The Importance of a Clickable Prototype
What is a clickable prototype?
Designing a clickable prototype is an essential step in the creation of your mobile application. It serves a number of roles, from illustrating your app idea to a prospective investor, to providing the foundation for software developers to begin coding the application. A clickable prototype is the final design product needed before a mobile application can be developed.
Think of the clickable prototype as the fusion of your UX flows (app blueprint/map), wireframes (screen layout) and UI style (colors, fonts, button style, look and feel). It is an interactive prototype consisting of the high-fidelity screens of your application that looks, feels and navigates like the final product, but has not yet been developed using code, so cannot yet perform all the complex actions required of a mobile application.
What is the purpose of a clickable prototype?
One purpose of a clickable prototype is to demonstrate the look, feel and functionality of the application to gain funding from an investor. This requires an “investor-ready” clickable prototype.
- Designing a high-level, “investor-ready” version of the application is essential in conveying the core functionality of the application to a potential investor.
- An investor-ready clickable prototype would not include designs for “forgot password” screens, or other edge cases (a problem or situation that occurs when a user deviates from the expected path), as these screens would require a higher budget and would not be necessary to communicate the basic idea of the application.
- If you imagine a clickable prototype as similar to a blueprint of a house, you could think of an investor-ready clickable prototype as a blueprint which only shows the layout of the rooms of the house, without showing the details of the electrical wiring, air ducts or plumbing.
- An investor-ready clickable prototype requires the design of additional screens before it is ready to move into development.
The clickable prototype’s most important role is for it to be handed off to developers for use in building the logic of the application. This requires a “production-ready” clickable prototype.
- When handing off a clickable prototype to software developers, it must be production-ready in order to move into development so developers understand all of the necessary functionalities.
- A production-ready clickable prototype must be detail-oriented and include every screen (including the edge cases) a user would need to navigate through the app with ease.
- If you imagine a clickable prototype as similar to a blueprint of a house, you could think of a production-ready clickable prototype as a blueprint which shows the layout of the house in full, including the details of the electrical wiring, air ducts and plumbing (which are essential components in the proper functioning of the house).
- A production-ready clickable prototype would not require any additional design before moving into the application’s development phase.
Investor-Ready vs Production-Ready Clickable Prototype
No matter what your budget and timeline is for your mobile application, there is a solution to help you achieve your goals. If your aim is to acquire investor funding, an investor-ready clickable prototype would provide you with a tangible product to illustrate your vision without a significant upfront cost. If you already have capital and are looking to move more quickly into development, then a production-ready clickable prototype is your best course of action.
A clickable prototype is the design deliverable used to obtain user feedback and make informed decisions about potential feature changes before moving into the more costly phase of development. If your aim is to launch a custom mobile application that is simple to use, intuitive and beautifully designed, a clickable prototype will be a key resource in helping you turn your idea into reality.
Kassidy Jezierski leads business development at Lithios. She works to clearly communicate the capabilities and optimal engagement opportunities between Lithios and its clients. In her free time, she enjoys fingerpainting pictures of lambs and docile sheep.