BSPOKE Software | Digital Transformation Partners

App prototyping: can you do it yourself?

If you’ve been thinking about designing a new app for your business in 2022, the first step is app prototyping. Many companies are tempted to save time or money during the process by taking on this task themselves. Today we’re going to discover whether app prototyping is worth doing alone or if it’s best to leave this job to the professionals.

When designing your next app, remember BSPOKE Software is always here to help. We’ll be excited to collaborate with you on your next project and bring your vision to life this year.

What is an app prototype?

App prototyping is something we’ll use at the start of the app development process. It works to demonstrate how your finished product will function.

There are many different ways you can create a prototype, but you’ll often start with a basic sketch. From there, this can become a more interactive model (software prototype). This will be much closer to the final app, and you’ll usually want to give this task over to a team of experienced app developers.

To help you decide whether you can tackle app prototyping alone, let’s take a look at how to put your ideas onto paper by yourself.

Research for your new app

Before you even consider getting in touch with our team, one of the first things we recommend that you do is explore and try out other apps. While you might think you have a great idea in mind, you need to be realistic about how you will bring this vision to life. As you research new apps, write down ideas and ensure that you save screenshots of your favourite features.

While it’s important to look at your competitors’ apps, you’ll also want to think about other industries. Their best practices can be applied to your work and app prototyping. Even if they have a completely different purpose, they can give you some great ideas to make your app the best it could possibly be. Research is the number one thing we see companies skip, but it’s critical for your success.

Focus on the main functions of your app

App prototyping doesn’t involve every single potential feature your finished app will include.

Instead, you need to focus on the core functionalities at this stage. You’ll then be able to think about how your app will look and work. The number of screens you’ll need will depend on the core functions of the app. Write down the main features you expect to have, and then use these to dictate your app prototyping work.

Start on paper

While you might think that app prototyping on paper would be a thing of the past, we still recommend using this method. All you need is paper and a pencil. You can then start to sketch out your ideas for your new app. Make sure you draw the screens one at a time and highlight any of the main features.

If this is where you are going to stop your app prototyping work, you’ll then have everything you need to outsource this work to our team. This is a great thing to bring to the first meeting with an app developer. It will provide a clear overview of your aims and ideas for the project.

Of course, your hand-drawn model isn’t going to be the same as the final results. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get everything perfect the first time. That’s why we always recommend using a pencil, as you can just rub out anything that you want to change. It’s never too late to make changes, so enjoy this part of the process to help with your app prototyping.

Download a few prototyping tools

As technology improves, you’ll find there are many great tools online which could assist with app prototyping. Even if you don’t think of yourself as an artist or designer, you can use something like Figma or Adobe XD to bring your ideas to life.

These can often look a lot more professional than hand-drawn models. You’ll find that you’ll get a better idea of what your app will really look like on a screen. Once again, you’ll be able to erase any of these mistakes and ensure that you find the perfect look and feel for your app.

Work with a team of professionals to bring your app to life

App prototyping is something that anyone can have a go at by themselves. However, once you’ve completed a basic sketch on paper or on your tablet, we recommend handing this work over to our team. It’s much better to work with professionals who are used to app prototyping. This will ensure your ideas are realistic and that you are on the right path to creating an effective app for your employees or customers.

Prototyping is a critical part of the app development process, and it’s something we never recommend skipping. However, if you don’t have the time or interest in following the tips we shared here today, a team of professionals can do this for you.

When you provide us with some basic ideas for your app, we can work with these and design a prototype to bring your vision to life. We’ll update this app prototype as many times as needed. This will ensure we both get our desired results at the end of the process.

Anyone can have a go at app prototyping. However, it’s something you may want to outsource as part of your app development. There’s nothing wrong with leaving this task to the professionals as they can also create a software prototype. You’ll save time and energy by outsourcing this work. It will ensure that your app has the potential to be made in the way you expect.

Need a new business app this year?

Are you looking to design a new app for your business this year? Contact our team today for more information about app prototyping and development.

We’ll be excited to collaborate with you to create a modern solution that will help to overcome any challenges you are currently facing within your business. Check out a couple of apps we have previously developed for Sweet Causes and Smart Home Charge.

BSPOKE Software - Photo of paper prototypes for a custom software solution, illustrating app prototyping.
BSPOKE Software - Photo of paper prototypes for a custom software solution, illustrating app prototyping.

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