How we can help you validate your idea
Getting an app prototype on your mobile will help you validate your idea faster, allowing you to concentrate on the features that matter the most. A great idea is a good start – but when advising our clients on the best ways to succeed in the app business, we say – test, revise and refine.
It’s always exciting getting an initial version of an app into our clients hands – that’s why we create design prototypes as early as possible for a project. With design prototyping methods, the focus is wholly on the user experience (UX) – how they interact and engage with the product. Prototypes allow us to visualise the product, test the concept and learn from user feedback – meaning prototypes have a hugely positive impact upon the product’s final design. Find out more about our tools of choice and start prototyping like a pro.
So, why do we love creating design prototypes?
Often clients approach us with an idea for an app. Sometimes this might just be a discussion – we might then see a few sketches, or even some mock-ups to help communicate the concept.
Rather than just taking this idea in its very earliest form and creating wireframes for the purpose of initial development – we instead focus upon refinement and developing a value proposition and feature set, before mocking up some screen designs and creating a prototype.
1. Validate your idea with real users
Creating prototypes for the purpose of testing will help you to validate your concept with your users. Do they find it engaging? Does it offer value? Is it solving a pain point or problem they have? This is all invaluable information to ensure our clients final product is a success.
2. Refine and iterate the user experience
Creating a prototype can help refine and iterate the user experience. This will help to iron out any potential UX problems at the earliest opportunity.
3. The design prototyping process is quick and cost-effective.
It can be updated very quickly as the project develops, enabling you to experiment with the app design. It also gives you the opportunity to continue with development if the idea has proved to be a success – or alternatively to concentrate your efforts elsewhere if it’s not.
But most importantly a design prototype is the first step towards getting a product into the hands of your users. It will help everyone get a better understanding of the idea allowing you to get buy-in from other stakeholders and provide a talking point for discussions.
What are the limitations of design prototyping?
While it’s a great way to demonstrate your ideas to users, it will only get you so far. There are a number of web based tools available that make the prototyping process easier, most of these will allow you to integrate basic functionality into your app, however for more complex functions you are very limited.
For example if your app integrates with the smartphone hardware, proximity sensors or the accelerometer for instance, then it will be difficult to demonstrate this using a design prototype. Likewise if your app is communicating with a server to store information then you might need to demonstrate this in a way that imitates this functionality.
That said, with a little bit of imagination there are a few techniques that can be used to create an experience that fairly closely matches the finished product.
There are a number of instances when creating a design prototype will greatly benefit the development of your app leading to a brilliant end product and user experience. If used effectively in the early stages of a project to gain user feedback, it’s a great way to help eliminate risk further down the line by ensuring your product is offering real value to the user – whilst alleviating key pain points.
If you would like us to demonstrate the capabilities of app prototyping or if you have an idea for an app – we can help you refine and develop and validate your idea.