Earlier, the process of developing an influential mobile app was much simpler. The lifecycle of app development began with ideation and gradually moved to design, development and gets concluded with user testing.
This process has evolved immensely over the past few years. Nowadays, developers and designers focus more on user testing and strive hard to validate ideas in the ideation phase only. Prototyping is one crucial way of verifying app ideas and designs.
But explicitly in this intensely competitive and dynamic marketplace, programmers and designers are embracing rapid app prototyping. But why? Let's take a look at the reason behind this mass adoption.
What Is Rapid Mobile App Prototyping?
We have several names for app prototypes such as mockups, wireframes, proof of concept, minimum viable product (MVP), etc. But the sole motive of all these concepts is to develop a preliminary version of the actual end product that can be tested with users in the real environment.
Coming to rapid app prototyping, it's a process of continuous iteration and tweaking to develop early versions of apps that can be easily modified in accordance with the changing requirements of the market or the users. You have many prototyping tools that you can leverage for this.
Why Rapid Mobile App Prototyping Is Essential To Streamline The App Development & Design Process?
I. Effective rapid app prototyping minimizes the risks and the costs involved in the development process by highlighting the core features users need in an app early in the initial stages.
II. This process provides the users with the preliminary versions of app early in the process of development. It prevents developers from performing a lot of rectifications and rework towards the end.
III. It becomes easy to test the UI elements, User flows, and additional features early in the process of development. The app programmers can keep testing these components until the outcomes seem to be a perfect fit.
What Are The Five Crucial Tips With Which You Can Be On The Right Track Of This Method Of Prototyping?
1. Collaborate With Everyone Associated With The Development Process
The process of rapid app prototyping should be collaborative enough to involve all the stakeholders and app developers. Not only testing with users should be the sole motive of this process. But programmers and executives can also provide you with honest feedback which you can incorporate to improvise the end product.
You should let the technical people participate early in the prototyping process in case you are dependent on a specific tool. These are the right people who can tell you whether a particular feature is technically feasible.
In addition, keep meeting your major stakeholders and programmers at regular intervals of time. Also, set specific expectations and timelines for every single phase. Also, since the process itself it rapid, they don't have to invest a lot of their precious time.
2. Focus On The Principle Of Reusing & Produce Reusable Elements
In the rapid app prototyping process, it's advisable to reuse patterns, UI elements, and templates from earlier designs. For instance, when you need to develop custom UI elements try to produce reusables. Also, don't pay much focus on redefining the design elements.
For making sure to keep the prototyping process rapid, you can use different tools such as Proto.io or Invision. The majority of these tools come with built-in UI components which makes the process of developing a prototype straightforward.
3. Integrate Interactivity In The Prototyping Process
Prototypes are considered much better than still mockups because they are highly interactive. In order to be influential, it's essential for the apps to be intuitive and interactive. This factor can either make or break the users' experience.
When using native code to build an app prototype it's obvious to stay static for the majority of time throughout the rapid app prototyping process. Integrating interactions can be a nightmare.
But this problem can be addressed with tools that are specifically built to develop highly interactive app prototypes. This element can make your final app unique and special from its competitors.
4. Don't Blindly Prototype From The Tip To The Toe
Let's face it! You can never prototype an entire app at once. It's natural that you might feel trapped in the dilemma of prototyping everything right from the scratch to the finish. But it's not practically achievable.
This is why you have to figure out what is needed to be prototyped before starting the rapid app prototyping process. Identify the complex features and if necessary bifurcate them into different prototypes.
You have to specify the scope and purpose of each and every prototype. Ultimately, you have to acquire feedback. But the question is whose and what kind of feedback? For dealing with this situation, first of all, you need to understand that presenting an app prototype to clients, users, or investors is entirely different from each other.
Every category of prototype needs to be built with different levels of fidelity and specifications. Therefore, you have to be familiar with the fact that who's the target audience of your prototype?
5. Don't Get Scared From Falling Down But Never Forget To Stand Up Again
You are provided with enough room to fail and experiment before the final version of the app is released in the case of rapid app prototyping. You should be focused only on making data-driven decisions and gathering valuable feedback while developing an approximation of the actual product.
Don't ever get scared of failing again and again. Rather take it as a blessing in disguise. The more times you fail the more will be the chances for you to come up with a comprehensive and flawless solution.
Rapid app prototyping is an effective process that needs to be performed with sheer dedication and caution. If executed properly, you are definitely going to get the best product in the end that is blessed with the potential to become a hot favourite for the targeted users.