Design mockups are a great way to measure and gauge the actual design of the website. The more comprehensively you incorporate elements into your website mockup the clearer the actual objectives of your client’s become.
The Purpose of a Prototype
In the world of website designing, clients always have some basic requirements which they require to be satisfied. However, they seldom have the ability to foresee the actual design of the finished product which can please their intrinsic and extrinsic demands to the fullest. This is where website development consultants can pitch in their ideas and offer them a web design prototype.
This prototype which is also known as a mock-up sometimes is basically a demo of what the actual website may look like when it goes live. However, a prototype generally goes beyond a simple mock-up due to the fact that it may showcase various features that are not fully functional but deliver basic results. This can include navigation and drop-down menus.
The main purpose of a prototype is to draw feedback from clients so that if any discrepancies exist, then they can be rectified. The majority of the time, clients may ask you to provide improvements and some polishing. Hence there is quite a bit of room to play with. Let’s take a quick look at some of the ways through which you can make a mockup to delight your clients.
Focus on Information Architecture & Structure
Your website mockup has to stand out as a high-fidelity simulation so that it showcases its latent abilities. In order to do that you need to combine your mockup with the structure and logic of the wireframe of your client’s website. The wireframe itself incorporates a visual guide and page schematic which serves as a blueprint. It is created so that arrangement of various elements can be provided which helps in fulfilling desired purposes.
There are basically three types of information structures, namely:
- Hierarchies – the best way to organize complex bodies of information. Many websites follow this structure where they are usually spread around the home page. Hierarchical organizations are also considered as user friendly.
- Sequences – may follow a chronological order, but most include a logical series of topics that start from the general topics and move towards a specific topic. Hence they support a linear navigation path.
- Webs – this follows or mimics associative thought processes and the free flow of ideas. These can include heuristic and idiosyncratic patterns. Dense links are created to help the user navigate without confusing them.
It is important to note here that a great website structure is a reflection of a good IA (Information Architecture). To master the art of creating the best information structures for your client’s website consider the following important factors:
- Content – includes all visible content including text, images, videos, or animations that are to be incorporated in the web design. The volume and nature of your content play a crucial role in this regard.
- Context – this includes your client’s business goals or any cultural context of available resources. Context also helps you find conformity with the client’s target audience and user’s intent.
- User Journey – the main purpose of any website is to serve users and provide them with convenience along with a friendly experience. This is where expectations and desired interactions come into play.
Gratify Website Wireframe Requirements
The website wireframe is a good place to start when considering delivering a mockup design for a client’s website. It can offer you the direction you need to take by incorporating the following elements:
- The range of functions that are meant to be included in the design.
- Various priorities regarding the functions and the information that has to be represented.
- The rules that govern the display of certain types of information.
- Incorporating different effects on the display under different scenarios.
The wireframe in short will help you bridge the gap between the IA and the visual design of the website.
Visuals That Add Appeal
There is no doubt that visuals play an important role when talking about website design mockups. Visual elements can include:
- Branded colors and themes
- Logos and their positioning
- Font colors, sizes, and styles
- Images & Icons
- Navigational buttons & CTAs (call to actions)
- White space (blank space)
- & much more
Remember that quality is essential when it comes to visual elements. Low and subpar quality is never accepted.
The user interface takes prominence and it is perhaps one of the most important factors of all. It showcases the interaction of the user with your design. Mockups should include clickable items that generate results or outputs. This is where you can capture the attention of stakeholders. You should also include user flows that determine navigation throughout the website. This is where you can display how one click leads to another page.
Testing your website design mockup is vital. It can help you to pinpoint improvements and identify shortcomings. Some common ways to accomplish this include:
- Assessment – always good for technology evaluation. Through this method, you can assess real-time trials and determine the reliability, usability, effectiveness, and satisfaction the mockup generates.
- Comparative – this can come in handy when there is an example or at least two different types of design mockups available. A comparative analysis can be performed to see which design matches your client’s requirements the most. Weaknesses of one design can also be interchanged with the strengths of another design.
- Explorative – this is commonly utilized during the early process of mockup development. This method tackles the thought process and the conceptual understanding behind the mockup.
The Best Tools to Help You Along the Way
Here are some tools that can assist you in developing your mockups:
- Adobe XD – a good app for UI and UX designers that can help you to deliver high-fidelity mockups for websites. It’s a free application.
- Figma – cloud-based and available at an affordable price. Good enough for both stand-alone and designer teams. It offers various functions and features for team collaboration.
- Moqups – web-based design tool that can assist you in developing mockups, prototypes, and wireframes for absolutely free. It is user-friendly and provides a rich collection of objects to play with.
Mockups can open doors for major improvements that the client may not have assimilated or thought about during their initial relay of requirements. So be patient. Eventually, things do turn around and you will end up with a design that truly mesmerizes them. If you are planning to start a business in any industry and looking for a reliable web development company, Logozila is your one-stop solution.