Prototyping your mobile app has become an unavoidable step in the mobile app design and development in the modern day mobile app development world. The success of a mobile app largely depends on the prototyping of the app. But how many people really follow it? Most of the people working in the industry must be knowing about it, but do people really follow it?
What is a Prototype You Ask?
A prototype is that version of your mobile app which allows the developer to check and test the major functions. Basically, it’s a functional and interactive model of your mobile app. A prototype development can help bring an idea to life. It helps in bringing the customers’ needs in a spot where it meets an organization’s goals. It is a way to let your product be validated by shareholders or investors in an easier and a less expensive manner.
The Importance of Mobile App Prototype
- Helps You Know What to Change
It allows you to explore new ideas and designs and thus helps in knowing whether the ideas are valid. This acts as a test process during which you realize which features and functionalities are working out and which are not.
- Involving the Investors
Prototyping is a stage where your investors and shareholders also get to be involved and feel like a part of the whole development of the mobile app. It is extremely important to seek their validation. Getting an approval becomes easy using a prototype.
- It Acts as a Demonstration
The prototype of your mobile app acts as a demonstration or model for your final product. The person investing in the app will be sure what he is investing in. It can also help you in knowing if your app has a demand in the market.
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Steps Using Which You Can Create a Powerful App Prototype
1. Is the Idea Feasible?
Building a prototype helps you in knowing whether or not the idea of your app is feasible. For this, you require to do a market research. The research will help you in knowing whether your app has demand in the market, who are the target customers, who are your competitors etc. This can help you avoid a lot of risks.
2. Defining Your App
An app prototype is primarily a design of the final product. This design helps you in defining what your product will be, what are the services that it will offer and what would the usage be like. The prototyping step will help you in identifying your product and understanding it better.
Features, functionalities, and working of an app are extremely important. During the prototyping process, you will realize which features and functionalities of the app are working out, or which are the ones that need to be worked upon more. You can start working with the most important features first and eventually you can add other features after the prototyping.
4. Initial Sketches
Creating initial sketches is important as it will give a face to your app. It will show what the app will look like, how many pages it will have, which features will be on which pages etc. After the sketches, the creation of the final screens can be started.
Wire-framing is the basic structure of your app. This is where you can use several prototyping tools to bring your ideas to reality. A wireframe is simply an outline of what your app will be, with just boxes or simple lines.
6. Testing the Prototype
After being satisfied with the wire-frame, you can start testing your app prototype. This is a crucial step. It requires you to do a usability test. The test shows you how useful your app is. The usability test can prove to be extremely useful in knowing your app better.
7. Creating Final Designs
Once you pass the usability test and are satisfied with the prototyping and wireframing, it is time to turn the wireframes into actual designs. This is the step where the app developers have to get creative and work with tools they think are best suited for the app they are building.
Prototyping an app is not at all an easy task, but it is a crucial step in the mobile app development process. Also, it is unavoidable. Every app design and development expert must do it. Prototyping helps you in knowing your own app, its usability and whether it will work out or not. It acts as a blueprint for your app. Prototyping is where you create a strong foundation for your app.
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.