Prototyping Magic: Better custom websites for less

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Try developing a custom website and you’ll see what we’re talking about. No matter what the process or methodology, somewhere in the project plan is an unwritten task that - if it were written – would say, “micacle occurs here”. That task is usually contained in the prototyping phase.

The key benefits of prototyping are: better designs, faster realization, for less money.

Prototyping takes on a lot of different forms, depending on project requirements. You’ll hear terms like wireframing, grayscale, high definition and the like. Below’s an example of a “high definition prototype” topLingo did recently for the David Textiles ecommerce site. This prototype is dynamic in the sense that it’s navigatable, that forms can be filled in, that error handling behaviors can be simulated, etc.

 High Definition Prototype - David Textiles

Many prototyping efforts don’t lend themselves to this high degree of visual definition, but in this project the artwork was already available and using it provided the team with clearer communication without slowing the development down. In the next image we jump to the live site for a quick comparison. Not apparent from these two static images, is that the rotating banner images of the live site were simulated in the prototype as well.

Live DavidTextiles.com site

There’s often a tendency to skip the prototyping step - to skip, in effect,  the process where the magic occurs. Do this at your own risk.  And only if cost and time are not important elements of your project and high quality isn’t an intented outcome.

Want to know more about how prototyping can benefit your project? Contact topLingo.

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