Why do I need prototypes if I want design?

This is probably what most customers think. In response to their questions, most often they do not receive clear answers.

“Well, explain it in simple language! I don’t understand yours, the designer’s!”

It was so? Like it if yes. So, in simple words:

“Prototype” (or also Wireframes) are mostly black and white schematic layouts of the future site, which allows you to see how the site will look and work before it is actually created or launched.

Why are they black and white?
During the prototyping stage, it's important to focus on structure, composition, and placement of elements on the page rather than color scheme and design.

Black and white prototypes allow you to more clearly identify different interface elements, focus on functionality and navigation, and also simplify perception for the customer and project participants.

Later, after the site's structure and functionality are approved, the designer adds colors, typography, and decorative elements to give the site a more stylish and attractive look.

Remember that design is not about beauty, but about convenience.
Moreover, if we are talking about developing a website interface, then the designer solves two diverse problems here:

• User-friendliness of the site; • Creation of a favorable emotional background.

A beautiful design can attract attention, but if it does not meet the needs and expectations of users, it will not be successful.

Therefore, the main goal of design is to create a product that is not only attractive, but also convenient and functional to use.

• User - from the word “use”, he aims to benefit; • By visiting the site, the user solves specific problems; • If a person cannot solve his problems immediately, he closes the site; • If he is not comfortable using the site, he leaves.

Well now, I think it’s clear why it is important for a designer to first prepare and approve prototypes?

What is considered a prototype? What are they?
1. Low detail;
2. Highly detailed;

3. Static;

4. Interactive.

Low detail prototypes
These are preliminary models or mock-ups of a product that have minimal details and focus on the main features and concept.

They are usually created in the early stages of design in order to quickly and cheaply test ideas and concepts before more detailed development begins.

They can look like sketches, paper mockups, or simple digital models.

They help the designer quickly sketch out ideas and better understand the customer's requirements, optimize processes and avoid mistakes in late stages of development.
Highly detailed prototypes
These are more complete and detailed models of a product or part of a product that simulate the functionality and appearance of the final product. They are created later in development to provide a more accurate picture of how the product will work and look before it is actually released. Highly detailed prototypes help the designer explore the functionality, interface and visual design of a product, and provide a more accurate assessment of its production and use.

The designer’s task is to show the user path, that is, what the user will see first and how he will move around the site.
Static prototypes
These are non-interactive images or design mockups that show the appearance and layout of interface elements without the ability to interact.

They are usually created in the early stages of design to visualize concepts and ideas, as well as feedback from the client or user.

Static prototypes can be presented in the form of screenshots, mockups in interface design programs, or even on paper. They help define the overall style and direction of product development before creating more detailed and interactive prototypes.
Interactive prototypes
This is a site model (interconnected screens) that allows the customer to interact with it, simulating the functionality and interface of the final product. They are typically created later in development to test user experience, navigation, and interaction dynamics. Interactive prototypes help the designer understand how users will interact with the product and identify possible problems or improvements before the product is launched into the market.
Summing up
When creating websites, a key step is developing a prototype.

The main advantages of using prototypes:

1. Visualization of the idea:

A prototype helps you visualize the concept of the site and imagine what the various interface elements will look like. This allows the client and designer to better understand and agree on details and visual solutions.

2. User experience testing:

The prototype allows you to test the functionality and navigation of the site and evaluate the ease of use for the user. This helps identify potential problems and improve the user experience before the site goes live.

3. Saving time and resources:

Creating a prototype allows you to save time and resources at the development stage, since detected errors and shortcomings can be corrected at the early stages of design.

4. Improved communication:

A prototype helps improve communication between the designer and the client, providing a deeper understanding of the requirements and expectations of the project.

The use of prototypes helps create functional, interesting and user-friendly websites that meet the expectations and requirements of users.
Made on