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InVision ambassador ambassador
Qais Sami Qais Sami

what's difference between prototypes, freehands, and boards?

Hi guys,

what's difference between prototypes, freehands, and boards? are there best practices how to use them in the right way to assure a better and clearer understanding of the design outcome. thank you



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Preston McCauley
InVision ambassador Preston McCauley , ambassador Edited

Good Evening,

What a great question. I get the opportunity to see and teach students so we use each of these a number of ways. The ways I'm about to list are by in no means the only way to use these tools.


I use freehand as my remote whiteboard with remote teams. I can draw on it and iterate and sketches, and draft out complex workflows for the design that I may prototype later.


90% of the time I use these to help build design direction on colors, typography, moods, tones, design patterns. All of this will eventually feed into my wire frame, prototypes, and concept designs.


I primarily use these to help a client understand the interactions / and micro interactions that exist in the flow. Typically I use this after I've gone through workflows, and journeys and I have a good idea of the harmony of the experience.


Lately I have been using freehand at every stage of my creative process. I sometimes have to pull alongside the road open up my Ipad and sketch out some quick ideas for a team mate to understand and iterate upon. That is powerful as its always there and always on, so I can come back later to there design thoughts, notes and iterations.

A colleague of mine uploads all the designs from Sketch into the freehand and uses that to gather feedback. 

So, in short there is no right or wrong way, it depends on how your team works and the rapidness of your design iteration cycles. For me I love to iterate extremely fast - often faster then the prototype, because I may need to just work through one flow to help understand some gaps.

I hope that helps.


Qais Sami
InVision ambassador Qais Sami , ambassador

thank you Preston for your friendly and insightful reply, crystal clear, now I got more ideas how to use them in the right way. thanks alot :-)


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