I had a wrong notion till yesterday that wireframes and prototypes (terms/tools) used in Business Analysis are same. However, there is a huge difference between the two. The terms "wireframe" and "prototype" are often used interchangeably – possibly due to convenience or misunderstanding. Below are the detailed insights on same.
A wireframe is a visual illustration of one web page. It's simply means to illustrate the features, content and links that need to appear on a page so that the design team can mock up a visual interface and the programmers understand page features and how they are supposed to work. One of the main purpose of a wireframe is to show where each item should be placed on a page. Once a wireframe starts becoming interactive – including animations, clickable navigation and state functionality – it crosses the line into a prototype. Some of the best free wireframing tools available are :
- Mocking Bird
- Lovely Charts
A prototype is fully functional working model of a final product. A prototype actually imitates some functionality of the finished product. In the most basic sense, a low-fidelity prototype is often referred to as a "clickable" or "functional" wireframe.It embodies more of a sense of engagement rather than purely of visual appearance. Axure RP Pro is one of the best prototyping tool used. It can be used as a wireframe tool as well.
Wireframes and Prototypes facilitate communication
Wireframes and prototypes primarily differ in terms of functionality but both serve as useful communication tools for BA teams to create better, more user-centered products. They also help in producing better results than just having the developers jump right into building after goals are set.
Wireframes and prototypes also help stakeholders visualize the project specifications - based on research, goals and assumed requirements - giving them enough information to provide early, useful feedback and get a product to market faster.
Note : The content of this post has been taken from various websites