Sometimes explaining with words or static visual materials is simply not enough. So, once a concept for your business’s mobile app or website takes shape, the next step involves creating a wireframe. Sometimes it still happens on paper or via a specialised tool – to ensure users enjoy a seamless browsing experience. Prototypes are interactive mockups that are used to test the design of websites and mobile applications designed to look and feel like the real thing.
Interactive prototypes allow designers and developers to show how they want things to look and work. They can try out the interactions they plan to use and help developers understand what to build. It’s like a guide for making things just right!
What is Interactive Prototyping?
An interactive prototype gives insights into user interaction across various levels for both websites and mobile apps. These prototypes enable users to assess design usability and feasibility before the development phase commences, eradicating unexpected issues during project execution. It serves as a preview or demonstration of a digital product’s eventual appearance, navigation, dropdowns, and filtering functionalities. Its robustness allows users to scrutinise features, functionality, and usability and truly experience the system firsthand, all within a single package. It is almost like a ‘test-drive’ before you purchase ‘the car’ (= develop a digital product).
What are some benefits of interactive prototypes?
- Interactive prototypes provide users and stakeholders with a good insight into the application’s design – e.g. a clickable prototype will demonstrate how exactly the website or app will look and work (buttons, etc.). This in turn fosters a shared vision among stakeholders and users.
- Prototyping unveils design hurdles during early project stages, paving the way to identify requisite features and potentially saving costs. Efficiently rectifying issues as they emerge proves far superior to continuing down a problematic developmental path.
- Creating prototypes during initial project phases streamlines this process, gathering user feedback and reducing development timelines.
- Prototypes can also work as a strong tool to show good progress and share the next clear step for making the app. This makes the team excited about what’s coming next in the project.
- Prototypes help show how things work better than just writing down how they should look. For instance, if developers want to know how a certain button or feature should work, they can use the prototype to see how it’s supposed to function.
Some Popular Prototyping Tools
It has been a top choice for UX/UI design teams for a while; however, there are many other options to choose from nowadays. Over four million people use Figma. It is great for brainstorming and mind maps, designing website pages, creating app prototypes and project management. You can start with a free version to see if it fits your purpose.
InVision is more like a set of tools and not a single tool. In a single subscription, you get 3 tools/collaboration spaces. The first one is Freehand – used for wireframing and real-time collaboration. Then, you move on to Studio for screen design and interactive prototyping. Studio has a comment feedback feature that can be converted into actionable tasks (very handy). And when all is done and dusted – use Inspect for design handoff and collaboration with developers.
Sketch offers quite a broad range of prototyping tools. Using tools like scrolling artboards, fixed elements, and overlays, you can make your ideas come to life in ways that complement the projects you’re working on.
Based on user reviews, Miro’s prototyping tool eases prototyping process, making it collaborative, flexible, and efficient. Miro also conveniently offers prototyping and wireframing templates. Miro is currently useb by over 60 million users – so there must be something in it. Definitely check it out for yourself!
WeAgile is a UK-based digital agency, and our team of designers, developers, and marketers has a vast experience with app design and development, web design and development, and digital marketing. Reach out today and let’s work together on your new and exciting digital project or campaign today!