17 Jul Behind the Scenes: Prototype and Test Your Product on a Shoestring Budget
After learning about MVP’s and the different ways to build the very first version of your product, the next step is to design it. Paper prototyping is a quick and cost effective method to design your product or service and then test it for usability. It is a versatile method and can be used for a website, mobile app or software.
Paper prototyping has been around since the 1980s and is a technique that uses hand drawings of user interfaces in order to rapidly design and test. Although a simple approach it is very effective and valuable as it gives you an idea of what your product can look like and any usability challenges that come up, prior to spending thousands of dollars on having it developed.
Paper prototyping allows you to:
- Communicate your ideas to designers, developers, and users
- Observe the interaction with the user interface prior to design and development
So how do you sketch your screens in a way that is rapid and easy to understand?
We pulled in the visual alphabet. The visual alphabet consists of 12 different shapes that can be used to draw anything. It’s an important resource as it helps you to sketch out your idea and bring it to life. We had our founders sketch out their screens so they could create a paper prototype of their tech product or service.
Three key benefits of paper prototyping are:
User involvement: Having the user involved early in the design process helps you to identify any problems before any design or development has started. This way you are able to iterate and make any necessary changes prior to development.
Cost effective: As paper prototyping only requires your sketches and an app, like Marvel, it’s a very cost effective way to bring your idea to life. It also allows you to save on time, finances and human capital until you have a clear idea of what you want your product or service to look like.
No coding skills: Paper prototypes are sketched on paper then uploaded on an app that helps to turn your sketches into app prototypes, therefore requiring no coding skills. This makes them accessible and easy to create and use for anyone.
The real value in paper prototyping is that it helps you to realise any modifications or refinements that need to take place and therefore address the usability problems which have been identified early on in the prototyping process. If you want to learn more creating a paper prototype of your product then get in touch with me here.