In every app development project
, prototyping is essential. It is a vital aspect of app development. This stage is used to determine the direction of the software. Irrespective of how important it is, most businesses still make the mistake of releasing products to the market without, first, releasing a prototype. This is because they don't understand its importance. Before you can improve your app by investing in prototyping, you must understand what the term means, and what the advantages and disadvantages are.
What is Prototyping?
This term is used to refer to the early stages of software development. The main part of this process involves product testing, communication, and demonstration.
Stages of Prototyping
Low Fidelity Prototype
This stage involves testing the performance of basic interaction process and key functions of the software. It makes modifications is easy and fast. The cost of production for this prototype is far less than the cost of production for any other prototype.
Medium Fidelity Prototype
This stage in the app design process
involves adding more details to the product, and the interaction is closer to the final product. Most times, this prototype allows users to have a full experience of what the final product will be. Mobile app developers in India test the usability of their apps at this stage to ensure that there are no serious problems with the app design or functionality. This is the only way they can move forward to the next development process.
High Fidelity Prototype
This is the closest stage to the final app. It includes all the features and interaction of the app. These prototypes are important because they can significantly cut communication costs. It is more exquisite and accurate. However, you need to devote more time and effort to this stage. It can be quite frustrating when a major adjustment is needed, but it's always worth it.
Pros of the Prototyping in App Development
There are several advantages of prototyping in app development. Some of these benefits include:
1. It allows users to have a feel of the product before the release.
2. It allows an app development company to test the usability of the app and identify problems.
3. Prototyping makes communication with users and other relevant individuals flawless.
4. It improves the efficiency of the app design.
Cons of the Prototyping in App Development
The first drawback of prototyping is that it requires a lot of time and money. It can't be done efficiently when the app development company
is working on a tight budget.
2. Sometimes, the prototype design constraints the designer's ideas. This happens because of the more the developer plans, the smaller the vacuum available for the designer. This may reduce the developer's enthusiasm.
3. It may be impossible to estimate the degree of difficulty when the designer is working with limited knowledge.
There are several tools used for prototyping. The stage determines each tool.
Low Fidelity Tools for Prototyping The low fidelity tools used for prototyping may include a pen and paper, and Balsamiq Mockups.
The fastest way to produce a prototype is with a pen and paper. It is used during the first stages of development a. A whiteboard can be used in place and a pen to draw the ideas for the app. It is a low fidelity prototype and can only be used for discussions between developers. This method can be used when the functionality of the app has been determined, but a wireframe hasn't been stated. A pen and paper prototype isn’t ideal for testing and presentation because the users can’t use the paper and pen prototype like the electronic prototype.
Balsamiq Mockups Tool
This is a hand-painted drawing tool for prototyping that focuses on sketches. It focuses on the design and balance of the product. Developers typically use Adobe Air, and it can be run smoothly on different browsers. It can also be used on different platforms and offline.
Medium Fidelity Prototyping Tools
The two medium fidelity tools are Azure and Mockplus.
This tool is widespread in the industry. It displays details of the product and is important to designers. However, it is not recommended for new developers because it is more complicated to use than other design tools.
This tool is new in the design industry, but it is also growing fast. It is a faster and more efficient took for producing a prototype. It is the best option for newbies.
High-fidelity Tools Justinmind and Adobe XD
This is an excellent tool for mobile application prototyping. It displays comprehensive interaction design and has a huge UI library.
This is a lightweight software (vector +). It typically includes visual design, diagram design, prototyping interactive design and a host of others. Some developers believe that Adobe will eventually render Photoshop and Sketch useless. However, it’s too early to confirm this. XD will still need to make progress if it's to function better and surpass other prototyping tools.
During app development, so many errors can occur. Even if you revise several times, the possibility of errors can only be reduced but can never be eliminated. The best way to prevent errors is to invest your time and resources in prototyping. Prototyping will alert the development team on the errors and give them an opportunity to improve on your mobile app before it is placed on the market. It is true that there are some disadvantages of prototyping. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Prototyping remains an indispensable tool in any development project, especially in app development. Top players in the app development industry are making UI a priority. They know the importance in the development world. A good user experience will make your app stand out in the market. The best way to ensure that your user experience is up to par is to invest in prototyping. This way, when your app is released, it will meet customer satisfaction, become number one in your niche and bring in profit. When your user experience is bad, however, your app will lose its value even before it gets it. No one wants to use an app or scroll through a website with a poor interface. Always keep your target market in mind when you are prototyping your application. Make sure that you consider their satisfaction in every stage of the development. It doesn't matter how much you invest in marketing your app. If your user interface and design are below standard, your app will fail, and all the money spent on development would be a waste. So, don't let the cost of prototyping discourage you from doing the right thing. You will get returns in the long run.