Designing UI is becoming more complex as designers now need to create complex interfaces for new technologies in order to seamlessly connect people with digital products in a way that feels natural to them.
Just think about it, as a user you’re not really interested in knowing how the apps you use every day work under the hood. All you want is to accomplish a task in the most efficient way through an interface that gives you a sense of ease and control. You want interaction with any digital product to feel familiar from day one, you want it be extremely easy to learn, and on top of all - you want it to deliver frictionless and enjoyable experience.
That’s a lot of wants for a UX/UI designer to address. Accomplishing this requires some serious skills, but also tools that range from basic to sophisticated, depending on the demands of the project and the design process phase the product is in.
Among the most useful tools a UI or UX designer can have in their toolbox is a prototyping tool. There’s so many different options on the market for prototyping tools that allow you to build anything from low-fi to hi-fidelity interactive prototypes that look and feel like the finished product. Prototypes are there to help designers understand how people will interact with their product.
Interactive application prototypes are amazing for finding your path to a successful product that users will want to use. They pull you out of your comfort zone by spotlighting the details of the UX and uncovering potential issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. Creating a prototype of your web or mobile application will eliminate a lot of the risk before the product goes into development - you’ll be crystal clear on client/user requirements.
You already know that most mid to high-fi prototyping tools allow you to quickly make functional app prototypes by allowing you to add scenes, link screens, and set transitions to create that real app feel. But that is where most of the prototyping tools reach their peak and you need to switch tools if you want to do more.
Working in the UX design trenches for years, our team saw a need within the UX/UI community for a solution that enables designers to do more in one app. So we’ve built Koncept to bring together all the functionality and insight that a designer would need to design the best possible digital product.
Here are the 3 things you thought you couldn’t do with a prototyping tool.
1. Run Usability Tests on Your Prototypes
When you create your interactive prototype, what is the next thing you’d typically do? Switch to another tool or a service to test it with real users, right? But what if you could easily set up usability testing from the same tool you used to build your application prototype? That would be a real time saver. And it’s possible with KonceptApp.
You can easily create tasks and send them to real users so you can test the most important interactions with your app. Early usability testing will help you uncover and fix issues from the outset of the project. It will help you validate user behavior assumptions and tailor the UI details to your users’ preferences.
The analytics dashboard will show you the average time it took users to perform the task, the success rate, as well as the way they interacted with your prototype via heatmaps. This will give you all the information you need to streamline your iteration process and avoid wasting expensive engineering hours building a product with a poor UX.
2. Collaborate with Your Team
As a UX/UI designer, you’re most likely working with a cross-functional team (development, product, marketing, etc.) and you need to be able to communicate your designs to them in a way that empowers them to contribute. But sharing your sketch files probably isn’t the best way to collaborate on a product idea. Fortunately, you can use a prototyping tool to collaborate with your team on the next interface you design.
Collaboration between designers and developers on your team is especially important. Developers can be interested in design, but their primary job is to code. Since their time is expensive, don’t waste it by showing static prototypes that really don’t help them understand your design properly. Add them to your team in your prototyping tool and show them your interactive app prototype so they can have clear instructions on what the end product should be like.
3. Give Your Clients an Option to Demo Your App Prototype
Static images can be a huge communication obstacle when presenting your solution to the client. Need to show your app prototype to clients? Easy! A sharing capability in your prototyping tool will allow you to send them the link via email and they’ll be able to add the prototype to their device’s homepage. If they want to try it on their device, they can just open the prototype and start using it. You’ll provide them with a realistic experience of interacting with the real app.
Prototypes are meant to be quick to build so everyone in your team can align their thinking and work toward the same goals. They’re suppose to help you see beyond your assumptions so you can build a profitable product that people will love to use. And you can’t do that without collaborating with your team, user testing your prototype, and sharing it with key stakeholders for feedback.