What is prototype and design?
Design: Comprehensive consideration of product goals, functional requirements scenarios, user experience and other factors. The rational sequence design process for each section, interface and element of the product.
What is the importance of prototyping?
Product stage: Idea → Demand Collection → Functional Structure → Prototype Design → Product Requirements Document (PRD Document) → Roadmap
Prototype design is in the most important position in the entire product process, and has the role of inheritance. Why do you say this? Before the prototype design, the requirements or functional information are relatively abstract. The process of prototyping is the process of transforming abstract information into concrete information. The subsequent product requirements document (PRD) describes and explains the sections, interfaces, elements and execution logic between them in the prototype design. Therefore, the importance of prototyping is irreplaceable, and product managers should have absolute control and control over it.
Having said that, prototyping, although important, should have certain limits. The role of prototyping is as follows:
1. Because the prototype is a concrete expression of requirements and functions, the prototype can assist product managers and engineers, communication, UI and technology to communicate product innovation ideas.
2. Because the prototype is more convenient to modify than the UI draft, the prototype can improve the efficiency of rework when the functional design of the product manager fails the review.
What are the types and tools of prototyping?
1. Hand-painted prototype (sketch)
Required tools: pencil, eraser, blank paper
The advantage of a pencil over a gel pen is that it is easy to modify. The advantage of white paper is that it can do whatever it wants. However, for the design of mobile products, I tend to use the white paper printed with the mobile phone frame to quickly enter the situation, and I can know the design of the first screen interface allocation.
PS: Take photos of the sketch (App) and use it with POP to achieve interactive effects.
Due to the informal nature of sketches, the early stage of prototyping (feasibility of functional design) is often used. Personally, I also prefer to draw a sketch (infer on paper) and then draw a tool prototype (perfect).
2. Tool prototype
Required tools: Axure RP (recommended), Justmind (App), Keynote (recently popular, suitable for Mac OS)
To say more, I recommend the latest version of any software (regardless of PC or App), and product managers should do the same.
Both the PC-end product manager and the App product manager will be more familiar with Axure RP, and the product prototypes drawn by the tool are already more formal. If colors and interactive actions (high fidelity) are added, it can be the same as the final product shape.
Here it is necessary to say whether the prototype is necessary to achieve high-fidelity state, personal opinion is: No need. If time is ample, do the interaction without adding color.
The goal of designing a prototype is to clearly express the product's design philosophy and function execution logic, so I think that all prototypes that can achieve this goal are qualified. The purpose of adding color and interaction to the prototype is nothing more than to make the communication between the product manager and the technology smoother. The role of PRD design is also delivered to technology. The complete PRD should include functional requirements, wireframe prototypes, PRD descriptions, UI drafts, UE demonstrations, and revision records. The prototype of the product manager stage is high-fidelity, is it not necessary to write PRD? The UI draft of the visual designer is designed according to the high-fidelity prototype? What about interaction designers? (Most companies do not have this position)
More time to observe users, analyze needs, and pay attention to (user experience) details ...