Top 4 benefits of custom prototyping in enterprise software
Software requirements, brand-software alignment and web design guidelines: how customizable prototyping can make all the difference.
Prototyping has become an integral phase of the enterprise software definition process. Among its many advantages, prototyping in an enterprise enables communication and valuable feedback early on between teams, as well as with the client and potential user groups. With custom prototyping tools, the benefits are even greater – including reduced time to market, lower costs in the stages prior to software development, and enhanced branding consistency and aesthetics. Read on to explore the advantages of using a customizable prototyping platform perfect for you, and your enterprise software definition process.
Sync the brand with the software experience
It goes without saying that consistency can make your brand feel dependable. Take Coca-Cola, for example. The company’s logo in Spencerian script has remained largely unchanged since the 1980s. In fact, this was the dominant hand writing style in the US in the mid-19th century. Since then, the font and color have become recognized all over the world, in a number of different languages. And today, Coca-Cola is everywhere.
But unfortunately, it doesn’t always work this way and displaying your logo on all your marketing material isn’t always enough to ensure that your brand is recognized, or remembered. Taking the time to consolidate your content across all your software’s outlets from the offset will help to make your brand and your software appear aligned and compatible. And incorporating this early on in the software definition process, i.e. in the prototyping phase, could save you having to go back and rework later on. There are plenty of ways to this with Justinmind prototyping tool:
Use default styles to reduce the need for redundant work and customize the styles as you wish. With Justinmind, every prototype has been created from a default template, within which default styles have been defined for all UI elements, such as text boxes, input components and data lists and grids. These can all be modified to meet your brand’s needs, to help you provide synonymy between your brand and the actual software.
Templates and masters
Save time and resources by reusing and replicating content wherever possible. With templates, you can easily reuse content, assets and screen design layouts for more efficient prototyping. Define style guides or templates that will set the standards for the whole project, and share content and behavior between screens. What’s more, with masters, or compound UI elements, you can spread global changes. Sometimes you can’t predict delays, especially with software definition where there are plenty of risk points. So, why not save time where you can?
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Maintain industry standards with ready-made and custom UI kits
Industry standards ensure that the apps and software we use both on our desktop and mobile devices are in sync and compatible and interact seamlessly. In software definition, industry standards are gospel and compliance procedures have been put in place to ensure that they are respected. Put simply by the European Patent Office, they “fuel the development and implementation of technologies that influence and transform the way we live, work and communicate.” Apart from anything else, adhering to industry standards makes your brand appear credible, as they intend to demonstrate the quality of the software.
So how can you maintain industry standards through custom prototyping? A lot of prototyping tools offer ready-made UI kits, icons and elements that have been specifically designed with industry standards in mind, allowing you to centralize brand materials. For example, Justinmind includes libraries for both iOS and Android, regularly updating them with the OSS’ newest versions. With these libraries, you can drag and drop authentic OSS elements into your high-fidelity prototypes, even before your software has been developed. In fact, we built our latest OSS widgets using SVG vector files and atomic design elements, which means that you can break them down and rebuild them as you wish. Additionally, you can create your own custom widgets and widget libraries with Justinmind, and customize them as needed.
Keep organization on lock with custom requirements fields
When it comes to your team’s software requirements, being able to define them the way you want is key. Think about all the software management and project management tools we try and test, with the simple intention of efficiently managing our project specs. Being able to make informed product definition decisions requires the project to be well organized and managed from the beginning. So wouldn’t it be wonderful if you didn’t have to spend time working across different programs, cross-checking your requirements against your designs? Enter custom prototyping.
A secure requirements and prototyping platform all in one
With Justinmind Enterprise, you can define and manage your requirements on the same platform as your actual prototypes. Apart from being able to integrate your requirements and design processes, you can share all project specifications across all of your teams: UX, Business Analyst, Design, Product Management and Development teams alike. This feature allows you to build smart business solutions. With the Requirements field in the Justinmind editor, users have been able to define requirements in up to 15 fields, including Name, Source, Description, Author, Start and End Dates.
Gather, define and manage requirements your way by adding and removing fields as you need.
Moreover, with our customizable requirements, Justinmind Enterprise users can personalize requirements fields and add an unlimited number of new fields, as their needs require. There’s the option to edit the requirement fields for individual prototypes, by configuring requirements per prototype. You can also set master requirement fields so that all of your prototypes will take on the changes. The changes you can make to the fields include including/hiding default fields and adding/deleting/renaming your own custom additions.
Enable cross-team collaboration and bring teams together
It’s essential to keep communication channels open between all teams – designers, engineers and managers – to make sure that nothing gets lost in translation. Imagine your design team has no dialogue with the engineers, and a requirement is not carried out correctly. This error will carry through to development, at which point rework is inevitable, thus the costs and the time to market increase. Having everyone on the same page during the software definition phase contributes to the success of your final software.
Prototyping tools with custom sharing features help reduce the risk of communication breakdown by allowing you to work simultaneously with your team and consolidate content across different teams, departments and branches. Team prototyping and co-creation is simple and easy to perform with Justinmind. You can actually add other Justinmind users to your prototype and have them collaborate on the same prototype at the same time. As the prototype owner, you’ll have the power to customize the permissions of each user – given more or fewer as appropriate. Additionally, if you want your clients to be able to view – but not edit (!) – your designs, you can invite them be prototype reviewers.