So you’ve got a great idea.
You’ve assembled a crack team of marketers, sales people, client support and investors.
You’re ready to get your idea transformed from vaporware to a fully functioning, sellable web application.
These are exciting moments in your new business venture’s life cycle.
It’s time to take your idea and have some designers and UI/UX specialists create your vision in Photoshop so you can pass this along to your development team. In your meeting with your designers and UI/UX people, they ask you a very important question:
“Will you want a front-end prototype of this built?”
This is the point where you emphatically reply with, “YES”, and I’m going to tell you why.
Front-end prototypes are a crucial element to the success of your web app or service. They allow you (the client) and us (the designers and UI/UX team) to properly figure out how your app should function, look, and generally behave from the user’s point of view.
A lot of clients will think, “Well this sounds like an added cost. I can just take the Photoshop mock-ups and pass those off to my team of back-end devs and they’ll chop them up and make them work.”
This is so often not actually the way it works. I have the upmost respect for the magic that the back-end guys perform, truly. We have some of the brightest and most talented back-end architects in Nashville at Centresource. They are able to blow me away with the things they can do in an MVC on a daily basis.
That said, just the same as I wouldn’t want a back-end guy figuring out how a site’s navigation and color scheme is supposed to look, they absolutely would not want me (a front-end guy) trying to figure out how to best manage the app’s database.
By allowing a full front-end prototype to be built, a client can avoid the pitfalls of having to hire another team of developers to clean up the potential mess that their initial dev team created by trying to shoehorn their skills into an unfamiliar area of web development.
In 2015, design and user experience is at the forefront of almost every major technology in the marketplace.
Apple has completely revamped iOS and OS X to create a more unified and minimalistic user interface that is focused more on the ability of the user to quickly get things done, than to show their ability to make your screen look like a wooden shelf with a 3D perspective.
Google has dropped the overwhelming green hues and Tron-like neon blue elements in previous versions of Android for their new “material design” approach, which again, ignores their stylistic tastes in favor of usability and quick communication.
Even Microsoft has changed their UI strategy since the release of Windows 8 to move more into a user-focused operating system. They plan to take this even further with the release of Windows 10, due out later this year.
In this age of the digital world, it is truly a time where all successful products are built first and foremost with the user in mind. This isn’t likely to change anytime soon. When planning the strategy of your next great idea, be sure you factor this in and allow a team of talented designers and UI experts to create a working prototype before you hand it off to those back-end guys.
This will save you costs, allow you to keep and gain more users, and you’ll spend less time re-designing things that your users are badgering you about via email and help tickets.