Clickable Prototype

3 Contributors
Last updated 25 Nov 08:07

TL;DR

Get feedback on your product by creating a Clickable Prototype! Read how to create an efficient one.

What Is a Clickable Prototype?

A Clickable Prototype shows a visual representation of the user interface of a website or software application. Unlike static wireframes or mockups, it can show several states of the application - for example, a drop-down menu, or initially hidden additional information or fields may appear. A Clickable Prototype offers an interactive experience very similar to a finalized application.

Prototypes are often made in the cheapest way and usually at a lower level of detail than a final product.

Clickable Prototype
Openclassrooms: Source: Create and test your clickable prototype

Why You Might Want a Clickable Prototype

A Clickable Prototype is used as a presentation of the future product to gather more accurate feedback (typically via UX tests) from:

  • Product owners/decision makers They choose what is in and out of scope and what is part of MVP. Clickable Prototypes help to generate support, gain agreement or even investment for the project.
  • Developers It helps them to better understand the product. A prototype may reduce misunderstanding between developers and product owners or UX experts.
  • End users It lets them realize and confirm what they want. By using prototyping as an agile tool it is possible to test theories and ideas (for example, design or layout of the website). Prototypes help prevent drastic late changes or even rejection of the finalized product.

Software development which using prototyping can be faster and more cost-effective than programming, minimizing wasted effort on unwanted functionality.

Problems the Clickable Prototype Solves

How to Implement the Clickable Prototype

It is recommended to start with a simple wireframe (pen + paper). Your head thinks only about the prototype and not about the tool. If your paper Clickable Prototype is not sufficient for the purpose, continue with advanced prototyping.

Keep particular versions of the prototype, because you might want to come back to an initial idea during the project. It is possible to reuse some components among projects (for example, a menu bar across a corporate internet banking system).

There are a lot of prototyping tools on the market, such as Axure, Sketch, Balsamiq, Proto.io or Justinmind.

It is possible to create a great prototype with PowerPoint or Keynote. A prototyper is usually a UX designer and does not necessarily have developer skills.

Common Pitfalls of Clickable Prototype

  • Slowdown A Clickable Prototype usually clarifies communication between decision makers and the rest of the team. Sometimes it can conversely cause a slowdown of development, for example UX specialist/prototyper is on the other end of the globe than product owner and developer. Communication can be in this case very difficult.
  • Unnecessary It follows the point above: sometimes programming possible scenarios can be cheaper and faster than prototyping, and a paper or a blackboard wireframe might be sufficient. Consider whether it is necessary.
  • Too much detail The level of detail of the Clickable Prototypes should depend on the type of project. For example, a prototype for usability testing might be closer to the reality than for presentation on management board.
  • Stakeholders are confused Stakeholders sometimes think that the Prototype is the final product. Ensure that they have enough information about what the Prototypes are for.

Resources for the Clickable Prototype