Expand your prototyping knowledge

7 reasons why you should always prototype (or at least wireframe)

Wireframes and prototypes weren’t always a priority  for IT professionals, but as the IT industry continues to develop, it becomes essential to build our websites and apps on solid foundations. So, here comes a quick list of why we should all be using wireframes and prototypes more often.

1. Get everyone speaking the same language

Imagine an English speaking developer having to explain something about the engineering process to his client, who speaks very little English. Well, this example speaks for itself, right? But we don’t even need to go to such extremes. In fact, the very same words can have different meanings for people who speak the same language. But due to our differing backgrounds and experiences, we relate to the words in varying ways. With wireframes and prototypes, we can define, translate and visualize our ideas across teams and stakeholders of a whole variety of industries.

2. Visualize the future product

They say an image is worth a 1000 words! This is actually why we wireframe in the first place. Reading all the specification documents of a future website is a pain,  it’s a wonder we ever did it at all. Even with a very ‘sketchy’ wireframe, everybody will get a chance to see how the future design is due to pan out.

3. Clear up our ideas

Make things clear! Wireframes and prototypes help us to organize and share our ideas, and avoid misunderstandings. Try it out for yourself and you’ll see what’s possible and what’s not.

4. Save time

With a prototype in our hands, we know what to expect as a final output. Prototyping can save us time during the development process and avoid rework too. A prototype can be quickly shared and commented on among colleagues and we can apply ongoing changes to it, so that we can see what’s being done in real-time.

5. Save money

Time is money, everybody knows it! Whether it’s a conception, design or development, saving time can also mean saving resources. One of the main reasons for creating a prototyping of the final output is to save time, and thus it’s usually developed using cheaper & simpler technologies than those used for the final product.

6. Involve others

There’s no need to be a high-profile developer to create a prototype. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. If you want to build a good user interface, you might want to ask a UX designer, or designer to build a simple HTML prototype. But, with high-fidelity prototyping with Justinmind, anyone can create fully functional prototypes in no time and without a single line of code!

7. Run user testing before development

This is probably the main advantage of prototyping! Prototyping the UI of a website or an app lets you carry out user tests before developing the final product. In fact, this really differentiates between functional prototypes and static wireframes, as the latter don’t allow you to perform user testing. Go prototyping!

Xavier Renom

About the Author

How to define, validate and review applications before starting to code are his thing. He is interested in everything related to web, mobile and desktop apps and how to prototype and simulate them before development starts. After hours he’s flexing his math muscles.

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