Prototyping – An integral part in UI/UX

By Krishna Khandelwal

UX Prototyping

Find out what a prototype is and how it can be beneficial for testing out different design ideas.

Prototypes are a vital part of the design process and a practice used in all design disciplines. Architects, engineers, industrial designers, and even service designers prototype their ideas to test their designs before investing in their mass production. And as is been famously said in the industry,

Almost every product you know was once a prototype.

Regardless of the industry, when creating a product from scratch, you will reach a point where you need to validate your idea before stakeholders commit major resources to it, and that’s when the prototype comes into play.

What is a prototype?

As per a product design Gaurav Menon, “A prototype is a simple experimental model of a proposed solution used to test or validate ideas, design assumptions, and other aspects of its conceptualization quickly and cheaply so that the designers involved can make appropriate refinements or possible changes.”

In other words, the prototype is a simulation or sample version of a final product, which UX teams use for testing before launch.

Type of prototyping

Types of prototypes

Based on the stage or phase of the design process where a design idea needs to be tested, there are three different types of prototypes.

  1. Low-fidelity prototypes: These consists of sticky notes and sketches (paper prototypes), which are ideal for quick brainstorming and collaboration. It is just like a skeleton of a design that we can make using a pencil and paper. The best part is that one doesn’t need advanced design skills to create a LoFi prototype. You only need to represent the basic design elements such as images, text, and buttons without getting into too many details.
Prototyping Sketch

Also, a low-fidelity prototype doesn’t use any animations or transitions as it is the least interactive one of all the prototypes. Its sole purpose is to help people understand the initial design ideas and placement of basic design elements on a screen.

Pros of creating a low-fidelity prototype

Cons of creating a low-fidelity prototype

  1. Medium-fidelity prototypes: Once you’re done with the hand-drawn prototype, you can turn them into interactive clickable prototypes — the medium-fidelity prototypes. Clickable prototypes show significantly greater detail than low-fidelity prototypes and are closer to the final design of the product. These designs should be detailed enough to give the users an understanding of how the product works.
Prototyping FIgma

Figma and Invision are the commonly used tools for prototyping, as it allows designers to create an interactive sample design having specific touchpoints and well-defined navigation.

  1. High-fidelity prototypes: Now it’s time to create the final representation of your product. High-fidelity prototypes give a more realistic and accurate representation of the product. With HiFi prototypes, you will have more control over how each element of the product should and will behave.
HiFi Prototype

Pros of creating a HiFi prototype

Cons of creating a HiFi prototype

Benefits of prototyping

Why is a prototype necessary for your business?

Creating a prototype is crucial before launching a product in the market. By placing something that looks and feels like the actual product in the hands of the users, designers can quickly see where there may be flaws in the original design flow. These flaws might go overlooked if the prototype is not tested with real users.

Prototyping your future product or service has several advantages:

Importance of prototyping for developers

Having a prototype in hand helps the users to gather all ideas and discuss them well. It gives the opportunity for more realistic planning during development and can easily estimate the cost of work. The availability of prototypes of all pages will give an opportunity to better design the style of a future product.

Interestingly, prototyping can significantly accelerate the speed of design development as it eliminates the need to make a large number of edits during the process.

How to select the best prototyping tool?

With hundreds of different prototyping tools out there today, it’s important to make sure the tools we choose should fulfill our needs. The most commonly used prototyping tools are FigmaInVisionAxureSketchBalsamiqAdobe XD, etc.

Here are four key things to consider while selecting a prototyping tool:


Regardless of any method you use, prototyping during any product development lifecycle is no longer just a nice-to-have thing, but a must in my opinion. When you start creating a prototype, start with a rough idea and a pen/pencil and paper. Initially, it can feel overwhelming but don’t stop. Sketch your ideas, test them, get the feedback, and work to improve the flaws. Keep making amendments to your prototype designs until you reach what you are looking for!


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