UI/UX design artefacts

Comparison of sketch, wireframe, mockup, and prototype

Compare and contrast different design artefacts (sketch, wireframe, mockup, and prototype) in terms of their fidelity, speed, cost and use cases.

examples of a sketch, wireframe and mockup, side by side

Sketch   ➤   Wireframe   ➤   Mockup   ➤   Prototype

Because this seems to keep popping up in my discussions from time to time:

Artefacts Fidelity Speed Cost
Sketch ➖➖ very low ➕➕ very fast 💲 cheap
Wireframe ➖ low ➕ fast 💲💲 low
Mockup ➕ medium ➖ slow 💲💲💲 high
Prototype ➕➕ high ➖➖ very slow 💲💲💲💲 expensive

Sketch — pen & paper rough drawings

  • Quick brainstorm of ideias
  • Easy communication of purpose

Wireframe — black & grey representation

  • Use: quick communication of interactions
  • Documenting the interface;

Mockup — static coloured visualisation

  • Gather rough feedback and buy-in from stakeholders

Prototype — real interactive implementation

  • User testing in a scenario close to reality
  • Possibly reusable into the product

See also,