Posts from "December, 2013"

6 Tips for Creating Great Mobile Prototypes

Mobile consumption is growing, making it ever more important for businesses to adopt a suitable mobile strategy. Whether you are working on an app or a mobile website, it usually helps to use prototypes to flesh out important design decision and test concepts before development. We have some tips for you to help your mobile prototyping process go a little easier.

User testing mobile prototype on iPhone using Pidoco App

Testing a mobile prototype using the Pidoco App

 

1.  Follow OS design principles

Mobile operating system makers like Google, Microsoft and Apple have clear visions for how apps should run on their platforms, both in terms of user experience and visual design. It’s worth reading over these to give your users a consistent experience for their device. This is especially important when it comes to navigation principles. iOS, Android and Windows Phone all provide guidelines for developers.

2. Map user flows

Create prototypes with the user flow in mind, i.e. think in terms of scenarios or tasks that users will want to accomplish with your app. One way to do this is with the Pidoco screenflow tool. A pen and paper may also work for simpler cases. Sketch out the user flow with thumbnails from the pages of your mobile website or app. This will help you plan the user journey and make sure there is a clear path for your users to reach specified goals.

3. Design mobile-friendly forms

With mobile, you need to carefully plan the user input. Make forms as short as possible to minimize the number of interactions a user has to make. For example, avoid forms where users need to type information, instead opt for pickers and radio buttons where possible. Remember that mobile users will often be on the go when they use their device.

4.  Include real content 

When you’re designing for smaller screen sizes, you need to make the most out of the space that you have. Providing images and text from your existing website can often be a good way of  seeing how content would need to be adapted for a mobile device. Less is often more and you may want to try out different screen sizes. Pidoco offers you pre-set screens for various smartphones and tablets.

5. Use template libraries

Templates help you speed up your prototyping work and stay consistent with standard design patterns. At Pidoco we have created templates for Android, iOS and Windows apps for you to import into your prototypes. These can be used to get the look and feel of the operating system you are designing for. To import them into you prototypes, simply visit our libraries page.

6. Test on the device

The usability of an app is best tested in the real context. Early user testing is a great way to avoid many issues that often crop up later during implementation, and there is no better way to do this than on the mobile device your users will end up using. With the Pidoco App you can simulate prototypes directly on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Simply share a link and open it with the Pidoco App and the prototype will appear full-screen and give you a good idea of what the later product will look like.

If you haven’t already, why not try out creating a mobile prototype directly in Pidoco.