The last few years have seen a rapid rise in the popularity of clickable prototypes. In fact, prototyping has become pertinent to any digital transformation company so much that creating wireframes and testing fully functional mockups is considered among the top skill sets of any designer.
And why not? After all, a clickable prototype is considered one of the most valuable deliverables in the present times. The clients always want to see what their product will look like and more importantly what is your progress with their idea.
As crucial as it gets, just building a prototype is not enough. In order to deliver a well-built product you also have to understand and treat the process of prototyping as the initial draft of the end product. So in this blog, we will try to shed light on everything you need to know for building a clickable app prototype from an initial idea.
What is a Clickable Prototype?
A Clickable Prototype shows a visual representation of the user interface of your website or a mobile application. It offers us an interactive experience very similar to the end product. Through a clickable prototype, you can get more accurate feedback from not just the end users but also product owners and developers.
There are several problems that can be solved by developing a clickable prototype.
- It can help bring a demotivated team on track
- You can rectify an unsuccessful product by knowing where it is lacking
- You have something solid to show to clients
- Solves the issue of the disconnect between Business and IT teams
- Helps in the marketing aspects of a product
In order to turn your idea into a clickable prototype, you have to follow a systematic process so that the final result is a success. In case you are already past this process and planning to launch a product faster, then here are some steps to speed up your app development process.
Understand the Clear Purpose of Prototyping
In simple words, a prototype is the first real-time model or sample of your idea that you get to experience. It will demonstrate what the interactive elements of your product are, and how all its functionalities work in the real world.
And nothing can be better than being able to develop a prototype that aligns with your final product goals. So the first and foremost step towards any successful prototype creation is having a clear idea and defining the purpose of your need to build a prototype.
Lay Out the Strategy of Your Clickable Prototype Development
When it comes to building an app prototype, everyone has a different perspective. But something you cannot underestimate is the potential of the first strategy map.
After going through the whole requirement list from the client all you have to do is plan things accordingly. So for your research try out answering questions like:
1. What are the goals of the product?
Define the clear goals and vision behind this product. What needs is it solving? How is it solving certain needs and so on?
2. What are similar products already in the market?
A little market research, in the beginning, can go a long way. This will give you a better idea about the product competitors and how you can make your product stand out from the crowd.
3. Who is your target audience?
Having a crystal clear idea about your target audience will further help you develop a good user experience and save you from the hassle of going back and forth again and again.
4. What are the tools and technologies that your product will be using?
Try answering questions like what kind of product is it? Based on this you will be able to decide what are all the latest technologies you can incorporate into it in the later development stage.
Can’t decide which tools and technologies are best for your mobile app? Check out this guide on top technologies for your clickable app prototype development.
5. What are your deliverables?
You need to clearly define deliverables to ensure a smooth workflow. Deliverables have to be clearly defined for a smooth workflow. Because once you’re clear with what you are going to deliver the rest of the UX design process will become much more streamlined.
Put All Your Ideas on Paper
Once you get the answers to all the above questions, you will have a clear strategy in your mind of how you want to go on with the prototyping. After the strategy, the second most important thing is brainstorming.
Start by putting all the ideas you can think of on a piece of paper and start drawing your vision of the product. Most of the time by this phase you will have a pretty good idea as you have already gone through an extensive research session. Maybe you have a layout or a structure or maybe where certain specific elements will be placed in your app design.
Start by drawing the following two:
- User Flows: This will help you see how the users reach their goals and interact with your product.
- Crucial Elements: User flows will provide you with user inputs and outputs. By identifying them you will be able to see how the users are behaving and what are their expectations.
After defining the above two aspects, it’s time to create your first sketch. It doesn’t have to be a complete layout. Just a simple one figuring out all the main functionalities of your product.
The sketching phase can go on as long as you want. But in order to create your clickable prototype, you must be familiar with all the basic types of prototypes. Let’s take a quick look.
Know All The Different Types of Prototypes
There are different types and levels of prototypes based on your requirements.
- Feasibility Prototype: Developed to determine the feasibility of the solution.
- Horizontal prototype: It is a UI in the form of screenshots. It mainly contains windows, menus, and screens.
- Rapid Prototype: It is a quickly engineered initial model of a product.
- Storyboard: Describes a product in a form of a story and presents information in a typical order.
- Vertical prototype: the back-end of a product like a database generation to test the front-end.
- Wireframe: It is a skeleton of the product.
- Animations: Representation of your product in the form of animations.
- Mockups: It does not have any functionalities, but just a visual representation of your product.
After choosing the right prototyping tools and technologies you can easily develop your clickable prototype in no time. All the above steps will just add up to your journey of developing a successful prototype and having a clear strategy beforehand will let you go through the process in a streamlined way.
Although there is one last important step before you jump into the full-fledged development process.
Testing is Must!
The final step is to test your clickable prototype. In some ways, this is also the most crucial phase of your prototype creation. You had been working relentlessly to get that perfect design in order for a long time. But if you don’t test it in the real world you will never really know whether you have been able to achieve what you dreamed of. This is when prototype testing comes into play.
By prototype testing, you get to test your idea with real users to validate design decisions before your product development starts. The goal of prototype testing is to identify problems and errors with your product early so you can make the necessary changes in time so that the end product meets users’ needs and expectations.
Prototype testing comes with an array of advantages:
- For starters, you get to know all the issues that are there in your design. Knowing all the errors, in the beginning, is way more important than you think. This way you can go back and rectify your clickable prototype quickly and your design will get more and more aligned with user expectations.
- Testing your clickable prototype will help you save a lot of money, time, and effort. In case you choose to start the development process without giving your prototype a test run, it will take a lot more to make changes later.
- By testing a prototype with your valued users, you can use quantitative and qualitative user research to get buy-in and back up decisions with data at the design stage. After all, you will have real and solid feedback from your target audience.
Building a clickable prototype from an idea can seem daunting at first, especially when you see that long list of required checks. But once you start working on it one step at a time, you will get there in the best possible way.
Building a clickable prototype will not just help you visualize your idea but can also be helpful for raising funds for your business. As you will have something solid to show investors.
If you are someone who has an idea and wants to try it out, you have landed in just the best possible place. We understand the usefulness of prototyping and believe in giving our valued clients just what they need.
Your vision will be converted to an innovative and efficient clickable prototype by our experienced team. So don’t wait. Talk to our experts today!
Applify is a trusted mobile app development company in Dubai that blends expertise with your vision to create marvelous apps for your business.