Best Practices In Digital Prototyping
Creating mock ups for both mobile or web based projects – both physical and digital is important to get a sense of what an interface will look and feel like and should be a given.
Prototyping has become an integral step in any screen design process with specific regard to the UX aspect. The action of planning and laying out how the user will process information will allow a greater definition of information hierarchy and result in a clearly optimized solution right from the start.
Be The Early Bird
Often, if not prototyped in the initial stages, a project will stretch longer than necessary. When prototyping in the beginning stages, stuck spots and design that just isn’t working can be fixed before it gets too developed. Many times, the less optimal route is chosen anyway so the site or app can launch on time and then corrected when there are more resources to put toward optimization.
Assemble Your Team
The truly important task is identifying a designer and developer who can realize the quality and core values that encompass the project. Engaging in continual communication throughout the lifecycle of the project will help to ensure the core vision of the design.
Start With Pen and Paper
Though the tools for high-fidelity rapid prototyping are widely available, its important to get first blush ideas on paper. Wireframing acts as a blueprint for the site or app before it becomes the colorful, type and image driven beauty that it will transform into. As with architecture, it’s important to ensure the stability of a structure before breaking ground. Many times, through this process, weak content and information will become highly visible resulting in tweaks which are more easily accommodated at this stage.
Align the Brand
Digital prototypes and mockups tend to lock in a a specific amount of detail fairly early on. Ensure the branding is highlighted in terms of care to fonts, colors, messaging and content.
Because prototypes are a good representation of an end product, they can be an amazing tool when presenting an idea to a client or team for development and feedback. By simulating a true interaction between the interface and user, the use of a prototype proves incredibly inspiring (if the design is good) and useful in pushing a project along.1