I have an order process prototype that has 5 pages and dozens of radio button options. In the past I have used invision for prototyping, but the level of complexity necessary for an accurate prototype using invision would require making hundreds of screens. I need persistent data throughout my screens and don't want to have to design an entire flow for every single possible option. Invision calls this "functional element states", and it doesn't exist as a feature yet.

So if I'm designing a shirt ordering service, and in step one they select shirt style, step two color, step three size, it gets out of hand pretty fast. V-neck, red, small. V-neck, red, medium. V-neck, red, large.

V-neck, green, small. V-neck, green, medium. V-neck, green, large.

I don't want to do all that work! I already designed small medium and large for red, I shouldn't have to do them for green!

So what tools accommodate this kind of modular prototyping?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's asking for software recommendations rather than an UX problem – Devin Dec 12 '16 at 19:31
  • Prototyping tools are very important in design process. Therefore I believe the question is relevant. – Anna Rouben Dec 13 '16 at 0:01
  • @AnnaRouben, nobody denies that. But so are: computers, computer languages, all kind of software, office furniture and wahtever you could think of. If we allow it, this will become a spamfest, or people swearing for their weapons of choice, thus, primarily opinion based. Also, this is something you can easily find by doing a search on any search engine – Devin Dec 13 '16 at 3:50
  • @Devin the distinction is that certain tools are used primarily for UX design. For example, Invision is used primarily for UX design, so discussing Invision in this forum seems appropriate to me. Computers, on the other hand, are used for many things in addition to UX design, so I would never ask about computers in this forum. – devigner Dec 13 '16 at 23:05

Axure is probably your best bet for now. The learning curve is a little high and sometimes the prototypes can be a little buggy in the browser, but it is very robust and is still much quicker than coding an html prototype (unless you are really comfortable with front-end dev).

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  • Is there an option for user testing outside of the browser, or do I just have to be okay with bugginess? – devigner Dec 12 '16 at 18:53
  • I think Axure could do the job. In Axure you can set variable to track where user is coming from so changing colors respectively shouldn't be a problem. I wouldn't says Axure is very buggy. It depends how prototype is created. Prototype generated by Axure is a website so it needs to be inside the browser. Note that when you generate a prototype it comes with left nav of all prototype pages; you can hide it from users. – Anna Rouben Dec 13 '16 at 0:08

If you can write HTML, use a regular programmer's editor. Copy-and-paste is your friend when doing a godzillian different alternatives. Just lay it out for one example, then copy once, paste as many times as you need, and make the relevant text changes. You'll instantly get a grasp of any problems with the design.

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  • When you say regular programmer's editor, you mean just any IDE? I might end up doing this if I can't find another feasible option. – devigner Dec 12 '16 at 18:53
  • I just mean any editor that doesn't add "secret sauce" to enable italics, etc. One that does straight text so that the file it produces is fully human-readable. – MMacD Dec 12 '16 at 20:04
  • oh, and yes, the editor in an IDE is the kind of editor I mean, though an IDE is probably overkill for what you're trying to do, unless it knows how to do HTML in a more-convenient way (I don't know of one like that, but if you do then I'd like to hear about it :-) – MMacD Dec 13 '16 at 14:13
  • I think most IDEs have auto complete for HTML coding, I personally use Atom with the Emmet (sp?) package installed, it's great. – devigner Dec 13 '16 at 22:07
  • I've used Brackets before as well. And Sublime. But Atom is my favorite. All of them color code HTML so that it is easy to see where tags begin and end, and most have auto-complete, which is essential IMHO. – devigner Dec 13 '16 at 22:08

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