Wireframing is not prototyping

Quplog’s post talks something interesting about what I’m dealing with these days. Loads of new application pretending to be a mix of prototype and wireframing tool are ruining some viewpoints.

I’ve seen some Microsoft SketchFlow users claiming they are doing wireframe when actually they are working in prototype. In fact, they were just wasting time. Concepts differ, have look at:

Wikipedia defines website wireframes as follows:

“A website wireframe is a basic visual guide used in interface design to suggest the structure of a website and relationships between its pages.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website_wireframe

Prototyping, on the other hand, gets the following summary:

“The conventional purpose of a prototype is to allow users of the software to evaluate developers’ proposals for the design of the eventual product by actually trying them out”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_prototyping

Behavior and visuals indeed has different audiences to attend. Software prototyping is about evaluation, testing, verification, and function. Not wireframing. And doesn’t matter whether you’re working on desktop or web application. If you starting a project with a powerful tool which can deliver code when you’re still wireframing, you’ll have to think about framework, logical and physical structure, components and other hell things which you shouldn’t care at that moment. If you do so, please, consider to have some training and education at the subject.

Anyway, these are 18 tools on the subject. I use Balamiq, because it is simple, nice, productive and license is affordable cheap.

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