Best Way for Prototyping Designs in User Testing and for Pitches

26 Mar 2013 - 9:39am
3 years ago
3 replies
2764 reads

Just curious to know what everybody uses to prototype their designs when user testing, and when presenting clients, or giving pitches to potential investors. I've seen a multitude of different resources used for user testing; anything from interactive pdfs, paper renderings, coded mock-ups and fully built software.

What sort of tools do you use for prototyping, and do those tools change with the device you're testing for?


28 Mar 2013 - 1:06pm

There is a push at the company I work for to have all UX Designers proficient in coding hi-fidelity prototypes. We've a member who creates very interactive prototypes for mobile and other devices. We also use simple jpegs designed in photoshop when we feel it appropriate. I feel it does help move internal discussions along and has given him a significant amount of respect in his designing abilities from his peers and supervisors.

One online resource I found to be very quick to use and implement ideas on mobile is Requires no coding abilities and can deliver fairly robust prototypes incorporating the many gestures used on touch-screen devices. is another resource but I've only started looking into this.

I have drunk the kool-aid and am working to up-level my coding skills (html, css, javascript, PHP...) to meet the perceived demands but I still feel you can acheive quite a bit with simple, paper prototypes in regards to testing with users.


As our designers come from various backgrounds and coding knowledge base, It has proven unfeasible to get the team to subscribe to any one tool for prototyping.

29 Mar 2013 - 12:01pm

I'd like to offer Indigo Studio as a viable option for this. It's not made for full on app simulation (yet); however, it is strong at rapid prototyping, story-based prototyping--what I like to call "sketching prototypes." It's good for testing with users and rapidly iterating on interaction designs.

Depending on your client's demand for final visual polish, it could be used to present concepts and walk through them. You could use polished image assets to bridge that gap (for pitching, that sort of thing). It can tell a good story, especially if you leverage the integrated storyboards.

And everything in v1 is and will remain free forever.

Full disclosure: I am the product manager and a contributing IxD on it. ;) 


4 Apr 2013 - 6:40am

HTML protoypes have the advantage of being as interactive and "real" as you want them to be. Which is perfect for user testing and is much more convincing for presentations/pitches than static deliverables.

Are they good for everything? No, of course not. Just like wireframes and pixel-perfect Photoshop comps aren't perfect for everything. But for some things, they're great.

Disclosure: I've created a course that teaches UXers how to prototype using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. So I may be biased :)



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