Usually, when clients come to us with an idea for developing a feature-rich mobile app, they might find it a little difficult to comprehend the workflow and the importance of specific stages. Therefore, one frequently asked question we usually face is, ‘Is it necessary to work on a prototype?’
Well, the answer to this frequently asked question is an ABSOLUTE YES and cannot be overlooked in any part of the development phase. Ergo, building a market-leading product should be taken into account meticulously before beginning the product development phase.
Furthermore, according to Statista reports, about 25% of apps are used only once.
We know it might be a little difficult to judge which unsuccessful application went without prototyping. Yet, we don’t deny the fact that these statistics would have been much different if the concepts were validated in the very first stages of their life cycles.
Don’t you agree?
Well, prototypes for mobile apps offer a variety of advantages, which will be covered in more detail in a later section of this article. The most crucial of these is early app concept evaluation to determine how appealing it will be to users. To lessen the likelihood of potential economic losses if the application does not fulfill user needs, it is crucial to verify the sustainability and durability of the initial concept.
That’s why developing a mobile app prototype is indeed a significant step that many big businesses tend to underestimate which they apparently shouldn’t!
Now without even giving a single thought, it should be clear enough that mobile app prototypes are certainly a revolutionary approach to making your business reach new heights.
So, let’s delve deep into what mobile app prototyping actually is, what its types are, and why it has become the ‘New Normal’.
Mobile app prototyping is the process of creating a mobile app sample that demonstrates the major structures, user patterns, actions, interface design, or other aspects, in order to test your design template of the actual product and optimize it to the absolute best. All app prototypes function similarly to a visual or even functional model. They assist you with better organizing all interface elements, testing the details, and resolving all potential concerns.
The prototyping stage of development entails conceptualizing an app without actually coding for it.
Isn’t it amazing?
You can try any feature you want to in your app’s draft without putting extra effort or money into it. That’s why mobile prototypes are not meant to be used as final apps because they lack comprehensive functionality and typically act as a blueprint to give a gist of the product.
According to a study, 23% of mobile apps are uninstalled by users right after installing them.
It’s a nightmare for businesses looking to expand their digital presence. You all might definitely agree on this! However, creating a mobile application prototype increases the probability that your application will remain on customers’ devices for a long period.
Without going into too much detail on prototyping models, because there are many, let’s learn deeply about some of the major categories of mobile application prototypes.
One of the simplest and easiest mobile app prototypes is the Low-Fidelity Prototype. Usually, they are shown in hand-drawn illustrations on paper or in a digital setting. Each sketch or line art represents a different screen of the mobile application. By looking through these drawings, you may get a sense of how the app is intended to function. These prototypes are made to help designers create the original concept with ease and efficiency.
You could think of these prototypes as the phase between low-fidelity and high-fidelity. They are made with the assistance of specialized prototyping tools. However, a whiteboard or piece of paper can also work to create such prototypes. Prototypes with a medium level of fidelity usually include storyboards, use cases, intricate design solutions, and more.
The easiest approach to obtaining a realistic design experience without even touching code is using high-fidelity prototypes. These are created only with specialized software because this is the time when icons and features are implemented for practical use.
Do you want to know how a strategic and impactful prototype is developed? Well, don’t worry as we are here with an insight to help you dive deep into what the mobile app prototype building funnel usually looks like. So, without further ado, let’s start!
In other words, you should make a detailed sketch of the idea for your future app and describe what it ought to look like. Make a few quick sketches or illustrations and they can be refined later as these sketches are vitally necessary for developing a prototype.
Additionally, you should also make a list of the main features of the app’s operation. These usually have to do with the design and are usually considered and analyzed later.
The next step is to determine the market for your potential app, its rivals, the strengths to highlight, and the problems to fix. To decide if your app is worthwhile, you should also identify the potential demand for it. Additionally, it is important to pay close attention to the timing while launching the product for garnering genuine leads.
Next, the developers are required to come up with an out-of-the-world concept that will be used to design a robust prototype. Detailed drawings or written descriptions of the major aspects of the concept are sufficient for this phase. Here are some points that should be included in the sketches during the phase of fast and efficient designing.
Once everything is carefully defined, you can proceed to the next stage.
It’s reasonable to say that creating a prototype takes the longest time. Rapid prototyping is a technique that aims to produce a prototype as quickly and with the least number of resources as feasible.
Sketches, drawings, paper interfaces, artwork, and other techniques are common prototyping techniques that are widely used by developers. The outcome is usually a paper-based or digital solution that strategically depicts the potential app’s features and design.
Every time a prototype is released, significant feedback is gathered, analyzed, and incorporated. When you are seeking improvements, you can decide that small adjustments should be made, or, in the worst situation, you might feel the need to start over if the idea is not workable. Therefore, a thorough test and modification of the prototype should be done before presenting it to value investors or releasing it to the public.
Mobile application prototyping has become the need of the hour for developing a robust application without any hassles and bugs. Additionally, it also brings many benefits that facilitate further development in numerous ways. Below are some illustrative examples of such benefits that shows how essential it is to build feature-rich prototypes.
