When your Axure prototypes are too good: Molly talks about a problem I’ve seen more than once: is what I’m looking at a high-fidelity wireframe, or a really crappy design?
I’ve built or helped to build very high-fidelity prototypes, both from a visual and interactive perspective. They could easily be mistaken for actual web sites, and therein lies the problem. I’ve been asked more times than I can count whether the prototype is working code, and despite clear communication I’ve had developers try to use the code to develop from (and then complain to me that it’s hard to work with).
What’s morbidly funny here is that it becomes awkward to ask: “Is this just a wireframe, or do you just suck at design?” I mean, if you treat it as a wireframe and ask when the actual design is going to be ready…whoops.
In Code Complete, Steve McConnell says that prototyping is great, but the biggest danger is that the prototype with sorta kinda end up being the actual thing. This happens with wireframes too, apparently.