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Software Prototyping Tools: Pidoco

January 22, 2013

In the post few years, the number of software tools that support rapid prototyping have expanded enormously. One of the most popular is Pidoco (www.pidoco.com). According to the Wikipedia page on Pidoco, the Pidoco Usability Suite (from a German company) is “a cloud-based collaboration software for creating, sharing and testing wireframes, mockups and prototypes of websites, mobile apps and enterprise software applications”.

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Pidoco was released in late 2010 so it’s a relatively new entrant in the prototyping software sweepstakes. Since Pidoco is browser based, it can be used with a variety of operating systems.

According to the review by Lucas Stolarski (http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/prototyping/) some of the strengths of Pidoco are:

• Rich base of UI elements to insert
• Two different styles of mockups: sketched and plain
• Easy importing images and videos to project
• Creating a template and using it in the future
• Possibility of checking what was edited and by whom – ease of management of the project by the larger team
• Usability testing – possibility to see live how the user is moving through the prototype, VoIP live, recording the test and comparing it with the next session. These tests can be carried out remotely.
• Exporting prototype to DOC, PDF, HTML and SVG (vector)
• Creating and testing on mobile devices (mainly iOS) – a set of predefined tools, running prototype for tests on mobile device
• API Integration – easy embedding the links in other apps, integration of prototyping with developers’ processes using API keys

The following two screenshots show the difference between plain (first) and sketched (second screen) presentation.

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The figure above looks more professional, but the hand-drawn wireframe below is attractive in its own way. Usability researchers also believe that rough sketches are preferable in early user testing as test participants are more likely to find usability problems and suggest changes if the interface looks like it has been sketched and thus is more easily changed.

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Pidoco offers a free 31 day trial on a fully-featured version of the software after that there are several monthly subscription plans available.

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The following table shows the difference in functionality for the cheapest two subscription plans.

Both of these basic plans allow an unlimited number of pages per prototype, but the cheapest plan is limited to 25 prototypes in total.

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