Prototyping Online: Not Without Effort
Will things change from the ground up? Probably, but not during the next few years. Prototyping with a visual touch is best done in Photoshop or other visually oriented software. At least as long as you are skilled enough to use them. With a tool such as Photoshop your prototype takes you only a idea and a little time. No code will be harmed during the making of this mock-up. The result, depending on your ideas, taste and skills, will definitely be more appealing than a simple wire-frame or a coded click demo.
In the past I actually took Powerpoint for a ride, when a client demanded the prototype to be rudimentarily interactive. Need I mention, that this does work, yet isn’t a very straightforward solution? With the effort being relatively high, this mode of operation is restricted to larger projects only.
The brand-new web and iOS app Marvel is a late entry to the game. But, better late than never. Marvel aims directly at designers who work the way I just described. Create a visual mockup in PSD (or other) and put it into your Dropbox. Then fire up Marvel and load the PSD into the app. Use simple tools to create hot spots and click targets. Add transitions and you’re good to go.
The following video offers a good first impression: