Getting a mobile app developed for your business is a necessity today. Though mobile apps offer a whole new world of opportunities for your business yet small mistakes in development or execution can cost you your luck.
And inevitable is the huge price tag that it brings along to burden your business can ruin the whole idea of your business exploring new prospect markets. This can even get worse if you hire an inexperienced mobile app development company. Your costs would be bloated and the bugs would know no limits. A low initial quote by new developers might lead to crashes, insecure app and even confusing UI (user interface).
A big reason behind your great app idea getting ripped is that it has missed a significant phase of app development called Prototyping.
It is a common practice of experienced UI/UX designers to use a prototyping tool before it proceeds for development. Prototyping is an evolutionary tool which authenticates an app’s design, bring life to the ideas and help elevate your business success.
Now you must be keen to know all about what a prototype is and how it can save your app and largely your business?
So here is a brief introduction of the concept.
Mobile App prototype is an interactive demo or a working model of an app which illustrates it’s design, functionality and it’s user flow or navigation. Due to its highly interactive model, it is also popular with the names clickable mockups or interactive wireframes.
Prototyping is a part of the design phase of the development process and hence discrepancies can be avoided at this initial stage only. As an app prototype does not require actual programming, any alterations or suggestions can be easily implemented.
It is at this phase you can actually try and incorporate ideas for the same before the app is developed. As a wireframe, a prototype can be tested by the users and their valuable feedback received can help to shape the end product with better user experience.
This step in the design phase of your mobile app development can save your money, time and deliver a user-friendly app for your business
Prototyping has been simplified due to a number of free prototyping tools available online. They offer free templates for websites, web apps, and mobile apps.
With a wide outline on the major benefits of prototyping, now we are heading to the major and decisive benefits of using prototyping tools.
1. Clearer Concepts
Clarity of the concep`ts relates to precise knowledge of what is expected out of an app.
Clarity and precision is always preferred over ambiguity and uncertainty. When you want your app idea to be developed, your app designer will be the first to transform your thoughts into reality.
With the preparation of a prototype, you can get things added, edited or removed. And a prototype will also allow your UX/UI designer to tell you if certain things would enhance or mar your app.
Allowing you to share your expectations of intended functionality, look and user flow of the app, prototype acts as a great visual aid.
Right from building interactions, interface, look and feel of the app, prototype not only gives you better clarity of how the final app would be like.
And this would help you, your investors and stakeholders to decide on whether to move ahead and invest their money in or not.
2. Encourages Collaboration and Feedback
Image Source: JUSTINMIND
Prototype is an amazing tool which encourages teams to collaborate, discuss and give feedback quickly and efficiently.
This is so because prototyped applications are not required to be shared in JPG or PDFs. You and your design team can easily add comments and links via feedback tools available with prototype application.
As prototyping is in the design phase and does not require coding, product owners are encouraged to suggest changes and provide their feedback until they find it perfect.
With the feedback tools, product owners, UX designers, and developers are able to continuously converse and ensure that the proposed prototype is feasible in terms of design, development, and users.
It is all because of prototyping that multiple changes, corrections are possible and revisions are quicker and easier.
3. Enhances User Experience
Image Source: Medium.com
With mobile app prototyping, it is possible to roll it out for tests and get the valuable feedback of the users.
Getting user reviews and feedbacks provide you with great insights on the UX of your app. They help you get to know about how easy it was to use the app, how good it was to navigate through the app, did they get well with the functionalities of the app or had issues to understand?
For a designer, answers to all the above-mentioned UX related questions are quite empowering. They not only guide the designers to improve the UI of the app but also help them get closer to the user’s mind and deliver to match.
On the other hand, when your app goes live without any prototype and without having the privilege of user feedback, its fate is at high stake.
Today when in every sphere of business, Customer is the King, you can’t afford to ignore your customer and launch your mobile app without much appreciation.
Hence prototyping proves to be a great help for both the designers as well as developers and gives them the idea as to what is expected out of the app by the real users.
4. Mockups for various devices
One of the biggest advantages of prototyping is that designers can use a prototyping tool and create designs particular for a platform or even for specific devices.
This will help you as well as the designer to have a clear idea of how your app would look like on a particular device and platform in action.
Getting an overview of the app, you can further enhance the UI if required as prototyping tools allow creation of downloadable compatible files for specific devices.
You can even get the designs and functions verified from all your stakeholders with the design prototype and get their feedback and approval.
5. Comprehensive and Predictable end product
Time invested in developing saves you a lot on time actually spent in developing the same app.
When you have a design prototype which has been liked by the users and approved by the stakeholders, the end product is quite predictable.
First the development team analyses the design prototype and gives more accurate and realistic estimates. Things are far more difficult and complex when it comes to coding without a prototype.
The design prototype helps developers to have a better and comprehensive understanding of what is required from the app.
Conjunction of the interactive prototype with the functional specifications document can render unmatched ease to the developers. With a prototype, the end product comes with no surprises and even the time and budget schedules too become highly certain.
6. Easier Funding
When just have an idea, some would appreciate it and some would disapprove it on a whole. Irrespective of how good the concept is, investors and stakeholders, do not believe in fiction but in facts.
Being a product owner, you need to prove that your idea is worth their investment. Prototype plays the saviour here.
To attain buy-in from internal stakeholders as well as your external investors prototype can serve as a closest certain copy of the final product.
Cutting down the uncertainties and showing the look, feel and functionality of your app, a design prototype ensures ensures the efficiency prospects of the project.
Once convinced, your mobile app project would observe easy funding and transform into reality.
When an app is in the development phase, it has two types of costs: development costs and revision costs. This is the case when no design prototype has been created for the app.
While assigning your project to the app development team, you need to make them understand as to what do you want.
And it is not always in first go that they will interpret your thoughts and transform them into an app. With completion on every single milestone, they would be sharing the build with you.
If you confront issues and deviations from what you want, there will be multiple rounds of feedback and iterations. This would hamper both the development time and increase your revision costs.
The longer it takes to get each milestone complete perfectly the greater are the development costs. And if you do not keep touch on what latest developments are made in your app, then you must actually be handed over with a surprise app which needs to be rebuilt. What a wild expense it is.
Case is different when the development team is handed over a pre-approved design mockup of your app. Adding a prototype phase to the project will be a highly cost-efficient step.
They are already provided with the final version of the app which might have undergone a number of mistakes, additional change rounds, feedbacks, and iterations. So all they need to do is to code and deliver your app on time and in the budget.
Agreeing to a pre-accepted cost for including the prototype phase, your overall cost for getting an app developed will be prominently reduced.
8. Secured mode of Sharing and Testing
Though not very talked about, yet one of the significant benefits of using prototyping tools is that they are secured.
This means that right from the preparation, testing and to the review stage, prototyping tools are considered to be secured.
Even when you need to get the prototype design approved from your stakeholders and investors, these tools allow access only to the authorized users.
Till now you must have been convinced with the benefits of mobile app prototypes. Prototyping or wireframing or mockups are aimed to bring clarity of thought between the owner of the product and the app design & development team.
Prototype not only clears your expectations to the team but sometimes your imaginations do not look good in real or might not be the best solution possible.
Though some might ignore this phase due to costs involved, in reality, the cost hence incurred is relatively far lesser than the benefits it deliver.
Whenever unsure of the solution or outcome, have potential risks involved or you are over-cautious of the final product, resort to app prototyping and fell relieved
For any related queries please feel free to contact us.
Till next time stay updated and optimized.