What is a prototype in user experience design?

Prototype design in user experience is one of the most important and practical skills that every user experience specialist should have the necessary skills.

Of course, this, like other areas, has its own problems and risks. It does not matter how much your company cares about the prototype, the fact is that this process can lead to the success or failure of your final product.

A prototype design is not enough in the user experience; We need to know the production methods of a product from its initial design. In this article, we examine all aspects of this process.

What do prototype designs do in the user experience?

Man is a visual being. In fact, 30% of the brain membrane is used for the sense of sight. So when you see a prototype, the most important thing that has happened is that you have seen it! Your prototype is ready to use when the customer sees your prototype and understands the process, especially the parts that are needed later for the job.

So what is prototype design in the user experience? Prototype design in the user experience is a tool to show the visual appearance of your work. In fact, the prototype (at any stage of the work) is a visual, functional and usable representation of all the work done before. This visual expression shows what your product does at each stage, what its active ingredients are, and how the product is used in the real world.

Although there are many mechanisms for different aspects of prototype design in the user experience, such as drawing a design, the possibility of forgetting details and making mistakes in design is always with you. This makes how the prototype design in the user experience extremely valuable, because it shows how your product works in different ways. Not quite, and in most cases not exactly, the name of the prototype or prototype indicates that this product is not the final product.

A simple way to think about a prototype is to look at it as a mechanism for performance. Defining section by section has important benefits, such as:

1) It makes the work real

Before the prototype is made, the final product is a completely abstract subject! This is acceptable for a short time, but eventually the idea must become something that is understandable and acceptable to shareholders and customers. Prototyping is the first step in turning an idea into a reality.

2) Fix the problem

Sometimes, we can design a challenge that has no solution. As a skill, prototype design in the user experience is the best way to visualize a problem and find a quick solution. If that doesn’t work, discard the prototype and try again.

3) Repeat

Prototype design has several stages, but the result is always the same: the evolution of your ideas. From drawing the initial plan to completing the plan, each time you repeat the process, you see a new perspective on the behaviors and performance of the experiments performed. With more data, we can do things faster and smarter.

4) Finding unwanted events

When you visualize the work, you see the limitations of the research, which gives you a better view of what should and should not be.

5) Find user problems

This is a theme that many designers use: When your product has a prototype, its user challenges are easier to find and solve.

6) Presentation

Prototypes at each stage are the standard way to present. Whether you test a copy of a page or offer a product to a customer, having a prototype is better than not having one. And if not, be sure to ask where the prototype is and why you did not make it.

How to start the prototype design process in the user experience?

After receiving a 50-page file of what a customer needs, looking at a drawing page (to draw a design) is daunting. Reading the client’s hasty remarks during the meeting, simple sketches and pictures drawn on the whiteboard will rarely help you.
Because prototypes are built on the basis of other information, it is very important that you gather the necessary details first instead of writing and drawing the design. Consider the following checklist and re-examine the details provided by the customer or manager. Also, be sure to ask the customer these questions and record his or her specific answer:

What are the goals of the project?

Start with an overview. Does the product solve a real problem? How does it solve the problem? Understanding product performance is critical to providing any solution.

Which competing products are people currently using?

Strong competitor analysis provides a clear picture of what is happening in the market for your products plus what users need.

Who is the audience? What are his goals?

Understanding demographic distribution and audience needs will give you a great idea of what your product should offer to each personality type of user and meet their needs.

What is your product type and what is it used for?

With the different types of technologies and solutions that exist, the user experience designer must know how to use the product (web software, responsive website, mobile software, etc.), the device or devices that run it, and how versions work. Be aware of different product.

Is there a specific visual pattern to follow?

If the product already exists and the project is intended to be improved or redesigned, it is possible to identify some prerequisites by examining user behavior with the current product.

What is offered to the user?
Making exceptions to the processes and items provided to users is a vital element in the planning and workflow. Each project is different from the others, but if the items to be presented are properly defined, other parts of the user experience design are more likely to progress faster.
Draw your prototype

After collecting and categorizing the data, the next step is to start designing. Many designers at this stage, before even drawing a design on paper, have ideas for the design, layout and even the exact location of the elements in the visual design. This is acceptable, but the goal of the initial design will be to find the space to find what is possible and, more importantly, what is not possible.

Gather the supplies you need for writing, whether it’s pencil and paper or magic and whiteboard. The design process is like a writer’s drafts and a composer’s instruments. Design freely based on what you have done before, and consider the following:

User workflow

Follow the user’s workflow. Examine how users access the goals and how they interact with the system.
Available information. Each user workflow provides you with information about user inputs and outputs. Identify these items, find out how they relate to users’ behavior and expectations, examine the type of interactions they have, and how they work.

Initial plan (sketch)
Once you get to know the people who use your system, what they want to do and provide them with the tools they need; It’s time to dump her and move on. Design the workflow of users. You do not need to consider a specific arrangement, just do something that solves their problem.
Design the basic structure
After pre-designing the user workflow, you will now have better ideas for finding the best product structure. This idea includes content (text, images, video, etc.) and will be displayed in boxes and basic sections. When you do this manually, the dimensions are not accurate, so the structure and content is for quality display only, not actual use.

The prototype displays all the details that users are dealing with. It is basically a shell of end-to-end software that is designed for either the consumer user or the site or application administrator, and the fields to work with are specified and located on the page. In this article, you will first get acquainted with the concept of beam typing and then its application in the field of user experience, step-by-step prototype process, its goals and features.
I hope you have read enough information about prototypes in the field of design by reading this article.

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