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How to improve your web and app design process with prototypes

How to improve your web and app design process with prototypes


Question. When you’re designing a web or mobile app, which is faster – adding a prototyping phase to the design process, or just getting on with coding from the get-go?

Counter-intuitively, adding an extra prototyping phase actually streamlines the design workflow and speeds up the design-development process for both web and mobile applications.

Don’t believe us? Check out how prototyping will improve your web and app design process.

Where prototyping tools fit into the design process

Integrating a prototyping tool into your design toolkit is a great way to improve team workflows and collaboration. An advanced prototyping tool like Justinmind caters to the needs of various design team members at different stages of the design process.

    • Information Architect: can mock up the basic website structure and annotate it
    • UI Designer: build a simple wireframe within the prototyping tool,then convert it into a high fidelity prototype
    • User Researcher: can conduct tests with real users on the wireframe and prototype
    • Business Analysts & Product Managers: collect and manage all requirements within the prototyping tool itself, comment on prototypes and leave feedback

Let’s take a closer look at how prototyping can improve the web and app design process.

Prototype faster, design better

Of course, faster doesn’t always mean better. But with software engineers spending up to 50% of their time on avoidable reworks,  according to IEEE’s ‘Why software fails’, cutting the fat from the web and mobile app design workflow is a positive step towards better design processes.

Justinmind’s interface makes for a speedier design process. Just drag and drop pre-made UI elements onto the canvas and you’re on your way. Define navigation flows and start to add rich interactions by learning a few Justinmind tricks. Even a user with zero programming experience can create advanced prototypes in a matter of minutes.

Check out our beginner tutorials on YouTube

Enhanced collaboration between teams

The benefits of having the whole team working with the same tool are obvious: there’s only one version of your design solution; changes are updated in real-time; a complete version history provides information on why changes were made (and by whom); and, best of all, the team can save time and minimize misunderstandings through enhanced collaboration.

Find out more about Justinmind’s Teamwork features here

You can be sure that no-one is working on old files, nor will requirements or comments get lost, and, best of all, every can invest their time in playing to their personal design and development strengths, rather than wasting time organizing requirements and specifications documentation.

Using teamwork features, a company can have several people working on the same prototype or project no matter where they are in the world, sharing, collaborating and creating a great product. It’s easier to collaborate when everyone uses the same software and the same interface.

The whole design process in one tidy prototype

Whether you’re working on a large-scale web prototype or a mobile app, the final prototyped product will be one single file. You can present this single file to clients, your boss or even end-users, as if it were the finished product. The prototype will look and feel like the real deal.

Changes, modifications and comments can also be made into this one single document with Justinmind Online (find out more about Justinmind Online here), and the design team can access this feedback anywhere, anytime, with a single click. All modifications and actions are registered and saved, so you know exactly where you are at all times.

Leveraging the power of a prototype after design approval

Once your web or mobile app prototype is validated and approved, it’s time to generate documentation with instructions to everyone involved about project requirements, steps to follow and everything required to make things really work.

Besides all this process, Justinmind’s requirements management features also controls versioning, helping business analysts to know which version and which changes correspond to which piece of software.

How to improve your web and app design process with prototypes – the takeaway

Developing a website or mobile app is a complex process; even the most experienced designer or developer can get tripped up by mis-managed requirements, team misunderstandings or workflow break-downs. By adding a prototyping phase to the design process there’s less chance of misunderstandings and more chance of having a winning web and app design process.

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Pablo Gonzalez

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