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Creating High Fidelity Prototypes in Visio now possible with VisDynamica (2009)

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

With VisDynamica, one can easily use AJAX, Flash, JavaScript libraries or real web forms in a prototype. All means of rich interactions are generated directly from within the Visio drawing with use of the ‘Save as Web Page’ feature to generate the prototype.

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.

VisDynamica Features

Current features include ability to :

  1. 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.
  2. Dynamic loading- Allows for show/ hide- useful for simulating drop down menus, tool tips and more.
  3. Layers- Allows use of a real popup on a layer instead of a flat drawing.
  4. 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.
  5. Youtube video- Place a real YouTube video in your prototype.

Download VisDynamica

Register to download VisDynamica, after which you will receive account details. Once you log in, you will find a link to download the tool.

  • hi! thanks for this notice. for sure there is much to improve in visdynamica, however I still lack the time necessary to do it. a regular job, which only sometimes requires visio prototyping, family life, et caetera 🙂 . lately, I mostly work on the new features that testers ask me for.

    however, if you have any interesting ideas about vd – please write me an e-mail 🙂
    I am still willing to continue working on this project, and hope to be ready with a serious new release for its first anniversary 🙂

  • hi. just stopped by to let you know that VisDynamica2, a final version, is about to be released. and, guess what, it has a facebook page ;), thanks for the hint 🙂

  • Good to know about the update and you’re welcome for the tip. I wish you the best for this release.

  • Hi! I was wondering if you would like to see what changed in the new version – how do you like it now?