Putting It All Together: App Wireframing and Prototyping

May 20, 2016 | Rob LaPointe

Wireframing and prototyping are exceptionally useful and underused tools in the tech world. Website and app wireframes are useful to determine the layout and overall look and feel of each screen or page. Prototyping is an effective tool for validation and as a way to test your development company.

But, as a development and prototype design company, one of the best areas we’ve seen for prototyping is turning it into a demo. This demo can be then used to really wow potential Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists. The more impressed those guys are, the more likely is to throw some funding your way!

So why don’t we cover Wireframing, Prototyping, and Demos and how they can help entrepreneurs looking to grow their business. More than that – we’re going to flip this on its head and talk about how the clever entrepreneur can make some extra cash off wireframing and prototyping. Contact us today and get talking to expert developers in Silicon Valley.

Wireframing

Wireframing is probably the most well recognized of these three app and website design steps. It is basically a low-tech prototype…extremely low tech. Wireframing is basically a sketch of each page or screen in an app or website. It can be done on something like a poster board, or even just draw it on a whiteboard.

We can also make some digital wireframes too. Digital wireframes are great because they’re easily changeable and are more realistic of the end product. The whole purpose of a wireframe is to outline how each screen of your app will look – where you begin to create layouts and decide on your app’s design.

A wireframe that’s easily changeable means you can test out more wireframes – and even do side-by-side comparisons. Thus, a wireframe website is a useful tool. Of course, a wireframe website or app will need to incorporate storyboarding.

A storyboard is basically where you take a step back from your wireframes. Our wireframe design team uses storyboarding to look at how an app or website will look as a whole. This is how you determine if the flow or your app is logical and clean; basically, you’re examining the overall structural design.

Prototyping

Prototyping is where you can get to validate your idea. It’s basically a proof-of-concept:

    • Does your idea work as expected?

    • Do the main features contribute to the overall purpose of the app or website?

    • Does the flow of the website worked as planned during storyboarding?

    • Are the issues (and yes there will be issues – make sure you’re ready for any hurdles that may arise) coming up insurmountable?

    • Is it solving the problem you need it to solve? If not, is it solving another problem that you can pivot towards?

A prototype is an essential step in the app development process. Beyond all of the above questions it helps to answer, it allows you to do some preliminary testing. If you build a prototype website, you can allow access to a limited number of people in your target market.

We’ve found that early testing is a brilliant way to make sure that your idea actually helps your target market. More often than not, we’ve seen other development companies build a website for their clients that looks great. But it was only verified by designers – and not by the people who designed it.

An important thing to remember in the app and web development (or any enterprise, really) is that you are trying to sell it to yourself, or to developers. You’re trying to sell it to your target market – if you want your app to grow, getting early testing is invaluable; plus if you test it with early adopters, you create a buzz!

Demos

While a prototype can be used as a demo, we don’t necessarily suggest it. You’re going to want to clean it up a little if you want to impress potential investors. These are savvy guys who watch presentations from hundreds of entrepreneurs. Go big or go home.

Demos are basically an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) and have several distinct advantages:

    1. It shows that your idea is feasible;

    2. It allows investors to see if your idea functions like it’s supposed to;

    3. It’s proof that you have the talent to do the work;

    4. When you build a demo, it shows your willingness to invest money in your own idea. Don’t worry – we build prototypes for a low price starting at $2,000.

    5. Most importantly, it shows you have the dedication to perform the work;

Other Benefits

First and foremost, having a tech company create a prototype is an excellent way to vet a potential development partner. It’s a way to see their coding ability, the way they think about design, and to see if they can deliver what they say – and on time. We love the chance to test our skills against other development companies – just send us an email!

But here’s the real test: as we keep saying, these are essential steps in the development process. Steps that every entrepreneur should undertake….which sounds like a problem to me. Where there’s a problem, there’s a solution – and we’ve got the solution you need.

If this is an essential step, then why not provide a tool to make it easier? We develop the app and website wireframes and prototypes constantly; we can easily make a website that does the same for any app or website. We can even create a wireframing app! This is a marketable solution that can be sold to other entrepreneurs!

Prototype Design Company

No matter why you need a website prototype or wireframe for, we are your development partner. Building wireframes and prototypes are parts of every single project we work on – our designers insist. Looking to impress some Angel Investors? We got you – shoot us an email to get started.

We can get your prototype up and running in week or less. If you would like to walk through the idea little bit more, contact us today or feel free to give us a call at 408.621.8481

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