Visio for wireframing and prototyping
Microsoft Visio has long been regarded as a good tool for wireframing, which I have found especially on large-sized projects where it is crucial to keeping wireframes updated at all times, regardless of constant changes being made to master elements. Used with Adobe Acrobat, Visio works great for documentation. The ability to draw free form with a stylus and thus use it to literally create paper prototypes that you can edit is an added bonus.
While one may think that Visio can not be used for creating interactive prototypes, this is not entirely true. You can create click-through prototypes with Visio very easily as a matter of fact.
Till a while ago, Visio was certainly not capable of creating high fidelity prototypes. Alternate applications like Axure and the ever powerful (nonetheless expensive) iRise fill the gap in this regard. However, interaction designers and information architects who work at organizations that have stuck to Visio will find the release of Visdynamica a much needed arrival.
Enter VisDynamica- a Visio extension for creating high fidelity prototypes
Having been released (albeit in private beta) since nine months, this application deserves a lot more coverage than it is currently getting. The creator could have done more on his part by promoting the product through social media which he has not. None the less, being a much required tool, I hope it gets all the attention and mentions that it can and encourage you to spread the word about it.
Current features include ability to :
- Add links- This feature is already available in Visio. However, the advantage here is that the link can point to the main frame of the exported web page or it could stay in current context – a popup, a dynamically loaded part of the screen, and so forth.
- Dynamic loading- Allows for show/ hide- useful for simulating drop down menus, tool tips and more.
- Layers- Allows use of a real popup on a layer instead of a flat drawing.
- Tabbed interface- Generate a ready-to-click tabbed interface but with a quite bit of work. However the creator acknowledges that can be considerable improvement to this feature.
- Youtube video- Place a real YouTube video in your prototype.