A prototype is basically a preliminary model with which the development team can build other forms from. It can be a simple sketch of the product interface or an interactive model. Generally, development teams refer to working, interactive models as prototypes.
The prototype enables the development team to visualize how the product will function and give them ideas to come up with an interactive user interface and deliver the best user experience possible. Errors can be tested and identified early on in the development phase subsequently maximizing the development efficiency right from the beginning itself.
In this blog, we will take a look at 5 best practices for mobile app prototyping.
The prototype is meant to give the team a better understanding of the end users’ problems so they can determine how the mobile app would address and solve those problems. This is why it’s important to define features and ideas that the team want to test out in the form of a prototype. Once that’s done, the team should make a plan that sets some time apart for developing the prototype without delaying the project. Once the prototype’s ready, it can be sent out for feedback with which the team can make adequate improvements on the product.
Reduce design details as much as possible
As mentioned above, a prototype is basically just an outline to envision the end product, which means it doesn’t need to have a lot of design elements in it like color, fonts, animations and other effects. A good practice is to reduce the use of those design details that aren’t essential to the app’s functionality. The idea isn’t to test out the effectiveness of design elements.
Make a list of priority features
Another good practice before building a prototype is to make a list of the features that you want to test out in the prototype, and then prioritize them. While making this list, the team should take into account various factors like the main problem of the end users that the app will solve and how the app will solve it. Include only the prioritized features on the prototype.
Map the end user’s journey
Every mobile app should be built with the users in mind. This applies to the prototype as well. It’s important to look at a product from the perspective of a user before beginning development. It should begin from when a user launches an app through to the end goal which can be anything from making a purchase to using the app to fulfill a purpose like scanning or uploading documents. Such a prototype will provides insights on designing the app to be convenient to users.
Feedback for prototypes is how the ideas included in the prototype are validated or invalidated. Based on this feedback, the prototype can be updated with improvements and retested. Each iteration of the prototype reveals errors to fix and opportunities to improve.
Prototyping should be an important part of the mobile app design process to allow the development team to understand user needs better and determine the right set of product functions for the final version before starting production.
If you have any questions regarding prototyping and app development, get in touch with the app development experts at AOT.