Prototyping is the evaluation stage and every mobile application development company gives a lot of attention to it. The idea behind this phase is to ensure a better user experience and smooth movement from concept to product. Prototyping is a part of the design process and it can save a lot of time and effort for designers and developers if executed properly.
In this post, we will discuss prototyping from the viewpoint of a mobile app development company. First things first. Let’s go through the definition and importance of prototypes in the app development process.
Mobile App Prototype- Introduction and Importance
A prototype is a close replica of your upcoming mobile application. Though prototypes have no code, they can give a proper idea about how your app will appear and perform to team members, stakeholders, and prospective investors. There is no exaggeration in mentioning that prototypes are simulated versions of your mobile app that include most UI designs and functionality for your review.
Prototypes are highly useful for UX designers and developers alike. It can act as a solid part of any product design project. When it comes to mobile app development, prototypes help developers get an idea about features and design by offering a user-like experience.
We can consider prototyping as the first step toward making a market-leading product or application. However, some business owners tend to overlook such a crucial phase while developing a dedicated enterprise application. As per the Statista report, about 25% of apps are used only for a single time. We could reduce this number if the app’s concept were validated in the initial stages of development lifecycles.
A prototype is a full-fledged model of a final application that enables designers and developers to help avoid mistakes. It also ensures a seamless and convenient user experience.
Types of Mobile App Prototypes
A prototype looks like a mockup and it has many categories. Here we will see two major categories of prototypes for mobile applications.
As the most basic mobile application prototypes, they are presented with either hand-drawn sketches or on a digital platform. The main objective of low-fidelity prototypes is to enable designers to create an initial concept. Here are the top benefits of low-fidelity prototypes-
- Reduced cost
- No specialized tool is required
- No extensive design experience is needed
Low-fidelity prototypes are useful for brainstorming and planning without increasing the cost of the improvement.
These prototypes are the best way to get real experience in design without writing a single line of code. These prototypes need specialized software because they have functions and buttons. Some of the big benefits of high-fidelity prototypes are-
- Even the finest design details are covered
- Can be shown to stakeholders more effectively than low-fidelity prototypes
- Robust concept validation is possible
Simply put, high-fidelity prototypes are a test version of the end product or a mobile application that you want to build.
Apart from these two types, we have medium-fidelity prototypes. They also need specialized tools, but a whiteboard or paper is also sufficient for them. Medium-fidelity prototypes include storyboards, complex design solutions, and use cases. They are more cost-effective than high-fidelity prototypes and make design thinking possible. However, you may not show the medium-fidelity prototypes as effectively as high-fidelity prototypes.
Top Advantages of Prototyping
Prototyping offers a few advantages to entrepreneurs and developers alike. Here are such pros of prototyping.
Mobile application development is a costly affair. So, it is imperative for enterprises to avoid any undesired outcome. The prototype enables a mobile app development company to get rid of initiating the development process from scratch in case of any changes are suggested. An app prototype can, in a way, save time, effort, and development costs. What’s more, the prototyping phase also enables the app developer to protect their reputation.
An Android, iPhone, or hybrid application development company can consider the requirements related to the client’s branding initiatives while building a prototype. It facilitates developers to come up with an app that remains easily recognisable among the client company’s customers and app users. This branding benefit can draw the attention of many users once the app is released.
Getting and implementing feedback is one of the most beneficial activities app developers can do. The prototyping process gives the same benefit to designers and developers as they can define issues or suggestions in the early stage of development. Clients can give fresh ideas in line with the end user's expectations and needs. As a result, the chances of making a successful app can be increased significantly.
Let’s face it. One of the main reasons why the mobile app fails to attract users is developers may skip a bug or issue in the development stage. Prototyping can assist them to resolve this issue by giving them an opportunity to monitor its features and functionality. Designers can make app prototypes for different devices to ensure that the app will work properly across different platforms. A hybrid app development company can make prototypes that can flawlessly work on Android, iOS, and web platforms.
A mobile application development company uses different tools and components for prototyping. InVision and Marvel are such tools to build presentable prototypes with all the necessary features. InVision is capable of syncing documents in Photoshop so that designers can update the prototype in real-time. Marvel is a browser-based tool that can simplify the process.
After going through a few of the prototyping tools, let’s dig deeper into some of the common mistakes and key components.
Required Components and Mistakes Need to Avoid
Prototyping includes all the aspects of an app design. It displays areas of interaction like buttons and features for the application. It makes it possible to specify places for images, videos, and GPS service.
Necessary Components of Prototyping
While creating a mockup, it is important to implement various components in every section of the design. Here are such components.
It all starts with the appearance of the app menu. After that, designers can focus on the informational part of the application and define how they can arrange the content in the app. It also includes the arrangement of menu features. Here, it is crucial to identify the main features you want to include in the prototype. This step can assist you to avoid any subsequent changes that result in delayed development.
Another key point to consider is the user-friendliness of the application. The reason behind this is if your company’s app is not user-friendly, you cannot expect it to be successful over the period. Another component is the colours of your app. The colour selection not only simplifies the implementation of mockups but also keeps the development process in line with the brand value of your company.
Common Mistakes in Prototyping
Mistakes are a part of any process and the mobile application development process is no exception! But then, it is imperative to avoid and fix mistakes in a short time. Let’s have a piece of information about some frequent mistakes done in prototyping. These mistakes can occur many times and damage the mobile app development process.
This is one of the most common mistakes in prototyping. Designers tend to put so much effort and pay high attention during the initial stages of prototyping. You can finish all the small details at the end to keep the prototype accurate.
It is better to keep in mind that the app design should remain flexible to adopt any changes and stakeholders can see the full app design irrespective of minute details. Excessive focus on app design can make the customer confused about the requirements.
Too Many Active Fronts
Another prevalent mistake is designers focus on many active fronts at the same time. A mock-up or a prototype should be made like an offer even if it is flexible to embrace change. Also, it is essential to keep the prototype in a way that a customer of a non-technical background can also understand. It should clearly show how the proposed application will work and how much it is open to changes.
In a nutshell, prototyping is a popular concept in the mobile application development domain. It enables developers to test the app’s key features and functionality in advance. We hope this concise guide will assist you to understand prototyping and its benefits. However, it is always better to consult a reputed mobile app developer to get insight into the prototyping process, required tools, and components.
Appmart is a leading mobile application development company in Melbourne, Australia. Our in-house teams of experienced developers offer the best-in-class services in the domains of Android app development, iPhone app development, and hybrid application development. Do you wish to discuss a brilliant app idea with us? Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get in touch with you in a short time.
Appmart is a renowned mobile application development company in Australia. Headquartered in Melbourne, Appmart has successfully worked on mobile app development projects for an esteemed global clientele. Do you want to know more about our services or share your software development project requirements with us? Just mail us at email@example.com and one of our expert consultants will get back to you soon.