Let's talk about prototyping
Why are we prototyping?
Because we need to get feedback that helps improve the product we are working on.
Why does it take so long?
Because it just does. Would you prefer having a final product that doesn't deliver and is faulty? NO. Nobody wants that. Finding little errors can save you a lot of money long term.
Putting some time aside for adding interactivity to understand how the design will function when users interact with the interface is a plus.
Prototyping is your opportunity to make your product work. It will test design usability, validate a concept, communicate a message and identify any errors.
Getting feedback is essential when prototyping. Not only from your design team but also the end client and target audience.
There are three popular types of design processes, but they all share the same principle of focusing on the user's needs and behaviour and coming up with solutions.
Design Council Double Diamond: Discover- Define- Develop- Deliver
Human Centered Design: Hear- Create-Deliver
Stanford d.school Design Thinking: Empathize- Define- Ideate-Prototype- Test
While I was practising just a graphic designer, I had clients requesting me to create a quick landing page in Photoshop. I did create some, but I was not aware of how functional and user-friendly the page is because I never went through the prototyping stage. I just designed.
I want to apologize to all developers who probably saw my "awesome" web pages and thought "THIS IS NUTS."
In my defence, not once I was asked to go through the whole process.
I am more aware now of what involves web design and I pinky promise never to create a design without the proper steps.
I noticed that there is a huge difference between getting feedback on an infographic and feedback on prototyping.
When I create an infographic I am following 6 steps.
Briefing- First draft (Two concepts)- Changes- Second Draft- Change- Final delivery
With prototyping, there are way more steps. It doesn't follow a specific step by step process, but it is more of a back and forth kind of thing. If you take things personally, this is not for you.
There are so many streams of feedback and you have to listen to them all. From the low fidelity stage to high fidelity, high functional prototyping, you must adapt the design and tweak it as necessary.
I think prototyping is vital and it shouldn't be skipped.