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  • Writer's pictureSebin George

What is UX prototyping? Here's the ultimate guide on how to get started

Updated: Mar 21


ux prototyping

Prototyping is an experimental process where design teams implement ideas into tangible forms from paper to digital. A UX prototype is a model that depicts how the software will work and the user experience it will provide. Wireframes, mockups, and other visual elements can be used to construct a prototype in UX design. With prototypes, you can refine and validate your designs so your brand can release the right products. The goal of UX prototyping is to avoid costly design and development mistakes by experimenting early and often.


Importance of Prototyping



Importance of Prototyping

  • It’s an essential part of user experience (UX) design that usually comes after ideation, where you/your team have created and selected ideas that can solve users’ needs.

  • Prototyping allows you to streamline the design development process, focusing on prominent interface elements.

  • The designer and customer more clearly represent the final result by having a prototype ready in hand.

  • Prototyping can help identify potential flaws that was previously unknown


As you make a prototype, assume you are right and everyone else is wrong. When you share your prototype, assume you are wrong and everyone else is right. -Diego Rodriguez Telechea

Types of Prototyping


Teams create prototypes with varying degrees of detail in order to capture design thoughts and test them on users. The level of fidelity you select should be suitable for presenting to users in user testing so that they may provide focused feedback.


types of prototyping

Let’s see the types of prototyping


Low fidelity prototypes


low fidelity prototype

By creating low-fidelity prototypes early in the UI UX design phase, you are trying to represent your thoughts and collaborate with product teams to determine what the final product should be. Low-fidelity prototypes can show a lot of the functionality of a product, but not all the details that will be there in the finished version.

The benefits of low-fidelity prototypes are that they’re

  • fast

  • cheap

  • easy to revise

One of the important low-fidelity prototypes, the paper prototype.


Paper prototypes


paper prototype

Paper prototyping is a method of developing ideas and designing user flows using hand-sketched “screens” that represent a digital product. It can be helpful during the early-stage conceptualizing — when a team needs to explore a variety of concepts and choose the one that will be right. Paper prototypes allow quick visualization and are low-fidelity because they don’t have any functionality.


High fidelity prototypes


high fidelity prototype

In comparison to low-fidelity prototypes, high-fidelity prototypes delve into a lot more detail that consists of functionality and interactivity. They are as close as you can get to the final product. The hi-fi prototypes cover not only the user interface (UI) of the product in terms of visuals and aesthetics but also the user experience (UX) aspects in terms of interactions, user flow, and behavior. High-fidelity prototypes are typically better by creating them later in the design phase. They’re better for user testing, as well as for getting a team’s final sign-off on a product UI UX design before development begins.

They offer the following benefits:

  • They’re more realistic in terms of both visual design and functionality.

  • They require less imagination on the part of reviewers and approvers.

  • They’re better for sharing with external parties and soliciting feedback

High-fidelity prototypes used by teams are:


Digital prototypes:


Digital prototypes

The most prevalent sort of hi-fi (high fidelity) prototyping is digital prototypes. Designers may now develop aesthetically rich, strong prototypes with micro interactions and intricate animations using a range of specialist applications.

These digital prototypes are often made using tools like:

  • Figma

  • Invision Studio

  • AdobeXD and many more

Animated Prototypes:


animated_prototype

An animated prototype is an invaluable tool used by designers to create a rough run-through of an app or interface that shows the transitions and motion of a design. While some mockups can convey the overall style of a user interface, an animated prototype offers an active simulation.

Animations are advantageous for UI UX developers because you can look at your prototypes as one of your best tools of communication. By prototyping animations, and sharing them with your UI UX developers, they will be able to see exactly how you imagined the product. The same can be said for any stakeholders. They’ll be able to see moveable screens even when there is no existing product. You don’t have to write thousands of papers filled with detailed instructions about the features and movements of the animations.

Animations can be helpful from a UX point of view. But they have to be tested and used accordingly and not overused.


Best tools for creating animation prototypes



Animated_prototype_tools

Conclusion


Prototyping at the wrong fidelity is one of the top prototyping mistakes. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. While there are recommended practices for prototyping, the style, and fidelity of the prototype you should develop ultimately depends on project circumstances and the preferences of the UX designer. If your project's goal is to provide a quality user experience, prototyping must be a component of the UI UX design thinking process. Based on your product's requirements, it's critical to select the most effective prototyping process - one that minimizes work while increasing learning. The result will be a better overall design based on prototype testing. One of the top UI UX design agency, Neointeraction Design offers rapid prototyping in addition to UI UX services. If you are in need of UI UX design services, hire UI UX developers and designers from the team.

Low-fidelity prototypes may be the best option for speed and flexibility. If you're currently working with client feedback and want to collect more data on specific areas, high-fidelity prototypes are a good option.


Key Takeaways


  • Prototyping- A tangible early version of an idea that conveys the necessary functionality that the user can experience

  • The goal is to prevent costly design and development changes

  • Categorized into Low and High fidelity prototypes

  • Low-fidelity Prototypes are cheap, fast, and easy to revise.

  • High fidelity Prototypes contain much more details and are what the end product will look like, it makes it easy for viewers and clients to visualize.

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