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Let's Make Prototype: Preview Function of Four Prototyping Tools

Mockplus Team 199 Views

In these years of working as an UX designer, one of the things I understood is that: Prototyping design is an essential part of upgrading product development. So, it is very important for us to demonstrate our prototype in a right way. I made a compare for the prototyping tools that we daily use, the comparison shows that each one of them has its own merits. Well, today, let’s talk about the preview function of Axure, Justinmind, Mockplus and Proto.io 6.

Axure:★★

Axure should be the most common tool of prototyping, after years’ accumulation, it has become a really powerful software. Also, the preview function of Axure is absolutely not the weak spot, and we could say that Axure has the most available options of exporting HTML.

Axure support two ways of preview on mobile device, one is exporting HTML which is especially made for mobile device, you could open it with Safari on iphone, the other one is to upload project and open it with an app named Axure Share.

Justinmind: ★★

Justinmind is a prototyping tool which comes from Spain,it’s not so common like Axure, but there are a large number of people using Justinmind. The HTML exporting function of it do not have that many options like Axure, so if you want to preview on mobile device, you could release the zip file in your cellphone and the open it with browser. Although Justinmind app do not support offline preview, but the online preview function is pretty good if you compare with other apps. There’s only one shortcoming: the running speed is a kind of slow. Of course, it also support exporting into picture. Another thing we should mention is that Justinmind supports exporting DOCX files, this would make PRD writing much easier.

Mockplus:★★

Mockplus has the most ways of preview in all the prototyping tools so far I have seen. Don’t even mention the basic function of exporting into picture in two formats, it has two ways for preview on cellphone app: scanning QR code and entering view code after upload project to cloud. QR code scanning for preview is really rare in this kind of software, you don’t need to connect to the computer, or upload the project to cloud, just open your app and scan the code, it’s very convenient. Exporting into demo package is also a rare but useful function which Mockplus has. Beside those, I also have heard something from a friend who’s inside Mockplus: 2.2 beta version which has the function exporting into HTML is already in the test, the launch of 2.2 version should come soon. The HTML exporting of Mockplus has two ways, first one is to export offline package, you could send this package to your colleagues directly or put it on the local sever for downloading and preview. The second way is the way of online HTML preview, after publish the HTML online, you could send a link to people who wants to have a preview on your prototype.

Proto.io 6:

Proto.io was upgraded to Proto.io 6 in the middle of July. Compared with the other three desktop prototyping tools, Proto.io 6 only has web version for now, I think it should be the reason of why Proto.io 6 do not have that many ways of preview. Proto.io 6 support exporting offline HTML, PNG picture and PDF.


Comprehensive evaluation

From the view of static prototype:

Those four prototyping tools are at the same level, they all support exporting pictures. However, Mockplus do not have the function of exporting PDF, so it might be inconvenient for the users who have the need of PDF.

From the view of dynamic prototype:

The ways of preview of Axure and Justinmind are similar to each other, they both have mobile device app which is totally okay for normal preview. Also they both support exporting HTML offline package.

Mockplus has the most ways of preview, you could choose one according to your condition. So, in terms of preview, Mockplus is better.

Proto.io 6 as a prototyping tool based on web version does not have so many ways of exporting, it really needs improve. But if it’s just for the basic needs, the function of preview should be enough.

By the way, there are two ways for preview on mobile device:

Preview by HTML:

Pro: You don’t need to install an app on your phone.

Con: It will not run very smoothly like it suns on app. Also, it’s not easy to preview on your phone full screen. There is sill one more thing need to concern, it would be the compatibility of the browser. This might lead the problem of distortion, it might look different from designing.

Mobile device app:

Pro: It won’t be a problem for the app to run your prototype smoothly without distortion.

Con:You have to install an app.

So, which way is better? My advice would be: Please make decision depends on your own condition. Of course, the tool which support both way would be a better solution.

This essay just sums up a few of my thoughts, If you have different idea, please do tell me, we could talk about this in depth.

STILL HUNGRY FOR THE DESIGN?

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Mockplus is a desktop-based tool for prototyping mobile, web and desktop apps easily and quickly. Create interactions by simple drag-and-drop and your teamwork will be time-efficient with the collaboration features.

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