Building a UI prototype

A UI prototype is essential when designing a new user interface

User interface prototypes allow you to see how the user interface is going to behave. The prototype is interactive which means it is not just a static picture, but an interactive HTML and JavaScript based wireframe.

system prototype - Our interaction designer Halina is the middle of building a prototype while Toomas drinks a cup of coffee

The prototyping phase is especially important if you quickly want to test an idea and see if it works or not. 

Our typical workflow is as follows:

  • First we take a look into the needs of your users, we might do this with storyboarding or use some other methods from our UX toolbelt. 
  • Next we build the UI prototype –  you will be involved in the process as the best results require closely working with the client. 
  • Then we will verify our test results with real users and improve the prototype accordingly
  • If you want us to do the visual design then we will proceed with that 
  • And also write the front-end code if required

Other prototyping benefits

User interface prototypes also bring new thoughts, issues and ideas to the table. It doesn’t make sense to spend money and time writing code when you can test your ideas on an interactive prototype that:

  • Costs a lot less than development
  • Is fast to build 
  • Is people friendly 
  • Requires almost no documentation
  • Greatly reduces risks

They can be black and white, include both color and animations or even look like an almost finished product. You will also find that prototypes let you communicate more easily with your team members and partners.

It makes building the final product a lot easier because you can illustrate what you are talking about. Once you have the version everyone agrees on, you can dive straight into development mode and finalize the product.