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Design presentation problems? Prototyping has got you covered

Design presentation problems? Prototyping has got you covered


High fidelity prototypes take your design presentations to the next level, building better collaboration, communication and design-development cooperation

Presentations aren’t easy. It might look like you’re just chatting, but there’s a lot of thought and work behind a good speech and strong accompanying images. Think of Steve Jobs. No one presents like he did – he made it look so simple.

When you have a great web or app design idea, it’s a little like that too. You know how the website should be. You know what it needs to do, and you know how to get it done. But the client, or the boss, or someone else, they just don’t seem to get it.

Could it be that you’re not explaining it right?

Problems with design presentations

Everyone struggles with presenting their design ideas to the world sometimes. Maybe you’re a designer, and the programmer didn’t understand that tiny little detail and it makes a huge difference on the final product. Or you’re a coder, and need to know what to code, before they start making design changes that will get you into trouble. Could be you’re a UX Designer, and need to test everything, but it takes too long and it’s very expensive to get it all tested.

So what can you do? Plenty! Let’s break down how working with a wireframing and prototyping tool can help you present your design solutions.

Use wireframes to focus on functionality, not aesthetics

At the early stages of a product design project you want to make sure that the foundation stones of your structure are well set. Imagine this – you want a stakeholder to validate the functional requirements of an early-stage design, but they keep asking you about colors and icon design. Aaghh!


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In this kind of situation, use your wireframing tool to build a quick and dirty wireframe with nothing but the basics – image placeholders, gray-scale elements, even good oldGreeking. That way, you can use your presentation time to focus solely on functions, without your audience (or you!) getting distracted.

High fidelity prototypes help clients understand your ideas

Sometimes we’re dealing with clients who have little web or mobile app design experience. Trying to explain your great design idea in layman’s terms can be really tough. That’s where a high fidelity prototype comes in.

High fidelity prototypes smooth communication between designer and client. Base your presentation around an interactive prototype and you can easily demonstrate the functionality and look of a design, as if it were already coded. Presenting a flawless prototype will get your clients excited about the project and boost your credibility as a designer.

The rule of three – present 3 prototypes, ace every presentation

Sounds crazy but it’s true. the Rule of Three states that “instead of presenting one design at a time and having the client shoot it down, you present three in one client meeting.” Why? So you can cover all your bases with prototypes from different perspectives:

  • client perspective: prototype exactly what they said in the brief
  • designer perspective: the design you know they need 😉
  • ‘wow’ design: give ’em something they weren’t expecting. Who knows, they might love it

Whip up different design solutions in your prototyping tool and give clients options. They’ll thank you for it.

Design presentation problems – prototyping solutions

If you’re not sure which prototyping tool is best for your particular project, check out Cooper’s interactive list of the top tools or this smaller, indepth selection. And get presenting! Practice may make perfect, but prototyping tools are your secret weapon.

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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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