What’s the value of a digital prototype? Having your user experience completely mapped out — from page transitions to interactions — prior to writing the first line of code can not only save you precious time and budget, but it can also avert a potential crisis. From mobile UI designs that look good on paper but translate poorly to the screen, to project management SNAFUs that wear down team morale while hacking away at the quality of your final product, the headaches your interactive prototype can solve are numerous.
Let’s take a look at six invaluable ways digital prototyping can save your mobile UI design, according to designers, developers and entrepreneurs:
Your prototype helps get all stakeholders on the same page.
What’s the one uniting force between clients, account managers, designers, developers, testers and users? The digital prototype, says Sarah Doody (@sarahdoody) a UX designer in NYC who also publishes a weekly UX newsletter:
“In mobile app design, prototyping is critical because it helps teams rapidly bring ideas to life so that everyone involved can vet and contribute to the idea early in the product development process. A big challenge teams often face is too much hypothetical talking and debating. A prototype allows a team to talk about something tangible, which fosters better discussion, ideas and collaboration.
The balancing act of a mobile UI designer is to identify the business goals or opportunity with what value the app could provide to to the user. Once a prototype is in place, it serves as a tool to validate ideas with users, as well as a conversation tool to help everyone working on the project get on the same page about expected features and functionality.