From the idea to the prototype
What role do UX, click dummy & Co. play?
Due to technical change, markets are changing ever faster. The question of what tomorrow’s circumstances and conditions will be like must be asked regularly. Above all, however, companies must consider how they can remain marketable and whether they can perhaps even play a crucial part in shaping the market of tomorrow. This is precisely why the development of ideas plays a decisive role. In particular, early testing of products and services using prototyping is very important. In addition, early trial and error and testing is easy on the budget and quickly leads to valuable insights.
What is UX?
To cover the topic “from the idea to the prototype”, a short excursion into the world of UX is necessary. UX stands for User Experience and pursues the goal of making the interface between humans and computers as useful, intuitive and pleasant as possible.¹
The banana analogy by UX designer Megan Wilson offers a quite understandable and at the same time entertaining way to explain UX. The yellow, crooked fruit offers a very good UX. She brings her own packaging, for example, and can be eaten easily and simply anywhere – we don’t need any cutlery, nothing crumbles. We can also tell how ripe it is by its colour and bananas are affordable, readily available and very healthy. So the banana is a product that provides an excellent user experience.²
Why is UX so helpful?
User Experience deals with the user interaction and its conception. The goal of UX designers is to create the best possible user experience. In order to achieve this, the UX designers often develop the corresponding concepts in close cooperation with the future users. Designing the user experience together with the users is the goal of UX. This is especially important today, as user needs are changing faster and faster. This makes it more and more difficult to determine what the user needs and likes. Therefore, obtaining extensive user feedback through adequately designed user testing is a crucial aspect of modern product development.
The development of graphical, non-programmed prototypes makes it possible to quickly build a solution or a variant of a possible solution that can be tested directly on the user. However, we can also quickly discard a solution. The development of such prototypes can be implemented quickly and since no programming is required, the costs are comparatively low. If the result of the user testing is that the product concept does not work, the damage is significantly less than if a final productive version of the product had been built directly.
From the idea to the prototype – our approach
As a service provider we have a lot of experience in the development of prototypes. We are happy to support our customers in the development of ideas for innovative products that need to be tested with a prototype. The following concept has proven itself:
Everything starts with the idea for a digital product. Often the customer already has a basic idea and we help him to refine the idea and possible realisation of the product.
This idea is implemented with the help of a prototype after consultation with the customer. This can be a very simple wireframe prototype, for example. So-called click dummies, which can be used to display the basic product concept and a graphical user interface based on it, are also popular.
The third step is user testing. The developed prototype is tested directly on or with the user. In this way we can quickly determine how the user imagines the product, how he wants to interact with it and which functions the user really needs.
We analyse the test results and adapt the prototypes to the user requirements. By “LEARN” we mean that both sides can learn from and in this process. Both we learn from our customers, e.g. by implementing individual wishes and thus contributing to an increased usability of the product, and the customer from us, who can benefit from our previous experience in the field of UX.
What are click dummies?
I would like to give you some more information about the above mentioned click dummies. Click dummies – sometimes also called click prototypes – are “real looking” prototypes. They look like the finished product and they already behave like the finished product. In the truest sense of the term they can be “clicked”, but they lack functionality, i.e. the programming of functions has not yet begun. And this is exactly the essential advantage: programming is not necessary at this early stage of development. The customer usually wants to run through a certain scenario in the course of a demonstration, but he does not need any programmed functionality for this. He wants to know whether something works as he imagined it. He wants to know whether the product can be implemented as originally intended, whether adjustments are necessary, or whether it may even miss the target completely. Either way, for the customer this means that he can avoid effort and costs.
Furthermore, click dummies are very helpful because they bring prototyping to a “next level” in a certain way. With them, ideas can be implemented quickly and tested on the user. Above all, the customer benefits from the fact that he can already see what the product could look like. He is offered a “look and feel” at an early stage. For this reason, click dummies may also be preferable to other, simpler forms such as paper prototyping because they are much more realistic and therefore better suited for simulations.
In our world today, change is on the agenda. To keep up with this pace, it is important to test and implement ideas as quickly as possible. Here it is advisable to focus on the user experience and test it by prototyping. Prototyping, e.g. via click dummy, enables quick development, trial and error and testing on and with the user. It helps companies to bring new products that the user really needs to the market quickly and thus secure their own competitiveness.
Nicklas Volland and die bytabo® GmbH will be happy to help you with problems and challenges. Simply contact them or write to them. Who knows, maybe he can help you solve your problem via UX, prototyping and click dummies.
You can also find interesting blog posts in the bytabo® blog.
Niklas Volland is co-founder and CEO of bytabo® GmbH from Bamberg. The 16-person technology company has made it its central task to significantly optimise the internal processes of clients by using highly efficient and innovative technology. This results in time savings and increases in efficiency and ensures the long-term competitiveness of the companies in the times of digitalisation. In addition to his professional challenges, he has also been working intensively with meditation and mindfulness for four years.