App Design and Prototyping – The Basics

App Design and Prototyping The Basics

App design & prototyping has become one of the hottest mobile app trends of 2021! It has never been more important in a world that downloaded over 218 billion mobile apps in 2020.

We as a society have never been more technologically and visually driven. With Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok capturing every second of our lives and still being some of the most downloaded apps of 2021

So, during the beginning phase of building your app it’s important to create a prototype to get a visual idea of what it’s going to look like and how it will function.

  • An app prototype is a visual mockup that looks like a real app. It is used at the very beginning, in the design stage of building an app. The prototype is fully designed and clickable, the only difference is that the developed app will contain all of the coding to make it function.

Although an app prototype is not a fully functioning software, it sets the scene as the first draft of what your app will become and will reduce the workload and time frame going back and forth because it allows UI/UX designers and clients the opportunity to collaborate and work cohesively together ensuring you are all on the same page prior to going into the development stage 

In the old days designs were sketched on paper, however there is now so much technology on the market that it is possible to create something digital which looks and works exactly like your app without spending all the money on the development.

  • A visual mockup or app prototype not only saves time and money, but for some startups could mean the difference to getting a cash injection from key investors and stakeholders to getting your idea off the ground.

App Design and Prototyping The Basics

1) Wireframes

Wireframes for an app look similar to the above picture. A wireframe is a visual representation of each screen and breaks down and simplifies each screen and demonstrates how it will look and work. Think of a wireframe as the blueprint of your app!

2) Low, medium and high fidelity

When we talk about low, medium and high fidelity, we are talking about the quality and the design. 

A low fidelity wireframe or prototype can often be paper based designs that don’t allow for any interaction at all however does give a basic structure of the app. 

A medium fidelity wireframe or prototype gives more accurate depictions of the layout, and detail around how each screen and button will function.

A high fidelity wireframe or prototype can include more advanced designs and systems. A high fidelity prototype can often begin to utilise the intended branding and colouring (see picture below).

App Design and Prototyping The Basics

3) Develop an engaging UX

A slow loading speed and complicated user interface is not acceptable in today’s society – 18% would delete an app immediately if it froze for just five seconds.

A splash screen that stays for too long, or something which continually crashes is also destined to fail.

Prototyping and mobile app design can often be a fun and engaging part for your client. It is cost effective and a very valuable part of building the app.

The great thing about building a prototyping prior to developing and actually building your app is that it gives you a chance to iron out the niggles, anything that doesn’t look right or simply does not work.

It provides clarity and ensures everyone is on the same page including the developers and further down the track can increase customer engagement via user experience

4) Using the right tools

There are many prototyping tools on the market however below is a short list of some of what we believe to be the best ones:

  • Adobe XD
  • UX Pin
  • Sketch
  • Figma

Final Thoughts

App Development has never been a more competitive industry than it is right now, ensure you start off on the right foot by creating a killer prototype before you go into development. If you have a great idea that you want to get off the ground. Reach out to us at Media Shark. App Development and Prototyping is our specialty! 🙂