Prototyping your app is a critical next step in the app development process. This is a part of new series follows the process of developing a custom consumer facing app we are building and what the overall process would look like to build a custom app for your business or organization. If you would like to read the first post, click here.
What is an App ProToTYpe?
An app prototype from McNair Media provides our client with an interactive and clickable proof of concept to the idea that was solidified in the research and planning phase of our app development project plan. This is something that our clients can put on their phone and experience themselves.
PROTOTYPING? WHY NOT DESIGN?
Unlike most web design projects, apps need a solid prototyping phase to create a visual proof of concept that others can visualize. We get lots of calls from entrepreneurs looking to create the next breakthrough app with their new idea. With a solid app prototype, they have something of substance to show off to investors. There are also other key reasons for a prototyping phase to an app development process.
#1- Identifying Problems
This starting step is the last step in the process of creating a mobile application that can safely identify and address potential problems you will face in the future. The types of problems can range from an internal business not being robust enough to the overall concept needing some more thought before coding on the app commences. Finding issues like this within the prototyping phase allows for adjustments that would be quite difficult and costly in subsequent phases.
#2 – Validating Research and Planning
Our first phase starts with research and planning. Prototyping allows you to get some feedback from friends, family, employees, existing customers or via further market research or focus groups that McNair Media can facilitate on your behalf. This allows for further refinement of the app idea before coding begins.
#3 – Changing the Scope
Within the prototyping phase, we may find that the app project’s needs to be updated. It can be a range of things from functionality that was previously deemed something for a future release to a feature not previously discussed. Updating the scope now will give you a clearer idea of timeline and allow you to plan better to accommodate for these changes.
Planning is Key
You may find that other app development shops approach prototyping in the first phase of their app development process. We believe that a solid process of research and planning will make the prototyping phase a much bigger benefit to you as well as clearly structure this phase to complete in a matter of weeks, not months.
Apps take lots of planning and require a lot of technologies to be in place within your organization before proceeding with the building and testing of your app. Our first phase of our app projects is a planning process that helps takes your app idea into something more defined and what that distribution method should be. We also lay out what business requirements are needed to be in place before proceedings to the next phase of the app project. Business requirements include internal processes that are needed as well as technologies that need to implemented.