Did you know that, for every software design company that uses app prototyping, an office full of kittens breathes a sigh of relief?
Well, that’s because, like many of us, some kittens work in IT nowadays. We know that they love fluffy toys, cardboard boxes, and laser pointers (especially the red ones). But we also know that they hate baths, vigorous effort, and working on app design projects for months, only to realize that they got it all wrong due to a misunderstanding or an ambiguous requirement.
So, when they get a software prototype on their desk, instead of a written list of features for designing an app, they know that everything is clearer and easier to get done.
In all seriousness now, software prototyping is a life-saver more often than not. Being able to visualize the end result requested for a project helps app designers, product owners, scrum masters, and business analysts create a clearer roadmap for getting to that point. It does away with any potential misunderstanding between the app design team and clients, saving up on time, money and efficiency in one fell swoop.
In this article, we are going to focus on the benefits of software prototyping, how it can help your company save up on resources, and get app design projects locked and loaded faster.
What Exactly Is Software Prototyping?
Also known as an app mock-up, a software prototype is an interactive model that can offer a preview of an app’s design, features, and overall UI/UX framework. Using apps such as Adobe XD or websites such as Justinmind, software design companies can show their clients what the result of their project may look like.
It is a much more hands-on approach to designing an app than a written request of the features and functions of the app, as it does away with the potential ambiguity and misunderstandings that we mentioned earlier. At the same time, app prototypes show clients what can and cannot be done, thus bringing their expectations to a more realistic, concrete level.
Does the software design company that you collaborate with use prototyping? If not, chances are that they are losing your business time, money, and resources with every project. To better illustrate this point, let’s have a look at the most important benefits of software prototyping in app design.
1. Fewer Development Errors (And Lower Production Costs)
Language is inherently ambiguous. Confusion about the meaning of words, phrases, or expressions happens daily for most of us, so it should come as no surprise that it can happen to app designers and developers as well.
The difference, however, is that, while the average Joe may get a decaf latte instead of one with caffeine, software design companies and their partners lose significant amounts of money because of miscommunication. And while getting a decaf you didn’t ask for is tragic enough, paying avoidable production costs on app designs rank higher on the list.
So, why doesn’t this happen with prototyping? Simply put, it’s easier for clients and app designers to agree on the features and user interface of a project with an interactive version in front of them. It helps clients to manage their expectations regarding the project and the limits of the app, but also the software designers who now have a clearer idea of what needs to be done.
The result? No more additional overhead costs for what may have been a straightforward project, and no more time spent by app designers on an app that the client will not approve of. And speaking of wasted time…
2. Less Time Spent on Production
When a project faces development errors, unforeseen delivery delays always appear as a byproduct. What began as a 2-month project suddenly becomes a 4-month one. This means 2 additional months in which your company will not have the software up and running for its clients.
Prototyping easily solves this problem. When designers see the mock-up version of the app that the client wants, it’s much easier to know exactly how to get there. So, no more sessions of figuring out how to transcribe a client’s demand into code.
But that’s not all. When app designers have a better idea of what needs to be done, time estimates for delivery become infinitely more accurate. With a roadmap in place, developers know how much time each part of the project will take, as well as the fact that it is what the client asked for.
3. Better User Experience
Designing an app is all about the user. If you cannot put yourself in the shoes of someone who uses your app on a daily basis, chances are that you will not create a satisfying user experience.
But nobody knows a user better than the person (or company) requesting the app. Whether we are talking about employees, managers or clients, software designers and developers probably don’t know as much about them as you do (even though they are trying!). So, an ideal scenario would be either for the app designers to have the knowledge of the client, or for the client to have the skills of the designers.
Thankfully, prototyping offers a middle-ground solution. With the guidance of the development and design team, clients can get a walkthrough of the app and see whether it aligns with what the potential users would like. It combines the knowledge and the skills into a smooth resolution that works for everyone and keeps the user happy, whoever they may be.
Ultimately, software prototypes make everyone’s life better, especially those kittens that we talked about earlier. As we know from Business, Management, Personal Development, Philosophy and many others, visualization is a powerful tool that can increase your efficiency tenfold.
Sure, philosophers may have been referring to visualization using your mind’s eye. But here in IT, we like to take things a bit more pragmatically and let clients visualize their projects for real.