Distinction between Wireframe, Mockup and Prototype

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According to Yahoo Flurry, over 90 percent of consumer’s time is dedicated using mobile apps. The pace with which mobile market has proliferated and continues to proliferate has witnessed app designers carrying out a more iterative approach as far as mobile app development is concerned. In case you are concerned with the difference between mobile app development and website development, then life cycles are considered to be much more frequent, developers have to consider different devices, screen sizes as well as operating system applicable both in design stages and user testing.

A couple of years ago, many non-designers, and IT professionals were frequently assuming wireframe, prototype and mockup synonymously- something resembles like greyish, boxy which represents an innovative ideas. Hence this is the crucial time when you really need to understand the difference between Wireframe, Mockup and Prototype.

But before that don’t you think, we must dedicate some time to understand the real motive behind these terminologies:

  • To delineate the expectation by brainstorming what you want to build.
  • By clearly elucidating, it ends up saving considerable amount of money.
  • Can be utilised to pitch the investors, initially customers then co-founders.

Wireframe

What is wireframe?

A wireframe is the low fidelity representation of design. So when a design is intended as far as mobile application or web application is concerned, it looks for a sketch how each page will really look like. Hence it is important for the designers to be conceptually clear what the business requirement is, and the way the functionality will be delivered leaving behind the aesthetics. It enables rapid fire iterations that quickly cast the optimum idea of the stakeholders. Since they are built quickly, hence it is mock-up in a dirty manner.   

What is wireframe

A wireframe chalked out on napkin is just as reasonable to one built in a wireframing tool like Balsamiq. It serves unlimited freedom and so are the benefits. Once all the stakeholders are satisfied with the wireframes, then designers can further proceed to work on UI by utilising it as base.

Importance of Wireframe

Documentation of the project

Since wireframe is considered as a static and can fix interaction at a particular point of time, but they must be attached with the written words from short notes in order to explain simple interactions to complicated technical interactions.

Versatility

It would be wrong to consider wireframe only as a structural pylon from while all the development elements springs out.  It caters multiple logical relevance uses. It can be used as a safety measure by a developer. An example regarding this circumstance where the customer for which the application is created, ascertains a features to be removed or replaced. In this phase, developer must take significant steps which needs him to implement chain of conditions apply. In order to prevent the scenario completely, the developer must undergo the app’s mainframe and repeated monitoring of each loop that took place during the mobile app development. Hence the more complicated the app, the harder it gets.

In this critical situation, wireframe comes into the picture in order to simplify the job in this situation, it enables steps to be efficiently tracked back to the origin.

In case any errors or bugs spring up in this critical situation it can be substantially easier to fix the bugs.

It establishes clear communication

Wireframe improves the communication between multiple parties which concludes that one member in the development team can use wireframe in order to implement the idea and progresses the manner that enables the other member to be kept as a part of the loop. For a successful mobile application development, it is quite essential a crisp and clear communication to be inducted. Establishment of clear communication is quite important. A synchronization must be maintained between the mobile app developers and designers and in case of less coordination, it leads to massive negative backlash not only in aesthetics but also functionality. Hence it the utmost responsibility to keep the clients updated through wireframes.

Effortless display

Wireframe can be considered as an effective marketing opportunity which enables the client to show the app development right from the beginning. Hence wireframe can be utilised to display effortlessly the main idea behind an app.

Mockup

What is Mockup?

As far as fidelity is concerned, it is scaled from middle to high fidelity, static design representation. More often a mockup is the actual visual design. At Fluper, we never start building an app before the mockups are accomplished. This representation ensures working on the development process so that the developer end the mockup as a reality. Since it represents medium fidelity representation, hence colours, text, fonts, logos, images can be added in order to shape the wireframe. Hence the main objective behind is to re-examine the app before launching it. Since it prevents change requests after the launch so, it is considered to be a key step to make mockup a concluding design.  

What is Mockup

  • Represents the structure of information.
  • Visualises the content and demonstrates the fundamental functionalities in a static way.
  • Boosts the people to reassess the visual side of the object.  

Importance of Mockup

Versatile

In order to get early buy-in from a stakeholder. According to the visual nature, mockups are not resisted of the low fidelity deliverables, hence they can be created quicker rather than prototypes. It is so intricate that it can be a form of great chapter of documentation in the context of entire design story.

Used by internal development and testing teams

Since mockups depicts how the final product will be looked like keeping in mind the accuracy, hence it can be utilised by internal development and testing teams.

Prototype

What is Prototype?

Prototype stimulates user interface interaction, is a medium to high fidelity representation of the product. It represents as a model of the final interaction between the user and the interface. This is approximate to the final product. Since it ensures significant similarity to the final experience hence interactions modelled must be handled with care. It’s like mock-up enriched with interactions, UX pieces, animation and various attributes when clicking buttons. Although this step is not much relevant to create an app. It can be pitched to friends, family as well as potential investors in case you are not a developer. It gives the feeling of a real app but they are just images affiliated with each other.  

What is Prototype

Importance of Prototype

Check the usability

Prototypes are used upto the potential as far as user testing is concerned. Before the development actual begins, such a model of the final interactions forms a robust material in order to rectify the usability of the interface.  

Most engaging form of design documentation

Although prototypes are not considered to be the best documentation since they force the reader to take some efforts to properly understand the interface. But the interface is tangible as well as straightforward, it is regarded as the most interactive form of documentation that can be imagined.

Effective

Despite of prototyping which is rather an expensive as well as time –consuming form of communication by design. Hence the mobile app designers are suggested can be reused in development. Hence it can be quite effective.  

Visualises operational flow

Through prototypes buttons can be clicked by the users and can enter the field information which enables the testing of prototype application and in case of any loopholes considering the designed flow, it can easily be discovered before the final publishing and be easily corrected.

Wrapping it up!!

Wireframing, mockup and Prototyping depends on the level of fidelity, cost, use and general traits hence it is important to ascertain which milestone is to be delivered at what stage of the delivery of the project. Depending upon the level of complexity although application designing will be commencing from the wireframe designing, and proceeds further to mockups and prototypes. Some, it is essential to initiate planning while spending time in wireframes, mockups and prototyping that can end up saving a considerable time of development and carrying out as per the requirement of the business.

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