A good mobile app prototype can help you test what your target users want from your app. It can assist you to discover potential pitfalls and save costs before you officially launch your app in the market. Top mobile app development company in Dubai considers the mobile app prototype one of the critical aspects of the app development process that impacts a lot on performance and cost.
Being a UI/UX designer, I know where most app founders make mistakes. This blog tells you how to make a prototype for your mobile app successfully.
What is a mobile app prototype?
A prototype is a visual mockup that demonstrates what your app looks like or functions. It contains the essential UI elements, app screens, and simulated functions. Prototype is not coding or programming. It is a static wireframe or visual model of your final mobile app version.
A mobile app prototype helps you collect real-time feedback about your app’s appearance, usability, and functionality before its public launch. It gives you reliable data about the UX design, architecture, user flow, navigation, and other key elements to improve the quality of the app.
How to make a prototype for your mobile app?
1. Identify the important functionality requirements
The main purpose of developing a mobile app is to solve users’ problems. It should give them the required features that help them solve their existing problems. Therefore, you should conduct research and find out the potential and ongoing problems that your target audience is facing or might face in the future.
Collect the required data and identify what features and functionalities your app needs. This information will help you give an outline of your mobile app prototype. For example, if you are making an eCommerce app, your app may need the following features.
- Product search
- Search filters
- Product description
- Wish List
- Checkout process
So a prototype can help you estimate the cost to develop ecommerce mobile app with essential features.
2. Make sketches of the primary screens
Once you are done with research and identification of key features and functionalities, it’s time to make a rough sketch of the primary screens. In this step, you need to create a 2D sketch on paper to visualize what the mobile app screen will look like. This is one of the important steps in mobile app prototyping.
At this stage, the client and UI/UC designers both have a common understanding of the app’s requirements. Therefore, designers here should make sketches of the primary screens of the app from the user’s perspective. This 2D representation will give you an outlook of your app and lays the foundation for the further development process.
3. Create a wireframe
As you have a rough sketch of what your mobile app looks like, give it a digital shape. You need to create a wireframe of your app including all the defined mobile screens. This wireframe is a low-fidelity and simplified outline of your mobile application that contains essential and basic elements. It gives you information about the user flow journey and where the developers or designers have to work.
4. Convert wireframe into a prototype
Now the real action comes. A wireframe gives you an overview of mobile app design. It shows snapshots of your app and how its elements and features look on a screen. This wireframe will be used by your developers and UI/UX designers to develop the prototype.
In this phase, developers will create the app screens as per your wireframe design. As we said, a prototype is an essential version of your app. So you can further make changes to the prototype. For example, if you find the user interface doesn’t meet your defined parameters, then refine the UI by adding different UI elements.
5. Create the final version of the prototype
The first prototype is not enough. You might have to make a lot of changes to your prototype based on the feedback you received from users. You need to implement the required improvements in the app which were lacking in the previous mock-up or prototype. And once you finalize the final prototype, give it the official tag.
This prototype now will work as the base or an outline of your app. You can use it to share with developers or the mobile app development company. It will help them to accurately understand your app requirements and develop the app with the least number of changes or mistakes.
Yes, a prototype is not an easy task. It requires great research and a proper understanding of users’ problems and the apps require functionalities. This process might take time but it will ensure you avoid potential mistakes and make important changes on time.
There are many apps that have faced big financial losses just because they directly launched the app without testing it properly.
Don’t let it happen with your app. Therefore, you should try to build your app with a reliable mobile app development company that holds proven expertise in development and UI/UX design.
About the Author
The author is a UI/UX designer at MobileCoderz-one of the top mobile application development company that provides industry-oriented mobile app solutions. She creates wireframes and prototypes for mobile apps and digital products. She has more than 5 years of experience in UI/UX design. When she is not designing apps, She likes to paint and share thoughts on design topics.