Will it work?
Will people use it?
Will it solve the problem?
These are the questions that are asked when working on a project, however unfortunately there’s no way of being sure of the answers until the the project has gone live. The problem is, by this point the time has been used, the money has been spent and the meetings have been had - If only there were a way to travel into the future and find out the answers before we start.
We may not be able to time travel but what we can do is prototype.
Prototyping is the DeLorean of user experience. It gives insight into a future that doesn’t currently exist. A prototype gives us a way to fabricate a website and get a sense of its validity without having to actually build it, and could be as low-fi as sketches of each screen, or as hi-fi as using services such as inVision or anything in between. This way lessons are learnt earlier in the process which saves on costs, time and of course, meetings.
At A&P we’ve found that prototyping makes designs come to life. They reveal what works, what doesn’t work and highlights numerous potential issues before the time has been spent building. It also serves as a great way of involving the client and getting important feedback throughout the project.
We may not be able to know exactly how a project will turn out, but a glimpse into the future using prototypes will reduce the risks and pave the way for a successful product that users will love to use.
“If I a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand meetings.” (Davidson)