Mobile Mock-Ups- Are They Essential? Top 5 Reasons To Consider Them

Imagine building a house without a blueprint. Just picking up the material you hope will work and then making up something you have dreamt of your ‘dream space.’ What are the chances you will get the house built exactly matching your expectations? Certainly, it’s fewer.
On the other hand, when you connect with the architect, discuss your dream home, and the minimum expectations, he first draws out a blueprint including house structure, layout, number of rooms, and interior design before the bricks foundation laid. This process helps in syncing your expectations with the end house to be built.

You must be thinking- what’s this has to do with mobile mocks-ups?

When outsourcing or hiring an in-house team to get build the mobile app, you explain the unique app idea, the features, design expectations, and the target users. Post-explanation, with little-to-no communication in between when you finally see the app idea translated into a reality, the likelihood of getting the mobile app as you have envisioned is lesser.

In order to get the app developed which completely align with the business vision and meet the customers’ needs, it’s good to get built a visual representation of the future app including visual elements, page layout, and click interactions before the actual coding starts. The high-end representation is termed as mock-ups that gives a feel of how the app will look like and bring the client and development team on the same page.

Before we will discuss why and when to go with mobile mock-up development, let’s discuss what the mock-ups are:

The mock-up is a medium-fidelity representation of the app idea that brings the app closer to reality. The static visual look of the app is more about images, logos, icons, colors, and fonts that can be produced quickly. There are much software available such as Axure, OmniGraffle, UXPin, Illustrator, and Moqups that allow the team to build the mock-ups in a day based on what they have conveyed.
It makes perfect sense to build mock-ups as they strike a fine balance between true-life representation of the app and ease of modification. They are useful to figure out the visual hierarchy, or user flows in creative phase and features in the production phase so that both phases of app development can be quickly ideated and iterated before investing efforts into the coding process.

Let’s discuss the benefits of creating a mock-up for the next mobile application in detail:

Eliminate the disconnect between client and development company
The mobile mock-up development mandates the involvement of both client and development team during the app development process which ensures excellent communication. The examination of features in greater detail leads to the exchange of more ideas and feedback which further lays the foundation of the best app which meets the organizational goals.

As the app development progresses, the numerous changes in features and design came, which can be easily incorporated by iterating the storylines of the mock-ups. Thereby changes can be precisely estimated and there will be no waste of time, efforts, and dollars in building unexpected functionalities and then again modifying them.

Bring designers close to reality
With hardware and software fragmentation, it’s important to craft the interface that looks amazing on every screen size. The greater degree of responsiveness, adaptability, and flexibility needs to be ingrained in the design, so it’s vital for the designers to have a rough idea about how exactly the client wants the design to be. That’s where creating multiple mock-up views for smartphone, tablet, and phablet view make perfect sense.

Under the mock-up umbrella, the layout gives insights into how various elements such as images, text box, videos, info cards, titles, borders, or positioning will be done. Additionally, the design elements like- branding and logo, colors, navigational elements, typography, and images are illustrated to determine the app look and feel. Not to forget, making the mock-up clickable as it simplifies the app interactions.

By doing so, the design handoff becomes simplified and letting the client visualize the app design will be easier.

Clear up the expectations for developers from the outset
Having mobile mock-ups reduces the need for developers to pour in additional hours in creating a logical and hierarchical information architecture that delivers a coherent experience to the users. The already planned out mobile app IA, user interactions, navigational structure, and design elements makes the developer handoff seamless and they can start coding the app.

Alone the mock-up is not enough, the product brief including the product description, features, and how they work, technical specifications, assets, style guides, screens, and other documents should be shared before the project goes into the coding as it ensures things go as smoothly as possible.

Helps in building a user-centric app
The users are the real king of the app development space where everything from designing to development, is done wearing the users’ lens, else upping the app’s ante is beyond the bounds of possibility. The stellar design and unmatched experience can¬ take the mobile app game up a notch or two. See how creating a mock-up is the best solution.

The minimalistic design, optimal features, and screen size adaptability are ruling in the app landscape and it delights the users that are using the same app on different devices such as a tablet, smartphone, or phablet. When the simple, clean, and elegant layout created in the mock-ups for the small screen (Where typography and CTAs are mobile-optimized), it looks visually appealing as compared to cluttered one. Later, the app design can be scaled up for bigger screens which will never impact the content readability and interfere with the user experience.

The competition is already thinking mobile-first and if the app doesn’t offer great user experience, you probably lose them to the competitors.

Insure the app against unpleasant surprises
The mock-up is a foundation of the app that can be altered to meet the business goals. The client testing that’s a form of user testing is an add-on that provides precise suggestions to improve and create the brilliant mock-up so that changes can be triggered early on that save costs in the long run (The developers are not required to pay twice for the changes which were actually misunderstood during app idea explanation).

It’s quite inexpensive to rectify the problems in the initial stage rather than at the end when the full-fledged solution is built. It gives businesses a financial advantage. For the time-critical mobile app launches, making the changes at the end puts the businesses in trouble because it negatively impacts the app marketing and customer’s outreach.

Wrap up
Mobile mock-ups not just seal the app requirements in the game while showing an interactive visual solution of the future app to the client that ensures the team is heading in the right direction. Also, the user testing helps in avoiding expensive and time-consuming mistakes down the road alongside facilitating seamless hand-off to designers and developers when the project actually goes into development and designing. Thereby it eliminates a lot of disconnects and reduces the possibility of misunderstanding, cost overruns, and project failure.
The range of benefits give no reasons to not take the idea of designing responsive mock-ups seriously. Consider mock-up creation as the part and parcel of the app development process that will pay you off later.