Prototyping might slow down the design process but it fast tracks the entire product development process.
Our team recently handled a successful app design for a startup. From prototypes to deployment, we did it all. We met the client at one of the UI/UX annual events.
Joey, the founder of the startup approached us at the event, looking for a design partner to bring his idea to life as he had envisioned it. He was working closely with another design team for the past two months, but was unable to get satisfactory results. Disappointed, but not willing to let go off his idea, he was searching for a designing partner again. His search ended after his interaction with one of our UX Architects.
The Script – Rapid Prototyping
In the initial talks with Alan, the CTO, we tried to understand where did the other design team fall short. It was a classic case of burn-out. When the design process becomes a routine, we all experience creative blocks or other types of burn-out. This block can be remedied via constant collaboration and continuous ideation. We do that with Storyboards, Wireframes, and Paper prototypes.
After hours of brainstorming, we design multiple mockups for the client’s approval keeping the end user in mind. These intense brain storming sessions help us in breaking the mould for every client.
Usually, one call with request of maximum 3 mock-ups, with no further follow-ups, sums up this stage.
We came up with 6 mockups to be shown to Alan and Joey.
After another round of iterations with Alan, we were able to zero down to 2 mockups.
The Trailer- Interactive Prototypes
Moving forward, we started working on the visual aspects of the application. Joey and Alan both insisted on using either Invision or Flinto for the prototypes. We were more than happy to do so. Our expertise in multiple tools help us in fulfilling every client’s requirements.
Using these tools we came up with designs which showcased
- Visual cues
- Color and contrast ratios
- Appeal of the brand
- Screen transitions
- Buttons functionality
Over the years, we have provided users with designs of minimum cognitive load. We’re strictly against using unnecessary hotspots, transitions, and hidden functionalities that deviate the users from the task at hand.
When we demonstrated the prototype, Joey didn’t seem so convinced. He wished for some concrete prototype that could be shown to the angel investors. No tweaks in the current digital prototype would have met this requirement.
To fulfil this requirement we decided to give Joey the closest possible look and feel of the app.
The Movie- Native Prototypes
Native prototypes are known for their closeness to the actual product. At the same time, it also means writing code in platform specific language. We still went ahead with it.
We tend to discuss about the user mindset prior and post application interaction. It helps us with actionable insights like what made the user choose a particular flow, which feature is the most engaging, and which ones get little to no attention at all.
Designers often like to play with prototypes, leaving users subtle hints about some functions like easter eggs. User research with prototypes helped us deduce that this demographic is not for creative plays. Instead they were looking for direct and intuitive designs.
After seeing the native prototype, Joey and Alan were fully convinced and appreciated the app like feel they got instead. It was tested on real devices using dummy data. After a successful test run, the prototype became a perfect demo for the investors meeting as well.
Prototyping helps highlight usability and accessibility issues, which, at a later stage may call for a complete redesign. This helps in avoiding any rework that may reach the developers end. Understanding and implementing the user requirements thus takes the front seat in the product design.
To know more about our prototyping process, you can contact us here.