Prototype and Simulation of Applications

I have been using the traditional method of paper and pen to design my applications. I soon realized there were a lot of disadvantages in the manual process of designing and prototyping, significant of which are the lack of user interactivity and dynamic simulation, inability to effectively share my design and ideas, lack of ease in modifying and updating the design, and frankly it was time consuming. In my mind I clearly knew the solution was to use an advanced and automated tool to accomplish my objectives in application design and prototyping. Although I wasn’t expecting a silver bullet to my problems I stumbled upon ForeUI; a prototyping software that can quickly create interactive, simulated, skinnable prototype of applications or websites. ForeUI can not only develop prototypes but also has many features such as usability testing, generate schematics, drag and drop of objects, support for UI themes, support for definition events (interactions), support for multiple export formats, etc. ForeUI is available from ForeUI website.

Installation of ForeUI was very intuitive and very easy. There were no issues installing ForeUI. The user interface of ForeUI application is very intuitive and user friendly. The application UI can be customized and skinned to suit ones needs by setting global application settings. The menus, toolbars and navigation panes provide quick access to many program features, objects, and settings. Although the properties window becomes transparent when it loses focus to show the main drawing pane, an option to dock/hide different panes would be very useful. Although there is no extensive documentation the online help, blog topics, and videos on ForeUI website help anyone learn the application quickly. In fact, the application UI is so intuitive and easy to use I will find it hard pressed to believe if anyone has difficulty hitting the ground running with using this application. In my opinion some of the key features of ForeUI are the ability to define multiple pages, define a master page, customize UI with the help of themes, the various built-in objects/controls, extensive list of properties for objects, extensive library of built-in images, ability to define interactions, ability to allow user to customize elements, ability to run an interactive simulation, and support for exporting to commonly used fie formats.

ForeUI allows creation of multiple pages in a project thus enabling users to create prototypes of applications or 배트맨토토 websites with many windows. But the best thing about multipage feature is the ability to define master page for each page in the prototype. Therefore, by defining a master page one can reuse content in multiple pages and cut down on prototype development time and effort. The pages can also be customized to have a specific look and feel with the help of predefined UI themes such as Wire Frame, Hand Drawing, Windows XP, Max OS X, and Windows 7.

The element/object library in ForeUI covers all possible real world programming controls and objects used in windows and web applications. Since many applications nowadays are based on ribbon interface it would be nice to have some ribbon controls in the elements library. The drag and drop feature makes using the elements absolutely easy. The elements themselves have many settings and properties that can be used to customize and tailor the appearance to suit to ones needs. The elements can also be customized to using events, flow controls, and actions to modify their behavior and incorporate user interactivity in the prototypes. The ease of use of elements and other components make creating prototypes and simulations very easy.

I feel one of the major strengths of ForeUI is the ability to define interactions using flowcharts which is very intuitive and easy. ForeUI allows users to define many possible behaviors for objects in applications. Users can use the useful predefined events to define object behaviors using simple flowchart mechanism and create simple to complex behaviors using flow controls and actions. Flow controls provide branching and looping capability to make prototyping real world scenarios a breeze. The built-in actions can be used to respond to the triggered events in many ways. Optionally, I think the flow controls coupled with the built-in actions can also be used to automate prototype behavior in some ways. ForeUI provides easy means to easily organize and rearrange events, flow controls, and actions if behavior needs to be changed or updated.