Prototyping clarifies your initial vision which helps both developers and investors to fully determine the concept of the potential mobile application.
Before any development work starts, prototyping enables customer feedback, which is a vital source of information. The final mobile application turns out to be more appealing to users thanks to intensive testing and interface improvements, resulting in higher revenue.
Prospective investors find interactive prototypes of apps to be more appealing and understandable than drawn blueprints and sketches. In comparison to a working Minimal Viable Product, this approach needs less money and effort, allowing for a quicker presentation to potential customers.
Prototyping incorporates evaluation and optimization phases, therefore it helps to organize the team and streamline communication for later software development stages. In turn, planned and coordinated workflow leads to quicker and less expensive development.
In combination, the above advantages of developing an interactive prototype help to reduce development costs and time, prevent sudden modifications in the app structure and facilitate the subsequent development stages strategically.
Prototypes provide you the opportunity to experience your product and modify its intricacies. Therefore, they act as a powerful component for explaining to decision-makers and relevant parties how all the aspects of a project will work or look.
However, if you need to build a website prototype and are in dilemma about which tool to choose, then don’t fret! We’ve got you covered! As we’ve come up with a list of some of the best prototype tools for your apps or website. So, let’s begin!
With the help of Figma, coordination and usability are made simple for teams of UX designers, developers, and anybody else who uses a web, cloud-hosted platform. If you’ve ever used Sketch, you’ll notice that Figma has a similar feel, which makes it simple to use.
Moreover, you can use Figma’s adaptable designs to manage how typography, layouts, and other aspects look across a project. Additionally, several practical plugins like Autoflow for depicting user movements, Fig Motion for making animation, and many others improve the effectiveness of Figma to a whole new level.
The world’s most used prototyping tool is by far ‘Invision’. To aid designers in prototyping more effectively, their team is continually developing new features. The project management page of InVision lets you arrange design elements into a status pipeline and enhance static images with interactions and animations. Moreover, several files, including JPG, PNG, GIF, AI, and PSD, are supported for uploading.
It has made the process and the interaction between design and production much simpler. Real-time, in-browser design discussion, and presentation tools allow improved, quicker, and more inclusive design.
A vector-based method for building prototypes is available from Adobe XD, along with tools for adding engagement, animations, and other characteristics. Expanding and rearranging elements becomes simple because of its vector-based feature.
Adobe XD functions admirably, along with other Adobe families applications like Illustrator and Photoshop. It’s convenient to be able to modify Adobe photos directly within the application, like a PSD file.
Adobe XD offers all of the resources a designer needs, from conception through cutting-edge prototypes and they keep expanding the capability of this product with regular upgrades.
A rapidly expanding option available for quick prototyping is Mockplus. With just only a few clicks, you can swiftly generate dynamic mobile mockups and analyze them on real devices with this desktop-based mockup tool.
Although it is a powerful tool, there is no way to watch the prototype live on a mobile device itself. In this situation, Mockplus comes in handy. Before you begin, you can choose the prototype type with Mockplus from any device. Using the pre-built mobile components and icons, you can save a lot of time on a design by using existing mobile components and icons.
The secret to clearly expressing your ideas and improving your client collaboration is choosing the correct medium. However, choosing the appropriate prototyping tool is a challenging feat because there are so many of them available.
Therefore, to make your job easier, we are here with a few aspects that must be considered to see if the tool corresponds to your requirements or not for developing a feature-rich prototype.
First, we must assess how simple it is to implement the tool. Let’s term it the learning curve or the amount of time it takes a designer to master the tool. The designer would need a substantial amount of time to understand the tool because each one is unique and offers a variety of capabilities.
Since cooperation is essential to design, we examine how effectively it supports teamwork. The tool should allow for teamwork so that everyone is on the same page. Every designer has a unique viewpoint and set of suggestions for a product, so everyone must stay on the same level.
How well a prototyping tool matches your conceptual design and other techniques you frequently use is yet another factor to think about. For instance, your prototyping software could immediately utilize the files generated by design programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, or Sketch rather than having you transfer resources individually and then construct everything all over again to generate the interactions.
For the designer to save time and maximize output, the prototyping tool must be simple to use. Instead of making a task more difficult for a designer, it should make it less difficult.
From curating a robust prototyping strategy to developing an interactive and impactful prototype, regardless of what prototyping for a mobile application you require or what tech stack you’d prefer to use, you need an experienced mobile app development partner you can entrust your project with.
Antino Labs, with a team of expert developers, designers, and other specialists, excels in the creation of mobile prototypes of any complexity and high-end mobile apps. If you’re looking to build a customized prototype for your initial idea then get in touch with us today!
Mobile app prototyping is regarded as one of the crucial steps in the initial phase of app development. From prolonging the client’s attention to discovering the potential viability of the digital solution, a well-curated prototype for a mobile application is beneficial for the growth of the projects in numerous ways.
Therefore, you have all good reasons to opt for mobile app prototyping before going all-in and proceeding with fully-fledged development.