A user-centered interface makes it as simple as possible for the user to understand it- even if their understanding is technically wrong. When an interface is designed for implementation models the design fails. By considering mental models instead, the design can help eliminate frustration and promote success.
Wireframes and prototypes are tools for planning, mapping, and testing those mental models throughout the design phase.
- Know why wireframes and prototypes improve usability
- Understand wireframes and when to use them
- Understand prototypes and when to use them
- Know the difference between a wireframe and prototype
- Be able to successly use wireframes and prototypes in applicable scenarios
Frequently Asked Questions
Are wireframes and prototypes a waste of time?
Wireframes and prototypes, not only help to map mental models to improve usability, but also save time, money, and stress by catching errors before production. They also help improve communication to the client and between production teams.
READ: "6 Reasons You Should Be Prototyping More"
Who can benefit from using wireframes and prototypes?
Anyone creating an interface that users will interact with can benefit from wireframes and prototypes. Because designers understand how their interface works better than anyone, they can easily fall into the implementation model trap. Wireframes and prototypes help keep the design user-centered.
WATCH: "What is a Prototype?"
How are wireframes and prototypes made?
Wireframes and prototypes come in all shapes and sizes, from low-fidely wireframes made with pencil and paper to high-fidelity prototypes made with specialty software. There's an option to fit the need of any project, no matter how big or small.
READ: "Types of Prototypes and their Usage"