Imagine you are developing your next big project. Let’s say it is a Web app that will be used by thousands of people and will take months to develop.

This means a lot of billable hours for your developers, designers, and UX experts.

Several months have passed and the app is ready. You are pretty satisfied with it. Although it has some flaws, but what app doesn’t at first? You’re going to improve it soon, but – as they say – done is better than perfect, right? And you decide to release it to the market (or maybe first do beta tests on a selected group of users.)

And the feedback is crushing. You overlooked a thing that is essential to the users, but adding it will basically mean rebuilding the app.

Or, the UX flow is so confusing to people it makes the app unusable (or hard to use, at best), although you thought it was fine. Whatever it is, you have just wasted many hours (and a lot of money), because of something that nobody thought of in the initial phase. And you need to get back to work. More work.

This happens a lot. Probably more than you think. But could you have avoided it, or some of it? You could have. If you had built a prototype first.

What is prototyping?

prototype is an essential part of the process of creating web software or a mobile app. During the prototyping process developers, designers, and end users can quickly review the user flow and design, and give important feedback on how to improve it. When you prototype, you get the chance to test your product way before you actually start working on it, and address any key pain points in advance.

Prototyping is one of the five stages of design thinking – a methodology for creating solutions to complex problems using creative techniques. In simple words, it means building one or several scaled-down versions of your product or a specific feature. It might be as simple as pen on paper sketches and mockups, or as complex as a simplified coded version of a functioning app.

Prototyping helps you test your ideas early on, and make changes before you and your team have done a lot of expensive work. Building a functional prototype lets you work with your users or your client before you launch the final product. It also allows you to get valuable feedback, with enough time and budget to improve it.

If you’re worried you don’t have the time to prototype, remember that a prototype doesn’t have to involve coding at all. It can be a simple mockup done by your designer or UX expert, basing on which you can draw up the interactions and plan your work.

#product design #development #mvp #mobile development

App Prototyping - Why It Is Essential and How to Do It?
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