Digital Solutions – Tips to Create an Effective Prototype
Prototyping is the best way possible to validate your product idea, transform your UX/UI design vision into something real and tangible, and evaluate whether or not your digital platform will actually solve the users’ problem. It helps formulating the main trajectory of your product design – turning your raw idea into a highly interactive, three-dimensional version of your proposed solution for a better user experience.
Prototype, be it for web, mobile, desktop – all the way to IoT, is a working model that is created and tested w.r.t key stakeholders and end users. No matter what product you conceive and the inventing process you follow for developing it as a solution, it requires validation. And, that comes through prototyping that ensures that your product design process is moving in the right direction. Here, you can collect feedback from key stakeholders to modify your product’s prototype at an early stage to bring the right value to your target audience.
Prototypes – A Bridge Between Product/Solution Designers and Developers
Prototypes help designers create a concept sketch, and test and validate the product assumptions, optimize design protocols for specific workflows, and allow your developers to move progressively towards a finished solution.
Prototyping is that stage of your design process where you can use all your creative abilities to explore all the solution possibilities that are on the market.
Besides addressing potential problems early on while building an interface structure, you can easily and efficiently route multiple avenues a user can take.
Your prototype must:
- Clearly outline the design aesthetics and product infrastructure.
- Demonstrate and support the flow of a predefined user journey.
- Easily fit all required features into the interface structure.
- Describe the user interface with absolute precision and clarity.
Tips for Creating a Flawless Prototype
1. Set Realistic Goals
Prototyping must have clear objectives. Be realistic while setting goals with genuinely justified expectations before you start building a prototype.
2. Keep Everything Simple
When you have multiple functions to fulfill or element to include, prototyping can turn into a confusing job. Here, you need to identify the most important elements and features to establish a hierarchy in your intended workflows. Now, only focus on building one layout at a time for your prototype.
3. Use the Right Tools
You can use different tools to build prototypes. However, if you have time, the best way to start off is using pen and paper to create concept sketches. Once you understand the product’s flow, you can easily transfer your initial prototype into a specialist software such as Axure RP 9, Adobe XD, and InVision Studio, etc.
4. Focus on Aesthetics
Prototypes are advanced wireframes of your web product with more visual details and interactions. Unlike wireframing, your goal here is to build a high-fidelity layout, and therefore your focus should also be on visual design – use appropriate colors, shapes, and patterns. Think of a functional prototype as a visual design solution.
5. Use Real Content
Prototypes help you quickly analyze how your actual content will appear with your design aesthetics – do they complement each other or you need to change the flow or rebuild your prototype if it doesn’t. This is the best opportunity to ensure appropriate content placement and see if everything fits in as you want.
6. Consistency is Key
Your prototype should facilitate a significant understanding of user experience – how it starts and where users are going during this experience. Keep everything from menus to buttons and object placement, etc., consistent to avoid any misperception by this end user with the perspective of user interactions and workflows. Every element used should make sense, all while improving the user journey.
Prototyping is an integral part of your digital platform’s design and development. It’s more than a mere technique used in product development – it’s a design philosophy that statistically communicates functionalities and interactions focusing on key user journey. Therefore, it is highly advisable to bring it to pros like ours at ArhamSoft (Pvt) Ltd.