Building prototypes

Design Thinking is a creative process for building prototypes that solve real-world problems.

Design Thinking: Building Prototypes

Design Thinking is a creative problem-solving process that helps you to identify and solve problems in a user-centric way. It involves understanding the user, exploring possibilities, and creating solutions that are both innovative and practical. Building prototypes is an important part of the Design Thinking process, as it allows you to test and refine your ideas before committing to a final solution.

Getting Started

Before you start building a prototype, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve. Take the time to research the problem, talk to users, and brainstorm ideas. This will help you to identify the best approach for your prototype.

How To Build a Prototype

Once you have a clear understanding of the problem, you can start building your prototype. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start with a low-fidelity prototype. This will help you to quickly test your ideas and get feedback from users.
  • Focus on the user experience. Think about how users will interact with your prototype and make sure it’s easy to use.
  • Test and refine. Test your prototype with users and use their feedback to refine and improve it.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t try to do too much with your prototype. Focus on the core features and keep it simple.

Best Practices

When building a prototype, it’s important to keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Focus on the user. Make sure your prototype is designed with the user in mind.
  • Test early and often. Test your prototype with users as early as possible and use their feedback to refine and improve it.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t try to do too much with your prototype. Focus on the core features and keep it simple.
  • Be flexible. Be prepared to change your prototype as you learn more about the problem and the user.

Examples

Here are some examples of prototypes that have been built using Design Thinking:

  • Airbnb’s “Experience” prototype. Airbnb used Design Thinking to create a prototype for their “Experience” product, which allows users to book unique experiences with local hosts.
  • Google’s “Project Loon” prototype. Google used Design Thinking to create a prototype for their “Project Loon”, which uses balloons to provide internet access to remote areas.
  • Amazon’s “Alexa” prototype. Amazon used Design Thinking to create a prototype for their “Alexa” voice assistant, which allows users to control their home with voice commands.

Popular prototyping and mockup platforms for designers

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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