5 Prototyping Mistakes To Be Avoided By Designers in 2021
Once you know what you want to accomplish with your app, the next part is to get a rough idea of how it will look to the users. To accomplish this, you prepare a mockup for all the possible screens in your app along with the buttons and text as well. It is best to get a professional to prepare the final mockups of your app as it will allow you to understand the essence of your app and how it will turn out on a smartphone. You will get a clear understanding of how it will look on a screen and make better decisions about what to include and what to leave out in the final process before you start the development phase.
A wireframe is the best tool to efficiently evaluate your own app idea and during the process you may find out what might and might not work for your app. More often than not, the best part is to highlight the issues with your app and write on screens to see how it will be perceived by the users. Moreover, it will also allow you to get feedback from your team on the idea. This will help because it is easy to imagine the app functionality when it is shown to you as a mockup instead of simply discussing the idea without any visuals. This will be of great help to your development team and they can raise any concerns with the design team in the initial phase itself. Here are the top 5 mistakes that are quite easy to make when working on wireframes or mockups:
Leaving Out Screens
It is a big mistake as your mockup is supposed to add a representation of each and every screen that will be included in your app. If it is missing any screens then the mock up is still incomplete. It is best to include all possible screens like the reset password screen, confirmation screen and more. If the background screen is the same, you will still require a different representation in the mockup and it will be counted as a different screen. As you start preparing your mockups, you must include items like Terms and Conditions and confirmation screens. However, when you get the mockups done by a professional team, you must ensure that you are getting each and every screen.
Preparing Mockups Without a Plan
Without a definite plan in mind, it is quite easy to get carried away when designing prototypes. You can try using your sketches and wireframes to develop a prototyping plan. This plan should add which screens and interactions to be designed first. Prototyping tools make it extremely easy to create screens and add interactions effectively. Due to this, it is quite tempting to forget to follow the plan and try to get as much done as possible. As you have decided on a design to proceed with and have the wireframe ready, plan which screens to be created in the next prototype. Along with that, share the prototype with your team and get as much feedback as possible.
Not Numbering Pages
It is a great idea to number pages to keep the mockup organised and make sure that there is a good flow. The pages should be numbered in a way that it is representative of the user’s behavior when you use the app. The mockup screens should be numbered in the order users would see them. The first screen should always be screen 1 or page 1. If you have to get to the homepage to get to the profile then homepage should be a lower number. This is quite easy to mess up when you reach intersection screens and there are a number of specific paths the user could take. In all these cases, try to start with the screens most central to the app leading to different screens.
Not Creating a Mockup Guide
Mockups are mockups irrespective of its complexity. This means that your mockups serve a specific purpose and it is definitely not a final product. Interactive mockups require a specific interaction guide to go with them which explains the elements that are clickable and the ones which are not. The main success scenarios or paths users need to follow to cover all the screens and go ahead with the interactions. It is advisable to create success scenarios and user flows to simulate interactions. Moreover, it is also necessary to include a guide which explains the order to the users.
A common mistake once ruled that mobile users are in a hurry and only want a smaller version of the actual website. Due to this, content like the contact information and directions were the most valuable items added in the app and rest was always hidden. Now, it is understood that mobile users can be at home as well and are actually looking for the actual website on their mobile device. Knowing users’ preferences of devices is not actually the same as preference for content. If your content is relevant to users on a particular device than it is relevant to users on a different device as well.
Due to the total number of tools available to designers today, it is very important to avoid these common mock up mistakes. Instead of working on mockups too early and without a plan, it is important to prepare a mockup after thorough discussion with your team. You can allocate proper resources and adequate time to create efficient prototypes. Are you or someone you know guilty of making these mistakes while creating mockups? You can let us know in the comments below.
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.