It’s no secret that some of the most successful SaaS companies rely on rapid prototyping to accelerate ideas and solutions. Just like an entrepreneur,...Read More
Prototyping – An Integral Part of UX DesignIdea to Product
One of the most important discussions in the world of SaaS product development is the value of a prototype. But what is a UX or UI design prototype and how can it help you turn your idea into a digital product or overhaul an existing product in 4 to 8 weeks? At Seedboost, this is exactly what we do for SaaS companies of all sizes.
What Is a Prototype?
Simply put, a prototype is a test model of a design to showcase the final user experience. Designers use prototypes to test their work by simulating the experience that users will have, which is why a prototype has become an invaluable tool for refining a design.
These days, you can no longer validate an idea by sketching it out on a piece of paper – users have become much more demanding. The feedback you get from using a prototype can be invaluable when it comes to refining your design.
Yet there are still too many tech founders and developers skipping the integral aspect of wireframing or clickable UX wireframe prototypes. They tend to jump straight into interface design, or create a clickable UI design prototype without testing the idea first, or testing a new feature in an existing app before starting development.
By doing this, it will ensure that you solve the business problem of getting customer feedback before you invest in UI design or development.
Why Is a Prototype Important?
Having an interactive prototype is a great way to visualize a user experience and validate it with stakeholders and users, making sure it meets their needs. This not only saves time and money but also helps with the implementation phase and – most importantly – creates happy users.
Not wasting time on a design that isn’t ready, and gaining insight into audience behaviours – these are critical to the success of any SaaS product. That’s also why it’s crucial to test with a number of iterations in the form of different prototypes: low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes.
What is a Low-Fidelity Prototype?
A low-fidelity prototype is often used in the earlier stages of the design process to help conceptualise the final product in a very basic form. It is often a computer-based visual representation of a digital product with little resemblance to the final design. They are often simple black and white sketches or clickable black and white prototypes.
This is a good option if you want to get quick feedback without delving too deep into design.
Low-fidelity prototypes are purely focused on functionality at this stage, so it forms a crucial part of the planning stage. The goal is to turn your ideas into testable artifacts that you can then use to collect and analyse feedback in the early stages. We call it a UX prototype.
Here are some of the benefits of low-fidelity prototypes:
- It allows you to focus on design and concepts. Without the pressure to make sure every page and click works perfectly, you can focus more on the ideation part as opposed to the technical part.
- Accessible to everyone. Even non-designers and users can participate, giving their feedback and being a part of the design process.
- Real-time changes. While you gather feedback, you can easily re-do part of the design, or make chances based on user feedback in real-time.
What is a High-Fidelity Prototype?
High-fidelity prototypes are highly functional and interactive. They are colourful, graphical and very close to the final product, with most the necessary design assets and components developed and integrated. Hi-fi prototypes are often used in the later stages to test usability and identify issues in the workflow.
High-fidelity prototypes are used at the design process, where it’s necessary to continue to test and learn. Multiple rounds of feedback can help to refine a design and tailor it to your target audience. The nature of these prototypes are that they are much closer to the final appearance than low-fidelity prototypes. It’s a great way to align final goals with developers.
Here are some of the benefits of high-fidelity prototypes:
- More familiar to users. High-fidelity prototypes will look more familiar to users, more like software, so they will more likely behave naturally during testing.
- Test specific components. You can test a specific component in more detail, (like flow, visuals, engagement, or navigation) during user testing. This will enable you to get more detailed feedback.
- It’s presentable to stakeholders. Clients and team members will get a clear idea of how the product will look and work before it ever goes live. This also allows you to set better and clearer expectations for developers.
How Seedboost Can Help
The benefits of SaaS prototyping are clear to see – and Seedboost is here to help. Whether you are just starting out with a sketch or product spec, or have already started with development, we can help. We create a visual mind map to structure your ideas and information, and can sketch wireframe your solution to meet your market and user needs.
If you are looking to improve your existing product, we bring fresh creative ideas and expert UX to easily scale your SaaS product. We can help improve your design with expert insights to allow for increased conversions and an easily scalable product.
Got a great business but an underperforming product? Reach out to us today. We’ll help you redesign from the ground up – whether you want to impress your customers or add value to your users. Our expert UX designers can help you turn your product around.