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Experienced Technology Product Manager adept at steering success throughout the entire product lifecycle, from conceptualization to market delivery. Proficient in market analysis, strategic planning, and effective team leadership, utilizing data-driven approaches for ongoing enhancements.

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Difference between Wifreframes, Mockups, and Prototypes

Wireframes, mockups, and prototypes are terms that are often used synonymously, and they are indeed quite confusing. This article explains what is hidden behind each term and provide helpful prototyping tools.

“Confusing wireframes with prototypes is like assuming an architectural blueprint and a display house, are the same thing.”

Wireframes, mockups, and prototypes actually represent the different stages of the design flow

Wireframe, a low-fidelity way to present a product, can efficiently outline structures and layouts. The wireframe is the basic and visual representation of the design. Your wireframe design doesn’t need to focus too much on minutiae, but must express design ideas and should not miss any important parts. A wireframe is like a channel that helps team member understand their projects better.

Mockup, a kind of high-fidelity static design diagram, should demonstrate information frames and statically present content and functions. Unlike a wireframe, a mockup looks more like a finished product or prototype, but it is not interactive and not clickable. It is rather a graphic representation. This can be helpful, for example, to provide investors with a picture of how a finished product can be, and help team members review their project visually.

Prototype is already very close to the finished product. Here, processes can be simulated and user interaction can be tested. A prototype looks very similar to the finished product. Early prototyping can save a lot of development costs and time so that the work of back-end product architecture will not be in vain because of unreasonable user interface design. A prototype is an excellent tool to obtain user feedback and to test the product.

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Thanks for the article.

In today’s world, we have many tools which help in building prototypes. These prototypes can have various fidelity levels at different steps. A lot of wireframing and prototyping tools are available to us as designers. The best design is iterative, as there is always room for improvement. Design Validation is a critical step in the whole design process.

Testing at every step lets you figure out the issues immediately, and this is extremely helpful in preventing the wastage of effort. If you can identify the problem early, it will be simpler and less expensive to fix it. There are tools like Balsamiq, which let you make very basic wireframes, to tools like Sketch, Adobe XD…

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