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Design Thinking Prototyping for Mobile App Development

Design thinking is helpful during the apps development process to ensure proper UX and, consequently, the emanating advantages via encouraging continual user-friendly experience throughout the whole app's lifecycle.

The concept of design thinking is actively supplementing the knowledge of IT experts and businesses. Just a while ago, this method was primarily associated with commercial-scale product design development. Nevertheless, not long ago, the companies figured out that to come forward under tough struggle among the competitors, they need to concentrate on user experience improvement when applying client-oriented software products in the customer-journey process. Design thinking provides the appropriate UE when using apps that, in turn, delivers the obvious values due to the customer-oriented continued nature within the complete apps development process.

A broad range of reasons can be found to use the design thinking method in apps development, comprising its ability to be sympathetic to the user, provide analysis and forecasts, create new concepts and conduct the assessment. Below the potential of the prototyping approach will be explored and summarized.

Prototyping is a crucial element of a design thinking procedure. And the primary step of the app generation is to come into the final user’s world. It is necessary to collect all possible data about users and their expectations by communicating with them and tracing their customer activities patterns online. Then you have to summarize their needs and create an operational prototype to embody the concepts and to conduct trials with some test users group involved before full-development launch.

Prototypes are required to study the concepts by presenting a substantial demonstration model to the users as well as to the investors, so they would be able to respond to. During the experimental model evaluation, you will have a chance to detect backlogs to be fixed. Besides, you will incorporate more clients and business leaders in an ongoing discussion about the most optimal features of the solution that has to be added, so the process of apps perfection is continued and productive.

The prototype is not a sample of the finished product being presented to intrigue or impress the audience, but it is more like the in-process product possessing general characteristics of the intended solution while it is still wide open for discussion, correction, improvement, alteration and any other procedures that can make it better.

Prototypes help to identify the roadblocks in the technical documentation and app's features.

The advantage of prototyping over working on technical documentation is that when observing a prototype, you can see how the application is functioning, so the connection between a concept and a product is tight enough to cooperate effectively. In the case of studying technical specifications, you can make a theoretical assessment only, so even the most thoroughly calculated figures can fail in practical operation.

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Hold off on getting rid of prototype

As long as the widespread opinion is that prototypes play the interim role and have to be changed by the improved version, you shouldn’t consider the prototype as a certainly fallible piece of work. Indeed, the prototype may still preserve some crude features. Still, it would be much better if it becomes an integral basis of the future commercial-scale product than being just thrown away after evaluation. When you present a prototype to the audience, it helps to save a significant amount of time and resources in case of theoretical miscalculations or discovery of undetected trend that affects the product’s quality. The point is a vendor has to pay more attention to verification procedures and quality parameters elaboration instead of the immediate transfer of the workforce and financial funds to completely different solution development.

Certainly, you’d prefer to possess both opportunities: to design a prototype that is rough and ready enough to be presented to the users and investors for getting their opinions, and to have a capability of further processing it until the full-scale commercial product is generated. In any case, prototyping would be of use as you will score advantage by getting more knowledge about the application potential under the condition of minimal investment in terms of finances and time. Moreover, you are speeding up the procedure as the entire development process is uninterrupted because you don’t dispose of the prototype and start from square one.

Using prototyping techniques for low-code development platforms

There is solid potential for interaction between LCDPs and the design thinking method. LCDPs make use of viewable “what you see is what you get” approaches which are perfectly compatible with deploying compact multifunctional groups of developers, or independent developers, to perpetually create and produce the apps including prototyping in process.

Developers and IT experts can take advantage of LCDPs for accelerating the process of building operational prototypes for solutions verification. Combining various multiple application patterns, operational elements, and thoroughly mastered user interface details, a developer can start collecting screens, organizing apps logic, and accentuating data mockups avoiding the necessity to back to square one. When the prototype is prepared to be presented to the audience, it can be easily distributed to different devices such as a personal computer or smartphone. In turn, the developers can react with their comments or proposals using an inbuilt adapter immediately to the development space that is crucial for ensuring the apps generation process is continuous and fast.

Deployment of low-code platforms allows building expendable prototypes that are as fast and simple as exploiting regular prototyping instruments. A lot of prototypes won’t be marked according to clients’ responses. Though such mockups can be disposed of without wasting too many funds and resources, and the developers can refocus on another prototype creation.

At the same time, a prototype that correlates with the user’s expectations is being advanced and provides the basis for the final product. The developers can supplement it with more sophisticated logical models, establish compatibility with the external programs, develop sufficient data security mechanisms, etc. It is possible to deploy embedded cutting-edge navigation instruments to continuously progress the app, improve, and fit based on users’ comments. Finally, the cloud-based structure, as long as unbounded accessibility and emergency changeover, enables the vendor to distribute the app extensively.

Lots of companies follow the iterative techniques in the app's development, for example, ADP, a firm specialized in payroll services. The sympathy-based concept of company’s solution creation consists of two steps: at first, the company’s experts study who their expected clients are, what their needs are and what products they want to deal with, secondly, the developers design functional prototype based on LCDP to distribute it among the users and get their opinions as fast as possible. Compass, one of the created apps, has shown excellent results being presented to about fifty thousand staff members around the globe, and soon ADP made it commercial and started providing it to the external users on a fee-paid basis.

Joining quick prototype creation with the development and integration of company-level applications

Since prototyping instruments are full of use, especially for mock-up models, LCDP is a perfect tool for those companies that are seeking the best way to join the advantages of creating prototypes and double-quick distribution timing. When it comes to the design thinking approach, LCDPs provide the developers with the possibility to build the operational prototypes at a high rate to be verified with the clients. Due to the uninterrupted way of solution development up to obtaining the final product, the time spend for the apps generation is seriously reduced because the developers don’t dispose of the prototypes starting with a clean slate.

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