UX prototyping: 5 questions to ask yourself before you start

UX patterns are the building blocks of user experience. Understanding patterns are critical for any UX or Product Designer.

1. Is the design problem clear?
If you can distill your problem into a concise design problem statement, great! Design problem framing is a critical skill for designers, and since you’ll be solving a lot of design problems throughout your design career, this is a good skill to master. If you’re unclear on the design problem, this means you’ll need to further understand user needs, or the business problem by conducting more user research, or reviewing data. 

Take a look at the Lean UX Problem Statement to drive clarity.

ux lean problem statement

2. Have you brainstormed different ideas?
There are multiple ways to approach a design problem, so you’ll want to generate as many ideas as possible. If you’ve ideated so much, your brain is sore, that’s awesome. If you haven’t spent at least 10-15 minutes brainstorming different ideas, grab a coworker to help you think out of your zone

[Photo by Jud Mackrill on Unsplash]

3. Is your ux prototype the right fidelity?
The fidelity of the prototype is determined by what you want to learn, how much time you have, the experience itself, and where you are in the design process. If you’re designing a new product, stay low fidelity as you test out different design concepts, and move to high fidelity when the concept is refined. Low fidelity prototypes are easy to generate, and low cost.

Low fidelity prototypes are great for scenarios where you want to test out basic interactions, or you want to generate a lot of ideas quickly, or test out flows. Check out this LinkedIn article on the topic of low and high fidelity prototypes.

If the design requires an understanding of a complex interaction pattern, start with a medium to high fidelity prototype to get the right type of feedback. High fidelity prototypes require more time to create, so keep that in mind.

ux prototype

4. Do you know what questions you want answered?
Prototyping is part of the user centered design process. You should approach the ux prototyping process with a desire to learn and understand what’s working and what’s not in your design. You should have a list of questions that you want answered to help create a better design.

UX prototype questions

5. Does your prototype address user goals?
If you have a firm understanding of the design problem, and your users, you’re on the right track. If prototype tasks are unrealistic or if they don’t represent user goals, than its not likely the user will use your design in the way you intend. Your prototype should fulfill goals and needs for the user in a usable way, so you’ll want to make sure that it does.

In summary, having a clear understanding of the design problem, generating multiple ideas through brainstorming, and choosing the appropriate fidelity for the prototype will help you get to the answers you need to refine the user experience.

If you’re interested in learning more about UX prototyping, take my LinkedIn Learning course to learn the essentials.

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