In today’s market, more and more website developers are using UI prototyping. Whether they use paper prototyping or wireframe software, UI prototyping allows people to draft their own designs and get a better idea of their key objectives and implications of their design decisions. UI prototyping in combination with user testing can also be used to see how users respond to the visual or functional design of a prototype.
Why use UI prototyping?
This month YouTube changed its user interface with dramatic consequences. The new user interface design focuses more on the different channels available and linking content to social networks. While many consider this to be the future of media, many bloggers reported how users struggled to adapt to the design overhaul. UI prototyping and user testing is a way of assessing how users might respond to a new interface design. With so many different users from a wide range of backgrounds, YouTube had the difficult task of balancing a range of requirements from a variety of target groups. In this balancing act, UI prototyping gives designers the potential to adapt their ideas and integrate user feedback into designs in the early stages of development.
UI prototyping and usability testing
UI prototyping is especially useful in combination with usability testing. Designers can show their prototypes to users or even allow users to interact with the UI prototypes. Observing the test users’ behavior during the test and interviewing them about their user experience can uncover critical design mistakes that can be corrected before going into implementation. This is why UI prototyping is an important stage in development, as designers can gather feedback from users to see what interactive features they respond well to, or what problems there could be with the layout or other visual aspects of the user interface design concept.