UI/UX design terminology: A closer look at PoC, wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and MVPby Max Savonin CEO at KeenEthics
People with no experience in software design and development believe that the job of a designer is all about drawing, choosing beautiful colors, and working Photoshop wonders. Meanwhile, people with some experience in the sphere know that the job of a UI/UX designer is very technical and business-oriented. In fact, the primary duty of a user interface and user experience designer is to create an elegant software product, which will meet high standards of usability, will be technically double, and will help a business succeed. To do so, a UI UX design company uses such tools as PoC, wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and minimum viable products. What are these about and what are they for, we will consider in this article.
The proof of concept is a design and development approach aimed to prove the technical feasibility of an innovative idea. In other words, if you have an idea which noone has ever though about yet, you need to prove that it can be technically implemented. For instance, if you want to implement a footer not at the bottom of the page but at the side of it, you have to create a design to prove that it is possible. Depending on the goals of it, PoC can be developed with the help of design tools, such as Figma or Sketch, or in code. The greatest benefit of PoC consists in the fact that you do not have to develop any unnecessary functionality or design elements — only the function or a design element the feasibility of which you want to prove.
The wireframe is a sketched plan of the software solution structure and user flows. It can be created with the help of simple sketching software or drawn by hand with a pencil. The purpose of it is to plan which elements each particular page will contain, and how these pages are interconnected, how a user can navigate from one screen to the other screen. You can show these wireframes to a client for them to review your idea before you invest a lot of effort and hours in full-fledged design development. To understand better, wireframe in software development is like the draft blueprint in architecture.
The mockup is a static picture of middle or high fidelity. The purpose of mockup is to display color schemes, content layouts, fonts, icons, navigation visuals, other visuals, and the overall feeling of the future design. Content layout is the way page content is displayed on the screen, for example, Z-pattern or F-pattern. Color scheme is all the colors and shades used in the project. Typography comprises all the fonts, sizes, styles, and other formatting properties of the text used on the page. Spacing includes the space which will be empty and the space which will be filled. Navigation visuals is about menus, sliders, arrows, toggles, buttons, and other elements that enable navigation across different pages of the software. Other visuals include all the images, icons, and decorative elements that were not covered in the categories above. Mockups can be developed using such tools as Sketch or Figma. However, the choice of such tools is so vast that it fully depends on a particular designer. The duration of mockup development depends on the skills of the designer and the complexity of the project.
There are different definitions of prototype. If to explain in layman's language, in UI/UX design, the prototype is a clickable mockup. It is the collection of all the mocked-up screens with clickable navigation elements. This way, the client can get a real feel of the future app and test its functionality and behavior, not only looks. Also, a developer who checks with the prototype while developing a software solution can easily see which button should lead to which screen. Prototypes can be developed with such tools as InVision or Figma.
The minimum viable product is a very basic version of the software product. It looks like a product and feels like a product but implements fewer functions, is not necessarily perfect in terms of design and code quality, and serves to validate the idea through market testing. Basically, it is a software solution, which is not released to the broad audience but is used for market testing processes. The MVP development also involves a lot of coding. Among all the processes described in this article, MVP development is the most expensive and lengthy one. Yet, the outcome is also the most significant: it is the optimal way to predict is the users will be willing you use your software and to pay for it.
PoC development, wireframing, mockuping, prototyping, and MVP development are equally important UI/UX design processes. Each process has a unique purpose, so the choice of which to implement depends on the project needs and goals. In any case, if you need help with UI UX design services, please let us know. Whatever process or processes you will choose to embark on, we will be happy to help.
Created on Jul 10th 2020 02:47. Viewed 1,348 times.