Finally, after days of deliberations, you have landed on an app idea and you are decided to go with it. You want to give shape to your app idea now. But you are still not ready for developing the app. You need to see how the app looks like on a piece of paper. You need a prototype of the app you are going to build. Developing a prototype takes very minimal time.
Prototyping plays a very important role in shaping your idea into a successful mobile app. From prototyping to the final app, there can be other intermediate stages as well. You can build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with a minimum number of crucial features and then can add others over a period of time. You can also release a Beta version of the intended app and after incorporating advice and market feedback can build it better into the final marketable app version.
An app prototype is basically the conceptual model along with a functional description of the app you are going to build. The prototype is basically created to explain how the intended app will work to your investors and the developers of the app. The prototype will explain how it is going to fulfill the user needs and help the user achieve its objective. It is the first model of your intended app that anyone outside of the developer team can engage with.
As of now, you must have understood the purpose of using a prototype before building an app. But apart from explaining the app to the developers or investors, there are several other benefits as well. Let us have a look at the key benefits of prototyping.
Mind mapping is a widely used technique for preparing a design model. It basically helps to put together layers of information around the intended app. Mindmap typically makes the association of ideas and information through words and visual elements. Let us explain the key principles of mind mapping.
When embarking on your app idea you must have had some successful app of your niche in mind. Obviously, you want to build a unique app in both UI/UX. But apps of a particular niche or category often share some common UI elements and up to that point, you should always take inspiration from your competitors. You can also apply the UI idea of a successful app of a different niche into your app if it really suits the intended user experience.
User persona refers to typical characteristics of users who are going to use your app. User persona of an app refers to the dominant user group of the app. Now, your prototype should incorporate design decisions based on this user persona.
Just when the sketches of the UI is approved and agreed upon, now you need to shape the mobile app design into wireframes. Now wireframing is a bit more complicated task than sketching your design concept.
POP or Prototyping on Paper is an awesome app that you can download from both Google Play Store or from Apple App Store. You can take snaps of your drawings and upload them to present all of them in an app like flow through this tool. After uploading the sketches-out pages you can resize the elements, change their colors and apply the look and feel that suits you. When designing all the pages with the POP app, consider the following aspects.
By deciding the design and navigation elements of every page you should create a detailed workflow for the app.
Apart from doing it on your own, you can also utilize an array of very useful prototyping tools. Many of these tools will help to create the prototypes with the least effort while not missing any of the key principles and practices. Let us shortlist and briefly explain a few of the most effective prototyping tools.
Shaping a great app idea into a perfect app product requires a lot of deliberations, design decisions, and testing. All the above-mentioned practices and popular tools can only help you achieve the perfect design through prototyping.
WRITTEN BY: Atman Rathod
Atman Rathod is the Founding Director at CMARIX Technolabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading web and mobile app development company with 17+ years of experience. Having…
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