Why prototyping beats wireframing.
- You’re making, not documenting. You can feel the thing you’re making.
- You’ve got a thing you can start testing, in all kinds of ways, almost immediately. Prototyping is more like experimenting than describing your grand design.
- It doesn’t have to look good to be effective. It’s easier to keep it rough which helps people give better feedback early on.
- You start out with the barest structure of an idea and gradually build in the detail as you play with and test out the thing you have made.
- You’re learning useful things (like how to better translate your ideas into code).
- Stakeholders and clients get excited about prototypes in a way they never do about wireframes.
- Prototypes are concrete where wireframes are abstract.
- Prototypes create the impression of real progress—of something actually happening—in a way that wire framing never does.
- Prototyping is addictive—you have to pull yourself away from it (rather than forcing yourself to stay in your chair and finish annotating your wireframes).
- Prototyping encourages cross-disciplinary teams from the earliest stages of design. You get to work with smart people who can make your work better.
- If you’re on a project where you feel like you have to wireframe extensively, there’s probably a better way to be doing that project.
Less wireframing, more prototyping.