Why Should Digital Agencies Integrate Prototyping?

February 3, 2015
Athar Majeed

Businesses and Digital Agencies are one of the most dynamic fast-paced working environments. This in itself brings about many demands and challenges as the industry is ever evolving each day, and how things work yesterday won’t be as it is tomorrow.

On a typical day, agencies work hard to win clients by going way beyond their call of duty in order to build trust and long-term relationships. Validation of client’s designs is always at the forefront. Both clients and consumers’ expectations have grown, hence resulting in more pressure on agencies to go the extra mile for them to win new clients.

Winning a web or mobile app from a potential client has become more dependent on tangible demonstrations. Clients are bored of long specification and long-winded documents. Clients instead want to understand and visualise how their end-users can interact with and use the web or mobile app they want to build systematically. So creating a simulation of the web or mobile app can indeed greatly increase the chances of its endorsement by the client.

It’s really a no-brainer why the client would prefer a more hands-on approach when it comes to testing a web or mobile. The aspect of ‘seeing is believing’ turns out to more favourable to them compared to the “just develop, it will bring results”mantra. Hence, most digital agencies have jumped the “old school” ship and joined the “prototyping” cruise.

The Synergy Between Digital Agencies and Prototyping

How does prototyping apply to digital agencies? In this field, prototyping is simply creating a physical and virtual representation of an idea or concept. The representation can be in the form of a new web, product or mobile app interface. This visually illustrative process makes greater steps in helping teams understand the presented idea than the usual and endless talks and discussion.

Prototyping ties concepts to possibility giving room to optimization, iteration and an eventual execution. This saves time and even money by developing a better understanding to what may be of the created new idea. Cringy questions such as “Great presentation and idea, now how does it work exactly?” at the end of a presentations can be avoided.

So Why Should Digital Agencies Delve into Prototyping?

Selling a concept is never that easy. It needs more than scheduled meetings with hefty documents and hours of discussion. An experience into a concept can shift and hasten such a venture. But how does it work as one may ask; through a tangible demonstrations. It is easy to understand how a consumer interacts with a product or service when there is a simulation in place; a test or a trip through what the idea may become. This is the reason why leading digital agencies integrate prototyping.

Prototypes give a chance for agencies, client and consumer to reconnoiter options available in the drafted idea or developed web or mobile app interface and validate the design and experience. It much brings a sketched idea closer to the consumers’ reach with better understanding. The approach is certain to win the client as fast; a victory for the agency.

How to Win More Clients?

Currently, agencies are working too hard in trying to win new clients. They are in and out of face-to-face meetings trying to earn their clients’ confidence alongside making sure projects and deliverable progress are ready on time before the next meeting. This however, makes a production of documents more complicated especially when it comes to user interaction and user experience.

Sweet talking the client with loads of documents has arguably become outdated; it no longer works in such a fast-paced ecosystem. The problem is that most prefer interacting and testing the web or mobile app itself rather than reading these documents. So to easily win a client and gain their trust as fast through prototyping where they get to see, feel and understand how the web or mobile app works on the go.

Furthermore, meetings and discussions are bound to produce new ideas and changes; this means development of another design version. Managing these versions becomes a chore especially if the projects’ vision and scope did not have clear guidelines from the beginning. Hence, this tend to become time consuming and confusing for all parties. This is the main reason why digital agencies integrate prototyping  needs to win more clients.

How to Work Smarter?

Working hard is essential but at the same time, working smarter is what matters the most. What are the rewards for agencies that incorporate prototyping into their day-to-day work?

A Prototype allows everyone to be involved smartly from day one in rapidly exploring options and validating designs in line with user interaction. An interactive click-through prototype gives us a true likeness of how the final web or mobile app works and feels like.

Click-through prototyping gives teams more autonomy in order to experiment without the fear of getting it wrong. This way, teams become more resourceful and inquisitive and in addition become more comfortable with ambiguity and imperfection. Thus, sharing of ideas for web and mobile apps becomes more courageous, and therefore stimulates the flow of the user experience, as while as prototyping also becomes more affordable and resistance to failure. As a result, prototypes are great for pitching and selling hence reducing the need for long specification documents.

So, why should digital agencies integrate prototyping and still work smart? Players in the agency become more inspired, agile, inventive, visionary and inquisitive day by day bringing out the best in themselves while creating a comfortable environment that previously seem ambiguous and limiting.

The clients also enjoy the fruits when digital agencies integrate prototyping. They are easily brought to speed with the conceptual process, understand the web and mobile app with more liveliness and vivacity. Both the agency and the client start to win.

Sophie Kleber, an executive director of Product and Innovation at Huge while in a conversation reiterated,

There is no question whether or not to prototype; it is our responsibility to do so.

encouraging digital agencies to integrate prototyping. Therefore, digital agencies should delve into prototyping in their everyday practice to win more clients.

There are some great prototyping tools like Savah to choose from and this provides agencies and businesses with more options to explore ways on how to work smarter and get more things done. All departments in the agencies can draft their ideas, put up their web or mobile app interface, charge it up through Savah and watch as they create their next BIG thing!


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