Wireframes and prototypes weren’t always a priority for IT professionals. But as the industry continues to develop it’s becoming essential to build websites and mobile apps on solid design foundations.
Integrating wireframing and hi-fi prototyping into your design-development process is a surefire way to improve the software application design-development process. Here’s Justinmind’s quick list of why we should all be using wireframes and hi-fi prototypes more often.
- Get everyone speaking the same language
Imagine an English speaking developer having to explain something about the engineering process to his client, who doesn’t speak the language. It’s obvious that communication and effective team collaboration will be difficult. But we don’t even need to go to such extremes: sometimes it can feel like a UI designer speaks a different language to a product manager, for example!
Wireframes and prototypes can define, translate and visualize our ideas across teams and stakeholders from a whole variety of industries. Misunderstandings are reduced and communication just flows. With Justinmind prototyping tool, communication is easy thanks to our Collaboration and Teamwork features.
- Visualize the future product
You might have heard that old prototyping adage, “if a picture is worth 1000 words, a prototype is worth 1000 meetings“. Reading all the specification documents of a future website is such a pain, it’s a wonder we ever did it at all. Even with a very ‘sketchy’ wireframe, everybody gets the chance to see how the future design will pan out.
That goes for clients and potential investors as well as internal team members. Once your team has validated a web or app prototype, switch the project to public in your Justinmind Online account and simply share the public URL with anyone you want. Your clients and stakeholders can then view the prototype on any web browser or device, and give feedback. No traveling, no meetings, nice and simple.
- Share ideas
Wireframes and prototypes help designers to organize and share ideas, which in turn lessens misunderstandings. It’s easy to share prototypes among team members and manage who has access. Authorized users can make comments and prototypes in progress; you’ll know who made a comment and when thanks to our tracking system. Wherever your team members are, they’ll always have access to the latest design iteration.
- Cut reworks, save time
According to IEEE’s ‘Why software fails’, software engineers spend up to 50% of their time on avoidable reworks. Wireframes and prototypes can plug that resource-leak around by allowing designers and developers to iterate and experiment on lean prototypes rather than coded software.
By quickly sharing and commenting on even low fidelity prototypes, design teams can get the ‘bad’ ideas out the way early on in the process. Agile iterations done in real-time are one of the strengths of web and app prototypes
- Save money
Time is money, everybody knows it. Whether your application is in the conception, design or development stage, saving time means saving cash. There are plenty ways a prototyping tool helps you cut down on time wasted and money spent
– More effective requirements definition and management
– Validate user flows faster
– Iterate interactions at early stages
– Establish an MVP
- Get involved, and bring others along for the ride
There’s no need to be a high-profile developer to create a prototype. Actually, it’s quite the opposite: making a great user interface doesn’t always require a UXer or designer to build a simple HTML prototype. With a high-fidelity prototyping tool like Justinmind, anyone can create fully functional prototypes in no time and without a single line of code.
- Run user testing before development
We’ve left the best till last. Early stage user testing is probably the main advantage of prototyping! Prototyping a web or mobile app UI lets you carry out user tests before developing the final product. It’s simple –once an initial design is worked up into a high fidelity prototype, you can use one of the many usability testing tools integrated with Justinmind to find out how target users react to your design idea. You can run usability tests throughout the application development cycle, moving from prototype fidelity and on to coded features. User testing with wireframes focuses on the very basics – information architecture and navigation flow – before moving up towards interactive features.
All the data collected from user testing can feed back into fast design iterations around problem areas.
Not sure which user testing tools are right for your project? Find out here!