The Benefits of Producing Website Prototypes

November 16, 2017

Website prototypes are demos of what a site will look like once a web build is complete. They allow project stakeholders to gain an insight into the visual appearance of a proposed site and demonstrate how basic functions will work. They often allow users to navigate between pages using dropdown navigation menus, giving a feel for the user flow around the site.

By no means are website prototypes suppose to contain everything the final build should. For example place filler content is often used and animations generally aren’t included in prototypes.

Why produce prototypes before programming begins?

There are many benefits to producing any sort of prototype before the website build stage begins.

Their visually similar format to the end web site make them great tools to collectively use to gain agreement as to what should be included and what should removed from the scope of the project.

Interactive prototypes can easily be used to test designs and gather feedback on many different layouts very early on in the projects lifecycle, flagging any required improvements. Identifying these problems early is vital and can save considerable time instead of having to re-code entire sections from scratch later on in the build.

Creating a website prototype?

Website prototypes can be created using as little as a sketch with pen and paper, but slightly more advanced clickable prototypes can be made in PowerPoint, MS Word, PDF documents or even a basic HTML webpage composed of multiple images stitched together.

Nowadays there are however so many free and paid tools designed specifically for easily producing website prototypes, Axure, Blasamiq, Invision and Mockingbird to name a few. I would recommend that anyone setting out to build a website produces a prototype using a similar tool before the build.

Listo create prototypes for the majority of our projects before presenting them to clients. This enables us to get as much feedback as possible and develop the best website going forward. Our go to solution for prototyping is Invision, an app I would definitely recommend. It enables interactive mockups to be easily created from our designs and offers a great interface to easily attach comments to specific points on the mockup. On top of that it looks great and allows demos to be perfectly presented to clients on all devices, which from a designers point of view is the be-all and end-all.

If you’re interested in learning how Listo can assist you with your next web project, please get in touch on 01304 899 411 or via our contact form.

Ryan Lunney

Author: Ryan Lunney

Front-end Web Developer