What are Wireframes, Mockups and Prototypes?

Saurabh Tiwary | 1st April 2016

Wireframe, Mockups and Prototypes

Wireframes, Mockups and Prototypes are the most muddling terms in the web designing. Of course, there are certain similarities based on their implementation, but they actually vary in terms of their functionalities.

This article is going to help you decide when and how to make best use of these three basic design strategies.

Now, let’s begin with wireframes.

 1. What Are Wireframes ?

Wireframes are like a blueprint of the complete design. It is created before the designing begins. Usually, it is the very first step towards designing part and one should spend some time on making considerable studies of wireframes. You need to ask yourself few questions like how crucial do you find a layout, what should be the structure of your website, and how should you organize overall content before the design team iterates on other essentials.

As a result, wireframes are low fidelity. There is always a further scope for the betterment once you are done with the overall format and structure of the wireframe.

We do not mean that they are not crucial, instead they are very advantageous in terms of defining functionalities to the website.

 When Should You Choose a Wireframe?

 One of the best reasons to use wireframe is that it does not require any artistic knowledge.

  • To Study Primary Goals of Designing:- Describing Wireframing does not require any artistic skill of any kind as it is just a visualization of the product’s structure and its representation. When it comes to websites design, it is a good idea to familiarize your designer about the concept .


  • To be time Efficient:- Most of the time, it is thought that creating a wireframe design is very time consuming procedure. But me make it very clear, the more time you spend on designing a wireframe, the less time you waste on designing your website. So, make use of your thoughts and be tactful while designing it.


  • For Website Clarification:- Suppose, you are building a website for your client with a specific requirement. The website is all about manufacturing process and has a number of products. So, you need to present a rough idea of how are you going to carry out various parts of designing process. Further, you need to ensure that the purpose of website must be justified enough so that your client may be very well satisfied with your work. In such cases, wireframes are of much importance. You can make your client familiar with your ideas through a wireframe on finger tips.

 Click this link to know more about wireframes and how to design them.  The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Wireframes

2. What are Mockups?

The next similar term is mockup. It is a middle to high fidelity, fixed design representation of the actual product. Generally, a mockup is a visual design draft or even the actual website representation. A well created mockup has characteristics like:-

  • It describes the structure of complete information, as in the actual content and demonstrates it like the basic functionalities in a fixed way.
  • It creates a common space for other people to evaluate and suggest appropriate measures.
  • It lets you choose color schemes, typography, and style. And lets you make changes from any side if required before the delivery of the final product.

 When Should you choose a Mockup?

It is not necessary that you need to mockup all your designs. It all depends on the type of product. Creating a mockup design might cost you a bit more. So, a good idea is to plan your budget and go for it. Mockups are needed mostly when you are working on something that is expected to be very effective and every little things matter. So, you need to mockup and look through every aspect and ensure proper functioning.

 3. What is prototyping?

Prototype is middle to high fidelity representation of a website design process. It is just a previous stage before the final delivery of the product to the end user. Prototyping of any design is almost like the finished product. It has all the functionality of the aimed product, but before it is made available to be used, it goes through a number of tests of its performance. The primary motive behind prototyping is :

  • Experience actual content and interact with it 
  • Use it in the way as it was originally proposed

 Basically, it is a way of bringing into the action and have final interaction between the end user and the interface. Though still can have few dissimilarities as compared to the final product, but should be more or less similar to the functional unit. Interactions must be imitated with utmost care and should have a notable resemblance to the final  experience. Mutual dependence between the interface and the backend process is also avoided to reduce costs and speed up development pattern.

When should you use prototyping ?

  • Prototypes are solely used for the purpose of testing end-design. It’s a great way to interact and check the usability of the interface and other similar functionalities before the development actually begins.
  • A prototype is considered as the most attractive form of design documentation as the interface is evident and flawless.
  • Since, prototyping is an expensive and time-consuming means of design communication, it is advisable to create prototypes that can be reused.

At Oodles Studio, we have a vast experience and a well built team of expert designers to help our clients with all of their design requirements. Be it dynamic, or static design, we aim to focus on delivering quality web designing services to our clients and ensure full product support.

About Author


Saurabh Tiwary

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