Product Prototyping Tools

Michael Beasley michaelbeasley at
Tue Nov 13 00:19:23 UTC 2007

Part of the equation is how much you have to spend. Also, do you intend 
to pass your prototypes to developers to continue coding?

iRise can be very expensive and is really focused on the total project 
from end-to-end (which could be good if you've got requirements that 
need managing).

Axure lets you put together some functioning prototypes and runs a lot 
cheaper. It's kind of like specialized Visio, but with less attention to 

Serena Composer 
( is in the 
same realm of Axure and iRise in that it's kind of Visio like and also 
manages requirements. It's now a free download.

Microsoft also came out with the Expression suite which has some tools 
for prototyping. I've played with Expression Blend, which is "the 
professional design tool to create engaging web-connected experiences 
for Windows". I think the suite also has a Dreamweaver-competitor. It's 
pretty complex, but you can push your output to MS Visual Studio.

The Michigan UPA had a meeting on the topic "A Survey of User Interface 
Prototyping Tools" back in August 2006. The slides are here: 
Though it is over a year old, it may be helpful.


Michael S Elledge wrote:
> Hi Everyone--
> I'm wondering if anyone has used a tool(s) for functional product 
> prototypes. I'm looking for something(s) that would fill the space 
> between non-functioning paper prototype/wireframes and fully coded 
> executions.
> Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks!
> Mike
> _______________________________________________
> fluid-work mailing list
> fluid-work at

Michael Beasley
President, Michigan Chapter
Usability Professionals' Association

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