tools provide designers confidence in moving forward in developing designs. This is subsequently useful as taking sketches and using tools to build ideas in the initial stages can establish a structure for the finalised design. Additionally, using wireframes can also save considerable time and money in the testing and amends phase later in the project.