Rapid prototyping and app design

Rapid prototyping and app design

Rapid application design is well suited to innovation and growth projects. Rapid prototyping is the Lean UX process of creating design options and testing those options with your target audience, while it is still relatively easy and quick to make changes.

What is rapid prototyping and app design?

The goal of rapid prototyping is to gather customer feedback quickly. It uses short design or development cycles with the emphasis on incorporating usability testing as part of the design and development process.

The advantage of working this way is to understand if your customer needs are being met and to iterate on the final solution. The goal is to build something that people will find useful, usable and delightful to use.

What is rapid prototyping and app design?
Our design team, testing interaction design patterns with users. Read about our Mediclinic project and how we vigorously tested different interaction design patterns to arrive at the best possible solution for medical teams.

What are examples of rapid prototyping in UX design?

  • Paper prototyping

    Paper prototyping

    Seriously? Yes, it’s a quick cost effective way to test information architecture, interaction design and usability problems very quickly – even companies like Google use paper prototyping to work through some of their interaction design ideas.

  • High or low fidelity mockups

    High or low fidelity mockups

    This is the most common and obvious choice when prototyping. It’s what the design team creates in order to test their ideas with users. The mockup resolution (fidelity) is sometimes an indication of the maturity of product design – they are then used in a usability test.

  • Coded interactions demos

    Coded interactions demos

    Coded prototypes are sometimes necessary when the type of interactions you want to test are more complex than static mockups. These prototypes might be updated versions of your current solution or completely new ideas before interrupting your development team with untested changes.

How long does rapid prototyping actually take?

The speed at which a prototype can be created depends on the test that’s required and how much design or code assets the team has at their disposal. For websites, software and mobile apps, having a digital design system is very helpful for creating rapid prototypes.

  • 1 - 5 days for testing interaction patterns
  • 1 -2 weeks for design iterations, or more complex systems
  • 1 - 4 weeks for coded interaction tests without an existing code-base
Kicksearch clickable prototype
Example of a coded prototype we built (in two weeks) to test with users. Our role was to create a believable coded prototype for testing with customers – we then gathered the feedback and insights so the ideas and features could be prioritized

Why is rapid prototyping important?

Rapid prototyping allows the team to take a user-centred approach and to explore and test multiple options. It's not uncommon to get attached to a solution or idea early on in the design process. Rapid prototyping allows the team to explore those ideas and, most importantly, to let some of them go.

Rapid prototyping fast-tracks the feedback and learning process
Got an idea? Rapid prototyping fast-tracks the feedback and learning process so that you don't waste time building the wrong thing

Our rapid prototyping process

It’s important to decide if you’re ready to test with users and what type of prototype you require to get the most out of the process

  1. Understand — What your target customer needs

  2. Define — Create your solution and declare your hypothesis you want to test

  3. Prototype and Test — Put your solution in front of customers

  4. Learn — Get user feedback immediately and decide on next steps

Who we’ve done it for

  • Mediclinic
  • Yapp
  • Yellow Pages
  • Experian
Do you need help with rapid protoyping?

Do you need help with rapid protoyping?

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you with rapid prototyping or app design, please schedule a 30min call with us.