What, Why & How do we prototype?
Prototyping is one of the most effective skills you can have. At Maze, it is an essential part of our design sprint and we count on it greatly to deliver great looking websites that delivers good results and conversion rates.
Not only it gives any designer personal satisfaction but also clients and managers enjoy seeing how their design work and what is its user journey & flow.
However, it is not enough to just build a prototype and show it to your users. There is a process that should be followed in order to correctly reach your audience’s needs. In this article, Maze will share what, why & how its team prototypes.
By the way, we’ve written a great article on how using the FOMO technique increased our conversion rate. Check it out if you’re interested.
What is a prototype?
Prototype is a tool to connect visual design in an interactive way. It shows the aim or the action of the visible product and how it will be when the design is between the hands of real users.
Why do we prototype?
In the average Human Brain, neurons committed to visual processing take up around 30% of the cortex, as compared with 8% for touch and just 3% for hearing (ref: Grady, 1993).
That is why clients are satisfied & happy to see how their design work and how we expect their users to navigate their website.
Knowing this in advance will help us deliver even greater advertising campaigns.
Benefits of prototyping:
- It’s the first step towards a high fidelity design. We are now visualizing our product instead of working on a conceptual design.
- Designers can now help clients visualize the product’s problem and thus it helps them show a clearer solution.
- Its our first test with real data. Iterating now is easier and faster.
- When we prototype, we discover unexpected scenarios. We have a clearer idea of what should and should not be there.
- We can spot usability problems easier.
- Last but certainly not least, Prototyping helps us present the whole product to the client or stakeholders. It is considered nowadays as a standard stage for a presentation.
How do we prototype?
We usually divide prototyping into different stages:
- Gathering of data.
- Defining the goals of our end product. Will this product solve a certain need? If yes, how?
- Performing a competitor analysis, this will help us know our competitors and what they are offering. In a way, it also helps us define our user expectations.
- Define the product audience and their goals.
- Define how will our audience use our product? While working? While sleeping in bed? Sitting
- If the product is an enhancement, you need to see the basic requirements that already exist and understand its behavior.
- Define project deliverables. This will help the UX process run more smoothly.
- Draw. Follow the user flow. Know the user’s inputs and outputs. Sketch on paper and then wireframe on-screen and when you do that, write annotations. Annotations are very important for you, your team and the client.
- User testing. If you don’t have users to test, don’t worry, there are a lot of online tools to help. Usertesting.com is one of them
- Move from Low fidelity to High fidelity design in a digital form (You can use Sketch App, Invision Studio App, Figma, Framer… )
- Make your prototype interactive.. You can use invision, sketchapp
The amazing thing about prototyping is that you are prototyping for a reason. Start and end your prototype with the same purpose. Always ask “why” we need this. Remove the unwanted materials. Always ask if there is a better way to make it and if your chosen way is giving you the needed results.