Mobile phones have become our indispensable companions in everyday life as well as in business. Therefore, companies realize the critical importance of proper mobile software. In this context, an engaging and user-friendly design of mobile apps can bring immense business value.
Did you know that users uninstall 68% of mobile applications after trying them? This is where mobile app prototyping comes into play to save you from potential losses.
A prototype is actually a draft of your future application, which is interactive yet non-functional. It demonstrates the UI design, the customer flow, and the prospected functionality of the mobile app. A part of the pre-development stage, prototyping includes modeling the app UI design without coding.
Prototyping is beneficial in various aspects, but the main thing is that it allows the early testing of the app’s attractiveness to users. Let’s take a look at the prototyping process and the ways how it can increase the mobile app user retention rates.
How can Mobile App Prototyping Benefit Your Business?
Essentially, prototyping saves you time, effort, and resources, since all adjustments and improvements can be performed at the earliest stages. Here are some of the most remarkable benefits the process brings to the table.
- A better understanding of the app concept and the need for improvements. By prototyping, both developers and investors can obtain a clearer vision of the idea behind the future mobile app. Moreover, stakeholders can explore new ideas and try to improve the initial concept.
- Enhancement of the future user experience. By allowing users to play with your concepts and ideas, you can get valuable feedback before the development stage begins. Extensive testing enables you to improve the app’s usability and make the product more appealing to clients.
- Higher opportunities to attract investments. An interactive prototype is much more illustrative for potential investors than flowcharts and sketches. At the same time, prototyping is less costly and time-consuming than the development of a functional MVP.
- Improved cooperation among stakeholders. The prototyping phase should involve all stakeholders and encourage their participation in the prototype development, testing, and optimization. This allows for better project coordination and enhances efficient outcomes.
Apart from the significant savings, all these benefits provide a streamlined working process, prevent unexpected changes in application structure, and facilitate the smooth flow of the further development phases.
Mobile App Prototyping Process
Prototyping can be viewed as part of either the planning phase or the development phase. However, in any case, the comprehensive picture of the process should include the previous workflow steps.
Stages that Precede Prototyping
- Determine the concept of your planned mobile software. Formulate the idea behind your future app and list its features.
- Conduct mobile market analysis. Is your concept really interesting to customers? Find out the potential demand and study the competitive solutions.
- Create relevant kinds of personas for further testing. A user persona describes the potential clients in detail: needs, preferences, behavior, values.
Once your concept has proven its financial and technological viability, you can proceed to create the prototype itself.
- Wireframe the structure of your mobile app. This barebone structure contains the links and planned user routes but does not have the design elements yet.
- Build a static prototype. This step is aimed to establish and demonstrate the transitions among app pages.
- Conduct A/B testing. Your testers should represent the potential buyer personas. The tests serve to assess the overall interface layout convenience, UI elements functionality, and the proper app operation.
- Improve or rework the prototype. According to the data obtained in the previous stage, the prototype should be fine-tuned and then tested again.
- Present the final version. After all the preceding stages turn successful, the prototyping is completed, and the project can move to the development phase.
Prototyping relieves you from the costly and time-consuming process of building an application before you make sure that your concept will work in the real world. By making a ‘fake’ and observing whether your customers enjoy it, you can improve your initial concept and maximize your mobile app usability. Employ custom app development services to make the whole process totally effortless and efficient.