The Elements and Purpose of Mockups
So you’re done with the tedious process of defining and creating the structure of your website in that design part called wireframing. The stockholders are quite impressed. Now, you’re on to the next step — the making of your mockup. What should your focus be in developing the mockup? What is there to deliver with your mockup?
In design and manufacturing, a mockup is used for promotion, evaluation, and demonstration. If a mockup is used to test a design or a functionality of a system, it is called a prototype, which in web and app construction is the end stage of the design process.
Mockups perform these functions:
- Provide a mid- to high-fidelity representation of the product
- Present the product’s basic functionalities
- Show the product’s visual details such as typography, colors, photos, icons, etc.
Difference From Other Design Phases
When constructing your website mockup and when deciding which mockup tool to use, bear in mind the following:
- The mockup stage is similar to the wireframe phase such that both are static, both deal with how the final product will appear, and both of them do not deal with functionality.
The key difference lies in their quality. The mockup has been described as the “decorated” version of the wireframe. The wireframe provides the placeholders and the shapes, while the mockup presents how the final website or application may look like.
- A mockup is a sandbox for experimenting on visual elements. Mockups allow for the explorations of decisions made on visual designs. It is the transitional stage between wireframes and prototypes.
- You can use the mockup to provide stockholders a taste of the interactive functionality of the product. This is possible with the use of the best mockup tools that you can get for your project. There are tools that allow for the altering of some elements in the mockup stage to show sample interactions.
Here are the advantages of mockups:
- The mockup can point you to the clashing visual elements of your design and help your organize visual details. Here, you can determine the necessary revisions that should be done on details such as contrast, colors, and visual hierarchy. These elements are then solidified at the development phase.
- As you go through the process of designing, the design will also go through several alterations in the hope of mimicking the final product. The mockup is especially helpful as it will not only allow you to change elements for this purpose, but will also allow you to immerse yourself from the user’s point of view.
- The mockup will let you test your visuals and make the necessary changes before they are committed to code. Needless to say, final product revisions are very costly and mockups are great for minimizing expenses.
There are criticisms leveled against mockups, primarily because they use up time and energy in creating something that will be rebuilt in CSS or HTML anyway. However, there are now free wireframe and mockup tools and services that can help speed up the process.
MockupTiger simplifies this process as it allows you to export the final web wireframe HTML page and you can grab the source code. Since the Widgets are all SVG based, every design element is included in the HTML source code. The only elements are image assets that you may have used during the wireframe creation process.
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