8 Best Prototyping Tools Available for Free!

Many entrepreneurs trying to start a business or launch a new product or service, dream big. They have a great vision for their ideas. Many also fail. They fail to realize their ideas in small steps  and then climb. The key to start with a new idea, no matter if you are an entrepreneur, business or SMEs, is to design a prototype. All in all the procedure to get success is:

Dream big, start small and scale fast… but act now!

What is the meaning of the prototypes?

A prototype can be something like a mockup of a mobile application, a template of a website or even a drawing on a napkin. It is also regarded as an example, model or previous release of your product to validate the concept, processes and behaviors of your users.

A prototype helps give a leap from the theoretical to the practical. In simple words, we can say that the prototype is like a jump to throw you overboard.

Why should we create, design and use a prototype?

Prototypes can help you in many ways. Some of the benefits are given below:

  1. They are useful to shape a new idea.
  2. These help better define the requirements of your product
  3. To improve your internal processes of development of new products
  4. Understanding the problem at the technical level
  5. To improve communication between your designers and development team.
  6. Enforces you simplify your ideas!
  7. To help you move faster in developing your business or company.
8 Tools to design and build a prototype

These 8 tools can help you design and create prototypes of your business ideas. With many of these tools, you can generate free app designs, mock-ups, web page templates and many other things.

If you’re thinking of starting your business, start by creating and designing a prototype with any of these tools.

1.      Flinto

flinto

Flinto is an excellent tool for prototyping your iOS applications. You can generate prototypes for your iPhone or iPad very easily and realistically.

It also gives you the option of creating flowcharts and processes to see how they would experience for your users.

2.      InVision App

invision-app

InVision app is a leading company that developed a platform for collaborative design. They work with companies like Evernote, Adobe, Airbnb, Salesforce and much more.

The platform gives you the flexibility to design, review and test your prototypes without writing a line of code.

Their motto is “Good design is good business”.

3.      Axure

axure

Axure is a more complex platform that lets you create prototypes, templates, and specifications to make decisions when creating a new product. It has a functionality to generate advanced prototypes beyond just links between the screens.

Axure also works within your team to discuss, approve and iterate your prototypes.

4.      Skitch

skitch

Skitch is one of our favorite tools to provide feedback on new web designs and products.

With Skitch, you can take pictures of your screen, annotate comments, give drawing instructions or write important information for your developers.

5.      Balsamiq

blasamiq

Balsamiq was one of the first tools we use to design the template of our website. Many features of a product are visual hence it is difficult to translate the requirements verbally or in writing even.

blasamiq_1

This tool can help you get a better template of your prototype in an easy and simple way.

6.      POP – Prototyping on Paper

pop

Do you have an idea for a mobile application? Draw, download and try. It’s that simple.

With POP, you have a very simple process to design on paper, take a picture and play with your app in the app.

7.      User Testing

user-testing

More than a tool, User Testing is a page where you can deliver your prototypes or Beta Apps and let strangers try your mobile application, prototype or product. It is probably the easiest way to receive feedback on your prototypes, mobile applications or web pages.

One of the great advantages of User Testing is that you can choose your target audience, specifying tasks and see the results in videos using your prototype with participants.

8.      Proto.io

proto-io

Create new prototypes of your apps without writing a line of code. Proto.io has an advantage of being able to work in most operating systems necessary to create a free app. It works with iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Conclusion

After reading this article, you should have enough reasons and resources to start testing your prototypes. Test, test, and test…. Not all solutions are equal. Some people prefer solutions that others don’t.

If you are thinking of creating an app, website, product or service, I suggest you start with a prototype. Before attempting to design a final product, start with something simple.

It sounds great and it shows that you understand the details of your project. Having the prototypes mean that you can run and validate your ideas.

For more assistance in developing the prototypes or the product you can knock at us.