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GUI prototyping – the importance of the visual appearance of a website


When experts design a new interface design for an application or a new website, it is important for them to define its functions. It is essential to design a fast and easy payment function for an e-commerce site. But since people not only like or dislike the functionality of something but also consider how it looks, GUI prototyping is necessary.

GUI prototyping – It is all about the looks

GUI prototyping (abbreviation for graphical user interface prototyping) is the act of creating a wireframe of a website, which is focused on the visual experience of the user. An interface names the point of interactions for two or more components. A user interface basically describes an interface that is designed for HCI (human computer interaction), such as a keyboard or a touch screen. With these the user navigates the computer. With UI prototyping software web experts design a sketch of their planned website or application. GUI prototyping basically specifies the type of prototyping. At first one might think that UI design and GUI prototyping are the same. However, UI design not only includes the visual part of an interface, but also other types of interfaces. Apple’s voice assistant Siri is a user interface design which can process verbal orders of the user. Her ability of process human language was probably designed with UI prototyping software, but the graphical side of her user interface design was made with GUI prototyping software.

Design for what the user sees by GUI prototyping

So the difference between user interface and GUI prototyping is maybe hard to understand, because most of the interface designs we get in touch with are visual. Using an application on our mobile phone, surfing in the Internet and visiting webpages all includes graphical user interfaces. So basically graphical user interfaces are a sub category of user interfaces.

With GUI prototyping experts design wireframes of graphical user interfaces

When web specialists want to design a graphical user interface they choose GUI prototyping. Just as an architect would use a pencil and big papers to draw sketches of a planned house, a web specialist would use wireframing software. This software allows the designer to plan a potential website or application with the possibility of changing the mockup during the development process. It works the same way with paper sketches of an architect. When he is drawing a construction plan for a building and he speaks with the person who wants to live in there later on, they could be the necessity to redo the room arrangement for example. If the walls had already been constructed it would be a lot of effort to realize the customer’s desired change. It is a similar situation with planning a website or an application. A lot of people are involved in a project, there is the project manager, the designer, the developer and the person from marketing. They all have different aims and priorities in their field of working, so they do GUI prototyping to make it easier to combine all the different needs of a website. Before programming it they design a wireframe with GUI prototyping .

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