Prototyping plays a pivotal role in the development of a good application. This is the final stage for you to optimize how each element flows and interacts within your application. Prototypes don’t necessarily have to be visually appealing, but they do need to be interactive.
If you go by ideas and sketches alone, your app probably won’t be able to perform to its potential in providing a worthwhile user experience. And you don’t want to waste time on needless iterations, do you?
While static wireframes or mockups are already big leaps by themselves, they still leave a lot of room for doubt since you won’t be able to test how your app works anyway.
As you move toward complexity, the more you need to use prototyping software over traditional methods. For your better understanding, here’s a list of reasons why you need interactive prototypes more than anything else:
1. You’ll know how the final product will perform.
Prototypes are all about replicating the user experience. Nothing is hardcoded at this stage since a clickable mockup is the only thing you need to get started. This is an important practice that you should never ignore if you want a deeper understanding of how your interface plays out.
An interactive prototype lets you navigate the app through the eyes of a user. It helps in spotting inconsistencies and ensures that each element follows a coherent flow. You’ll definitely have an easier time ironing out the finer details of your final product since most features of your app can be validated at this point.
2. It makes it easier to present to other people.
If you want to showcase how your app works to a client, a clickable prototype is the best route to go with. Average clients usually don’t bother with the technicalities of the app; they care more about how it looks and how well it works.
A prototype is similar to a PowerPoint presentation such that you create a set of buttons that lead to different screens when prompted. Prototyping simply has an edge in presenting information as an app would-namely, with better flow and clarity.
3. Prototyping costs very little to implement and change.
Using professional prototyping software allows you to create as many iterations of your product as you need. Even if you have to start from scratch multiple times, you’ll only suffer minimal delays at most.
MockupTiger and similar platforms are designed for you to churn out prototypes quickly, so you won’t have to worry about making mistakes. In fact, you are encouraged to do so since the prototyping stage is the best time to commit for initial user testing.
4. It sets the stage for both frontend and backend developers.
Prototyping helps both frontend and backend developers do their jobs more effectively. A good prototype should be able to clearly show developers how to fill in all the blanks on their end.
For frontend designers, this aspect comes in the form of assigning a standard layout, image sizes, and technical guidelines for them to follow. Meanwhile, backend developers use the prototype as a visual flowchart where all programming decisions are based on.