Z515 Spring 2015

Prototypes, and the development gap.

I find differentiating prototypes from wireframes (Well, as long as we’re in a medium where that makes sense) quite difficult. As I described in my previous blog, a wireframe should be flexible, with few set boundaries and solely used as a tool to communicate precisely what you want – what’re the boundaries then between a high-fi wireframe which is nearly functional and a prototype? Who knows. Not me.

This especially gets hairy when, as noted last week, the wireframe/prototype is created in such a way (say HTML, CSS, Javascript) that the developers can just take it, tweak it, and perfect it. No recreation necessary. In many ways, I’d love for this style of prototype to be used more often – it’d not only speed up the process, but it’d bridge a wide gulf between design and developer which would allow teams to communicate easier.

Of course, at the moment I feel that this issue is mostly onset by a lack of tools – many designers come from the visual field, and as such visual design tools such as the Adobe suite are some of the best around. Even I, who have a coding background, tends towards them. They’re easy, fast, and once you understand how they work, they’re simple to learn and fun to explore. The same can’t at all be said for HTML, CSS, or the mess that is Javascript. Sure we can get farther, but it slows down the process quite a bit

There are things out there which have tried to bridge the gap, dreamweaver, Macaw, and a few others… but nothing yet has made the experience simple and intuitive, while keeping the same power as a text editor. Maybe that’s the issue – they’re at odds with each other. But I don’t think they have to be.

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This entry was written by Zan and published on April 13, 2015 at 3:34 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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