The current toolset available for prototyping is vast. Nonetheless, there are a number of more popular tools used in developing prototypes, each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses.
- The OmniGroup (2008) has developed a diagramming application, OmniGraffle, that can be used to show basic functionality. OmniGraffle runs on the Macintosh platform. Intuitect (2008) has a product that can be used for modeling and documentation for “the creation of high-quality specifications”.
- Blueprint (2008) offers a product, Blueprint Requirements Center 2009, with is “is the industry’s first business analyst workbench designed specifically to optimize all phases of the requirements definition lifecycle.”
- Serena (2008) offers a product, called Serena Composer, which emphasizes visual prototyping for enterprise applications.
- iRise (2008) offers a prototyping product that aims to provide a prototype that is highly representative of the final product.
- Elegance Technologies (2008) offers Lucid Spec, which is geared toward rapid prototyping, through design, simulation, and user-interface description capturing.
- With ActionScript 3.0 (a product of Adobe), functional prototypes can be created. Furthermore, Adobe products offer powerful graphics tool, such as PhotoShop, which can be used to enhance the user-interface prototype process.
- Axure’s tool, Axure RP Pro 5, is widely used for “rapidly creating wireframes, prototypes and specifications for applications and web sites” (Axure, 2008).
- Microsoft’s Visio can also be used to develop prototypes. According to Olsen (2008):
“The reason why Visio is the favourite prototyping tool of many interaction designers is because of its ready-made interface objects,” Thus, because Visio is a Microsoft product, many of the familiar window’s objects (i.e., menus, buttons, etc.) are readily available.
Each of the aforementioned products is part of the current toolset available in prototype creation. These products enhance the analyst-customer experience in prototype creation, which assists in the collection of requirements. With the ease of use of these tools, more time can be spent focusing on the context of the requirements. Stary (2000) emphasized the importance of context (i.e., as it facilitates user-centered design) during prototype creation.