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4 Reasons Why Mobile Prototyping Is Way Better than App UI Mockups
This topic is assigned to Ghenadies
JustAlex 2019 May 05 07:27

You will agree that designing a mobile app is not always a walk in the park. You need to keep learning and innovating to make your app stand out from the rest. And, you need to look out for ideas that can add true value to the design workflow.

This is where mobile prototyping can be a savior.

It is a powerful marketing and testing tool that works hard throughout your mobile app project’s lifecycle. The most important part about it is that it also helps you prevent a number of mobile UI design disasters, such as:

  • Budget and bandwidth disasters,
  • Overcome knowledge gaps, and
  • Safety disasters.

However, often app designers are baffled about preferring prototyping over mobile app UI mockups. They think that mockups are still better than prototyping.

If you believe the same, then think again!

In this article, we will discuss four reasons why prototyping is way better than mobile app UI mockups and why you should go for it. Read on.

#1 Shows a Realistic Approximation of the App

A mobile app is interactivity incorporated; it is not like a canvas on which you organize items in the best way.

You might use mobile app UI mockups to convey the look and feel of your product, but they cannot show the interactions needed to enable a mobile app to actually work. A mobile app UI mockup is good-looking, but non-functional.

However, when it comes to mobile prototyping, it shows you a realistic approximation of the app. You do not need to indicate a lot about how the app works, as it is taken care of by the prototype.

#2 Streamlines and Accelerates the Development Process

Mobile prototyping helps designers focus on what they do the best: creating compelling user experiences.

But, that is impossible with mobile app UI mockups. Once you hand over the design to the developers, they might need clarification on the details or they may indicate technical limitations. And, if they cannot work with your design, they can even differ or deviate from it.

Moreover, if the final product is not what your client wants, fixing things can become costly. And, the more changes you need to make, the more time will be wasted.

It is like restarting the process again from the designer to the client, back to the designer and then to the developer – a three-way back-and-forth process.

But, when it comes to mobile app prototypes, developers are already aware of what needs to be done. They can make a decision immediately on whether a feature is doable. If it is not, they can request design amendments right away. Also, the clients have a fair idea of what the final product will be like.

In a nutshell, it consolidates and expedites the development process.

So, when mobile prototypes can help you avoid such hassles, why would you go for mockups?

#3 Easy to Identify and Fix Problems

With mobile prototyping, you do not need to change the code to fix a problem. You just need to change the design.

When you design and develop a mobile app, you may not notice certain problems at first sight. And, you can only uncover problems when you use and test the app on the actual mobile device.

Yet, mobile prototyping has been proven to be very useful here. It offers the best way to eliminate any problems as early as possible. It also helps you identify problems before any code is written. In this way, you can create the best possible user experience and not just a great-looking app.

Let’s say that you have designed the touch targets as per the interface guidelines. But, only once you start using it, you recognize it is a tad tricky to reach.

Now, if you want to move the target, you need to adjust the entire layout. And, making such changes is costly and time-consuming.

Mobile prototypes are a savior here. It helps you identify issues in your interactive elements easily and helps you get a good feel for how well the screen transitions and animations work.

For example, you will know whether they are too slow or lacking feedback.

#4 Helps You Validate Your Ideas

The app stores are flooded with millions of apps and thousands of apps are released every day. Yet, only a few make it big and the majority of apps never sees the light of day.

Clearly, just because you think your idea is interesting, does not mean that it should be developed. You need to validate whether it has that element which will make it stand out from the other apps.

And, here mobile prototyping can be of immense help as it provides an easy and quick means to validate a mobile app idea.

User feedback plays a key role in the early stages of a mobile app development cycle. It does not make sense to invest your time and money on the design and development of an idea if it turns out to be wacky.

So, during the design process, you may have a lot of questions in mind regarding whether you are following the right approach or need to make a change. And, the decision is often made based on personal preferences.

But, that is the biggest mistake you can make.

You are not the one who decide whether your app will be successful; your users do. So, why not ask the users?

In a mobile prototype you can put the ideas into it and run a quick test. This will help you avoid in-house arguments and save time on designing and re-designing an app.

Conclusion

The abovementioned reasons indicate why you must switch over to mobile prototyping and avoid app UI mockups. There are several prototyping tools available that you can use, such as InVision, Marvel, Pixate, and Origami, but you should make sure that it suits your needs as well. It is as important as prototyping itself.

The tool should also be reliable, must work fast and must enable you to demonstrate even the most complex interaction design.

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