What are wireframes?
If you are an architect, you must know how to create an architectural drawings outlining what goes where for buildings, similarly, wireframes provide the very basic structure of UI screens. Wireframes should show the overall behavior of the UI screens – what happens when a button is clicked, what screen should it redirect to, and so on. One should be able to navigate though a wireframe. Of course, wireframe is not about creating visual design, it should not show colors or any other visual elements. It however, shows the behavior.
So, what is rapid prototyping?
You may find many definitions of rapid prototyping – but essentially, it is a working prototype which can be changed rapidly. It is about developing working code, something which may or may not be used in the final product. If you are great at writing HTML code and CSS, go ahead build it using your bare hands. Or simply use prototyping tools, such as, Axure, Balsamiq, iPoltz and EasyPrototype.
Rapid prototyping is faster (as name suggests) and more user friendly, it is way more effective than conventional wireframes. The point is, in this age, if you are still using conventional wireframes, please at least try using rapid prototyping in an Agile fashion – you will see the difference.
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