Do You Need to Prototype Your Mobile Application?Software prototyping | 0 comments | by Erin Quilliam
Prototyping a mobile application is a vital step in mobile app development. A prototype will be made to prove a concept and visualise ideas. This prototype represents a tangible, working model which can be used for feasibility and user testing. This is precisely why there are various benefits for mobile app prototyping, and why it is so important.
What is a prototype?
A prototype is an interactive model of your product. The level of detail and interactivity varies depending on the level of the prototype. The higher the level, or fidelity, the more complex the prototype.
Why should you prototype your mobile app?
The reason you should be prototyping is to make the most of the benefits it offers. You can read more about these below.
You should create a prototype for your app is to provide proof of concept. Not only to prove to yourself that your idea works but to communicate with your stakeholders and users. Stakeholders are more likely to invest when they can see a working product. And users will provide more valuable and reliable feedback when they can test a tangible product.
The other key reason to prototype is to ensure the app you are developing works correctly and meets your requirements. If you go straight into building the app, errors can occur, or discrepancies between your idea and the design. You will need to revisit the app later in the cycle, or even start over. Prototyping is a way to save time and money by preventing these problems.
What are the benefits of prototyping a mobile application?
The benefits of prototyping a mobile application are similar to the benefits of prototyping any software product. They provide you with the opportunity to prove your concept and test your requirements with minimal investment.
- Save time and money
- Discover bugs with time to fix them
- Highlight usability issues
- Create a high-quality product
- See your design in action
- Present your prototype to stakeholders
- Gather feedback on a product, not just an idea
How can you start prototyping a mobile app
The very start of the process, even before you begin designing, is vital in the process. In this early stage, you need to clearly define your goals. You will need to decide what KPI you will use to measure success, both in the prototype and final app. You will need to set realistic and achievable goals for your app development, and the app when it goes live. These goals should also include timescales for the development period and go-live date. These aims will guide you through the whole development process but are especially important in prototyping.
After you have set these goals, your next step depends on the scale and complexity of your project. You could dive straight into creating a mid to high fidelity working prototype, but it might also be worthwhile to sketch out your ideas in a low-fidelity, paper prototype.
Specific points about prototyping mobile apps
When prototyping a mobile app, it’s important to remember a few key points to help guide your development. These can range from differences in phone operating systems and model sizes, to logistic points. For example, where people will be using your app. Unlike desktop products, mobile applications can be access at any time, any place. Testing users can help understand this, which will give insight into what triggers them to use your service.
Prototyping any new product is always a worthwhile endeavour. Especially so with software. At it’s simplest, it is a way to ensure your product is more faithful to your idea, better quality, and more focused on your end-users and better meet their needs. All while saving you time and money.
If you want to develop a mobile application but aren’t sure where to start, we’ll be happy to discuss the feasibility of your ideas, and answer any questions you have about the development process.
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