At Eyeweb, we’re big believers in website prototyping – we create a prototype website as part of every web build.
But why? In this post, we explain what prototyping is, how it works at Eyeweb, and the benefits to you, the client.
A website prototype is a mock-up or demo version of a site, made before the development stage.
When we talk about a website prototype, we’re not talking about a few wireframes layered on each other – we’re talking about an interactive demo of a website that showcases what the design will look like, how it works and limited aspects of the functionality.
A website prototype shows you the structure of the pages, the layout, the design and the navigation – providing a clear example of the final look and feel of the site.
Why do we spend time and effort working on a prototype, when we could dive straight into the development process?
The primary reason for prototyping is that it allows the client to see what the finished site will look like early in the process – in a clear, visual representation of the site, rather than just a wireframe or spec document.
It also provides the client with the opportunity to provide feedback on the site before it’s built. By sharing a prototype with the client, we can ensure that the project is heading in the right direction, and make any changes without having to build the full site first.
Should the client require significant changes, or want to amend the scope of the project, it’s much easier and more efficient to implement them here, before the development begins, rather than trying to shoehorn them in later.
Further benefits of prototyping
At Eyeweb, we primarily use a tool called InVision for our Prototyping – which enables us to provide clients with:
A system for easy collaboration and feedback
We give clients access to the prototype, and they can write comments directly into it – which appear in the system in real time. The system works within the browser, so it’s really clear and easy to use.
Website testing and user flow optimisation
Using InVision also enables us to do some low fidelity prototyping, connecting our wireframes, experimenting and testing to ensure that the finished website offers the best possible user experience.
An efficient project flow – saving time and money
We involve the whole design and development team at the beginning of every project. By prototyping the website, it creates discussions internally, where team members can give feedback and ensure that the final design fits the brief perfectly and performs in the real world.
User research and user testing
Prototyping also helps us to ensure that end users can actually use the website as the client intends them to! To optimise the user experience, we can set up important instructions and tasks, then record and analyse how users interact with the site in an effort to optimise the design.
Prototyping at Eyeweb
At Eyeweb, prototyping is an essential part of our design and build process – we won’t build a site without making a prototype.
Since integrating it into our process more than 4 years ago, prototyping has delivered real benefits to our organisation and our clients in terms of improving the relationship and communication process, as well as reducing project timescales.
The result is that clients feel more in control, they know the project is going in the right direction, and they are confident in the quality of the finished site before we’ve even started building it.
It’s great for everyone.
Perfectly planned and executed websites from Eyeweb
Is your website performing as you want it do? Do you want to do more business online?
Get a (perfectly prototyped!) site that looks fantastic, is focused on your goals and works exactly as you want it to, with expert support from Eyeweb. Passionate about great design, user experience and online performance, we’ll provide you with a site that fits your brief perfectly and delivers for your organisation in the real world.
For additional information, or to discuss a web design project, please get in touch by calling 01482 628830, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org today.