App prototype helps teams know the issues, feedback, clients approvals and user testing before the launch of the actual app. Here’s how…

How to determine the appearance and feel of your mobile app in a pre-production stage?

Stacking up a few static images on presentation slides won’t help anymore, especially if the app is bit complex and dynamic. You need a demo that can communicate the functionality, user flow (or customer journey) and overall user experience for your mobile app design. You can achieve all this by creating an app prototype for your solution without writing a single line of code.

The solution lies in mobile app prototyping

Creating an app prototype is a new way of building a model of an app so that it can be reviewed and tested before the creation of the actual app version. It is just like making sketches of the product or taking the test drive. For example, your client describes what they want to achieve from the app. You will create a functional prototype on the basis of their requirements. Afterwards, the prototype goes through countless reviews, feedbacks, fixes, editing and coding. It is followed by the round of testing and further revisions before the actual release. This way, you can get an end product to your users with a minimum issues/bugs and without any surprises. The mobile marketing company found that 21% of people download the app will use the app only once.

Here is why you should consider prototyping before starting development of an app.

1. Launch fast and quick to validate your idea in the market

App development requires brainstorming to come up with new ideas. As a result, your team is bombarded with hundreds of ideas. How to tell which idea will work? App prototype can help to achieve, as you can implement and launch multiple ideas quickly to see how it looks and how the market respond. Everyone, from stakeholders, developers and to clients can leave their feedback and reviews. It helps minimises the flaws in the app as you advance towards the actual launch, thereby saving you money and hassle.

2. Creating a transparent feedback system

Getting instant user feedback helps teams make timely changes. With an app prototyping tool, everyone can review the designs and drop their feedback accordingly at an early stage of product design. The feedback process should be simple and easy for everyone without forcing people to signup or to download plugins. This feedback helps teams with the product roadmap as well as ensuring that product design is in line with the user expectations. 

3. Improving team collaboration

The right prototyping tools let distributed teams to collaborate and work in sync. They can quickly review the design and makes changes based on the feedback. Working together on a prototype gives the opportunity to explore new ideas and test assumption. For teams, having all the other prototypes at once place helps to get inspire and see what other teams are working. This way, prototyping provides a centralised platform for editing, design reviews and iterations. As we know when teams collaborate and work together then great things happen.

Read Also: Why is a Design Collaboration Tool Essential to your Design Flow?

4. Minimising development time

Before the introduction of app prototyping practice, design changes or tweaks at the last minute prevented the development process. After that, changes to the code is quite frustrating and time-consuming which negatively influenced the overall product development cycle. It would be more tormenting if the issues occur in the post-production phase or there are certain compliance that needs to be met.

Prototyping has made it easier for the teams to save cost and to reduce time on app development. This process will also help to improve the overall user experience, fewer bugs and identify other vulnerabilities.

5. Making it easy for non-technical users

Let’s accept it. Most stakeholders are not technical. They don’t know about coding and wireframes. What matters most to them is the final appearance of the product. As prototyping gives the demo, they can easily understand the things. They can interact with app design and navigate between the screens. The key stakeholders can discuss the feature rather than wasting time in understanding the overall design.

6. Helping you get investment

Before putting capital on the project, an investor is likely to see how the product works. App prototype provides them with a tangible demo so that they can interact, test the product and see how the product will actually solve the user problems. Having a prototype for your product increases the chances to get an investment compared to the presentation slides alone. There are some early-stage investors strongly recommend prototypes as this surely helps them to make the decision faster about their investments.

With prototyping, you can…

  • Get the idea validated in the earlier processes
  • Learn the project requirements to reduce the prospective risks and required rework in the later stage
  • Understand the client’s needs and customise the product accordingly before you actually develop it
  • Minimise time and budget as you have a clear app vision
  • Demonstrate and pitch your product to the investors

Last Note:

App prototype lets designers, developers and stakeholders see all the issues and features ahead of time so that they can fix the things before launching a mobile app. It saves time, money and hassles. Most importantly, the overall user experience for the app without any issues and unknown surprises. There was a research done by Marketing Sherpa (2017) that reported 13% of the people to delete the apps due to they found issues or the app is slow.

Lastly, choosing the right prototyping tools is essentials. If you’re looking for a prototyping tool then you should read Top-10 evaluation criteria when selecting a prototyping tool.

Posted by Athar Majeed

Co-Founder for Savah App.