Prototyping is an integral part of our web design flow here at Clockwork. Long gone are the days where handing off a few static mock-ups of a web design and a sitemap suffice. The web has become infinitely more complex. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to understand how a design will look and function within the environment where it will ultimately reside, the web.
Why we prototype
As designers, we’re problem solvers. Just as a novelist goes through many revisions on a manuscript, designers go through multiple iterations of a design before we are ready to present our work to clients. Prototyping helps us figure out if our designs are working and, more importantly, where they need improvement. By using a prototyping tool, like InVision
, we get a real feeling for how our designs will actually function. Prototyping allows us to make educated design decisions throughout the design process.
Desktop vs. mobile design
As we all know, mobile devices are here to stay. That said, designing for tablets and phones is very different than designing for the desktop environment. Prototyping software allows us (and our clients) to test and experience the designs we create in simulated “native” environments. We send all stakeholders an interactive prototype and allow them to experience how the site will work in real life.
Good design is always collaborative. Even when we feel a design is perfect, it’s vital we collaborate with those who know their needs best — our clients. Key stakeholders look and “play” with the interactive prototype and give feedback throughout the process. Commenting within the tool eliminates confusing email chains and allows everyone involved to literally point to what they’re annotating.
In the end, creating and sharing accurate prototypes goes far in eliminating something that can really derail a website project: surprises.