APIs for the Internet of Things

Max Katz

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Why You Need Interactive and Clickable UI Prototypes for Your Next Project

If you’ve been building web or mobile applications, you probably know how tough it is to describe UI requirements in a text document. It’s even more challenging for the person reading the requirements to understand what the heck the author meant.

Sometimes visual aids help. It’s probably safe to assume that many projects include pictures or drawings in the requirements document to help visualize the UI. Any visual aid in a requirements document will help.

It’s also possible that many projects use a somewhat better solution than just inserting images or drawings into a requirements document – a mockup tool. A mockup tool is specialized software to create, well, a mockup of the UI. With a mockup tool you use lines and various shapes (rectangles, boxes, etc.) to create the outline or shape of the various UI elements.

The problem with mockups…

However, mockups suffer from a number of drawbacks. First of all, mockups are static. Today, most user interfaces are very interactive with AJAX or AJAX-like features. Expressing such interactivity or navigation is just not possible with static mockups.

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Max Katz heads Developer Relations for Appery.io, a cloud-based mobile app platform. He loves trying out new and cool REST APIs in mobile apps. Max is the author of two books “Practical RichFaces” (Apress 2008, 2011), DZone MVB (Most Valuable Blogger), and is a frequent speaker at developer conferences. You can find out what Max is up to on his blog: http://maxkatz.org and Twitter: @maxkatz.