Building an app can be a very exciting, and nerve-wracking experience!
Will your ideas translate easily from paper to technology? Will it enable users to find or purchase what they want, and will they be able to easily find their way around so that a purchase or positive customer experience is reached?
Whilst it can be great to see your ideas become reality, it is often best to have a prototype created first, showing you the bare bones of how your idea will come to life. Prototypes provide the opportunity to carry out testing and changes throughout the build process and enable both the app builders and customers the ability to iron out any issues before the app is officially launched. From the moment a user begins to engage with your app, they’re forming their own personal user experience based on design, ease of use and more. By taking the time to design and create a prototype, you’re able to see how the core elements will look and function, which are key components to a successful app.
There are several key benefits to mobile app prototyping, which we can explore together now.
Exploring new ideas, and the potential to discover any problems early on:
Having an early concept of your app provides the opportunity to see how your ideas work and feel. Being able to test these core ideas gives you a far better chance of seeing which areas could be improved, or perhaps need developing further so that users get the best experience. Catching any design issues early on also means that your app can be altered before it goes live, which means fewer updates to keep launching. By tweaking and streamlining the prototype, you're able to launch your app to the best of your ability, whilst ensuring it still meets your goals and needs.
Having a prototype to hand gives you the chance to show off your product to potential investors before it goes live. You can also make any changes to both design and functionality before launch if that is required as part of a new investment deal. It can be far more convincing to see a working prototype of an app over a series of sketched design work too and enables you to engage with both technical and non-technical investors in an approachable and all-inclusive way.
Functionality through different platforms:
With apps being used through so many different operating systems and devices, it is vital to check how your app will look and feel across difference devices. For example, an app created for Android will look different when tested on a wearable device such as a smart watch. Creating downloadable files that can be tested in different areas of the market will allow you explore the functionality and feel of your app across various platforms.
Taking the time to have a prototype built will likely save you money in the long run. You’re able to get stuck in to how it works and uncover any flaws. As mentioned above, there are so many rounds of testing to do as the app is built that it really does save time, and therefore money, to make these smaller changes earlier on in the process.
Having your prototype tested by real people is key to creating the perfect app. By allowing colleagues, stakeholders and friends to test a prototype, you get to hear first-hand what they really thought. Could they navigate the pages successfully, was the text too small, did it flow easily? These are all valid questions, and it’s only by hearing these views that you can improve the final product. It is important not to get too caught up in the feedback cycle however, as it can be easy to get stuck in a circle of small changes that lead to confusion, or just a difference in opinion. Keep reviews coming in throughout the build and you should end up with a fantastic product, that doesn’t need to be altered straight after launch!
Here at Rappid Design, we want to bring your ideas to life and create the best product possible. We really value the importance of creating prototypes, and believe that it plays a key part in the overall success of an app. We would love to talk to you today about any ideas you have, and together we can turn your dream into reality.