Building prototypes

Design process involves building prototypes to test ideas, refine concepts, and create solutions.

Design Process: Building Prototypes

Designing a prototype is an important part of the product development process. It allows you to test out ideas and concepts before committing to a full-scale product. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of building a prototype, from getting started to best practices and examples.

Getting Started

Before you start building a prototype, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the product you’re trying to create. Start by defining the problem you’re trying to solve and the goals you want to achieve. This will help you create a prototype that meets your needs and is tailored to the specific product.

Once you have a clear understanding of the product, you can start to plan out the design process. This includes deciding on the type of prototype you want to create, the materials you’ll need, and the timeline for the project. It’s important to be realistic about the timeline and resources you have available.

How To

Once you’ve planned out the design process, it’s time to start building the prototype. Depending on the type of prototype you’re creating, the process may vary. Here are some general steps to follow when building a prototype:

  • Gather the materials you need for the prototype.
  • Create a rough sketch of the prototype.
  • Build the prototype using the materials.
  • Test the prototype to make sure it works as intended.
  • Make adjustments and improvements as needed.
  • Repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the prototype.

Best Practices

When building a prototype, it’s important to keep a few best practices in mind. Here are some tips to help you create a successful prototype:

  • Start with a simple prototype and add complexity as needed.
  • Test the prototype regularly to make sure it’s working as intended.
  • Be open to feedback and make adjustments as needed.
  • Focus on the user experience and make sure the prototype is easy to use.
  • Optimize for SEO keywords to ensure your prototype is discoverable.

Examples

To help you get started, here are some examples of successful prototypes:

  • Google’s self-driving car prototype.
  • Apple’s iPhone prototype.
  • Amazon’s Alexa prototype.
  • Facebook’s Oculus Rift prototype.
  • Tesla’s electric car prototype.

Popular prototyping and mockup platforms for designers

  • Moqups — Make wireframes, mockups, diagrams, charts, and prototypes within one creative context.
  • Figma — Figma connects everyone in the design process so teams can deliver better products, faster.
  • UXPin — Meet UXPin Merge. The innovative tech powering code-based design.
  • InVision — Invision is a design collaboration and prototyping tool that helps teams create and share interactive prototypes of their designs.
  • Miro — The online collaborative whiteboard platform to bring teams together, anytime, anywhere.
  • Sketch — Sketch gives you all the tools you need for a truly collaborative design process. From early ideas to pixel-perfect artwork, playable prototypes and developer handoff.
  • Mockup.io — Mockup.io is an online platform that helps you create stunning visuals for websites, apps, and more. It’s easy to use and provides a library of templates, icons, and illustrations to help you create beautiful designs quickly.
  • MockFlow — Online whiteboard for brainstorming user interfaces with your team
  • Mockingbird — GoMockingbird is an online tool that helps you quickly create interactive wireframes and prototypes for websites and mobile apps. It’s easy to use and lets you collaborate with others in real-time.
  • Mockup Builder — MockupBuilder is an online design tool that helps you create stunning visuals for websites, apps, and more. It’s easy to use and offers a wide range of features to help you create professional-looking designs quickly and easily.
  • Mockup Machine — Use Mockup Machine services to design online mockups, wireframes, UX/UI mockups, software mockups, and prototypes.
  • Fluid UI — Fluid UI is a web-based prototyping tool that helps you create interactive mobile and web prototypes quickly and easily. It has a drag-and-drop interface, a library of UI elements, and a range of collaboration features.
  • Proto.io — Build interactive web, iOS, Android, and other low or high-fidelity prototypes right into your web browser. Drag and drop ready-to-use, easily customizable templates, UI components, icons, and more, to prototype in minutes! No coding skills required.
  • Axure RP — The most powerful way to plan, prototype and handoff to developers, all without code. Download a free trial and see why UX professionals choose Axure RP.
  • Balsamiq — Balsamiq is the company behind Balsamiq Wireframes, the industry standard low-fidelity wireframing tool.
  • Webflow — Build your site for free and take as long as you need.
  • Flinto — Flinto is a powerful design tool that helps you create interactive prototypes for mobile, desktop, and web apps.
  • ProtoPie — Build better products with our realistic & no-code prototyping tool. Ideal for all designers, UX researchers, and developers.
  • LucidSpark — The virtual whiteboard that connects teams so they can bring their best ideas to life
  • JustInMind — Easily create web and mobile app prototypes and wireframes with Justinmind UI prototyping tool.
  • LucidChart — Lucidchart is the intelligent diagramming application that brings teams together to make better decisions and build the future.
  • HotGloo — HotGloo is a UX, wireframe and prototyping tool designed to build wireframes for web, mobile and wearables.
  • Canva — Canva makes it easy to create professional designs and to share or print them.
  • Mockplus — The all-in-one product design platform for prototyping, collaboration, and creating design systems. Mockplus helps you create better design experience faster and easier
  • Marvel App — The collaborative design platform. Wireframe, prototype, user test, design and inspect designs in one place, for free.
  • UXtweak — Conduct qualitative UX study as your users complete specific tasks, directly on your live web. Try it for free now!
  • Adobe XD — Adobe XD is a vector-based user experience design tool for web apps and mobile apps, developed and published by Adobe Inc.
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