How to go from wireframe to prototype

How to go from wireframe to prototype

You’ve used a UX wireframing tool to create a stunning product wireframe, and now you want to turn it into something tangible that you can present to your team and test with your users.

Where a wireframe can be great for demonstrating your initial idea and intent, a prototype is the best way to demonstrate to stakeholders what your final design might look like from both a functional and aesthetic point of view.

Looking to move your design from wireframe to prototype? We cover all in our ultimate guide to transforming your graphical sketches to highly detailed, functional UX prototypes...

Wireframe mode in Uizard

Skip to section:

From wireframe to prototype in 3 easy steps

  1. Map your wireframe to make sure it’s ready for prototyping

  2. Create your prototype interactions

  3. Test your prototype's interactions

Design and share your prototypes with Uizard

From wireframe to prototype in 3 easy steps

A UX prototype is an interactive visual representation of your website. It enables you to simulate the user experience so you can see how people interact with your app or website before you make large and expensive design and development investments. You can get from wireframe to prototype in three easy steps:

  1. Map out your wireframe properly (establish your page connections)
  2. Apply your interactions in your prototyping software (link the pages)
  3. Test those interactions to explore how smooth your user experience is

1. Map your wireframe to make sure it’s ready for prototyping

A wireframe map or wireflow catalogs all the ways that a user can navigate between screens of your wireframe. It’s a useful visualization that helps you bridge the gap between wireframe and prototype. Mapping out your wireframe helps you to see how the various elements and pages of your site are connected. It also helps you identify any screens that you may have forgotten to account for when creating your wireframe.

To start, identify and list all the screens that a user can see when visiting your website. This means all pages of your site, plus any variations of a given page that a user can see by interacting with your design. For example, if a user can click a button on your homepage to cause a video to pop up, you should list that screen separately from the homepage itself.

  • Put the name of each screen in a box and arrange the boxes so that there’s enough space between them to draw lines connecting them.
  • For each screen, identify the interactive elements — links, buttons, forms, videos, and any other things that users will be able to click on or interact with in some way. List each element underneath the box.
  • For each interactive element, identify what should happen when a user interacts with it and what screen the user should see as a result of the interaction. Draw an arrow from each interactive element to the screen that the user will see when interacting with that element.

The more complete your wireframe is before you start creating your prototype, the faster and smoother the rest of this process will go. You can check out some real life wireframe examples in our dedicated guide if you need a little inspiration.

2. Create your prototype interactions

Once you’ve mapped all the interactions from your wireframe, you’re ready to bring your prototype to life. Here’s how even non-designers can use Uizard to easily create interactive prototypes:

Get your wireframe into Uizard

First, you’ll need to get your wireframe into Uizard. There are two ways to do this.

Your first option is to create your wireframe directly in Uizard. To do so, create a new project (select mobile in the sub-navigation and select 'Blank Project' or select our app UX wireframe template for a head start):

creating projects in Uizard
Explore the entire range of UI templates

Then use the editing buttons at the side of the screen to create your wireframe:

options in build mode in uizard

Your other option is to import a drawing of your wireframe into Uizard using Uizard's AI-powered Design Assistant (even if you just sketched your wireframe on paper). To do this, hit the 'Scribble scanning' button under the quick start menu, or navigate to our 'Magic' AI features menu in the side navigation:

uploading a wireframe in uizard

You can easily link up your interactive elements by switching to Interact mode:

interact mode in uizard

Click on the interactive element (such as a button) that you want to link and drag it to where you want the user to go (such as another screen) when they interact with that element.

prototyping in uizard

Note: if you created a wireframe map showing all your interactions (see step #1 above), this linking your interactive elements can go a lot faster and help ensure you don’t overlook any interactions.

3. Test your prototype interactions

Before presenting your prototype to others, test your interactions to make sure that a user can navigate your app or website. To do this, switch to Preview mode using the button at the top right.

On the preview screen that appears, interactive elements that you’ve linked will be briefly highlighted:

hotspot hints in uizard

Click on an interactive element to make sure that what happens is what you intended. (If it’s not what you intended, exit your preview, and return to Build mode to fix it.)

Design and share your prototypes with Uizard

Once you’ve created a prototype, you can share it with others to get feedback, and then start to turn it into a higher fidelity design by adding colors, choosing fonts, and refining other design elements. Uizard makes this easy, with one-click conversion between low-fidelity and high-fidelity. You can also take advantage of our wide range of UI design templates that help non-designers easily design for web or mobile.

Ready to start the journey from wireframe to prototype? You can sign up to Uizard for free or head over to the Uizard blog to find out more about the world of UX prototyping tools.