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August 2021

The Power of Interactive Prototypes

What is a Interactive Prototype?

Prototypes are used at each stage of the design process to validate ideas. The primary focus of a prototype is to allow designers, developers and users to test and explore the usability of a product before it's built. The ability to test early in the design process is essential for uncovering any issues.

Types of Fidelity

Fidelity refers to the level of detail, functionality and resemblance of how the final product would look. Fidelity can vary in interactivity, visuals, copy and other areas. Typically, prototypes will grow with the product, initially starting with pen and paper and finishing with a full interactive prototype including the final imagery, icons, copy, interactions and animations.

Low Fidelity Prototype

As with any prototype, whether you're designing a house, or building a car, it's always important to start with a blueprint. Low fidelity (low-fi) prototypes typically begin with a pen and paper and progressively become more advanced as the product moves forward. This ensures that you have a human-centred product that is well-tested.

High Fidelity Prototype

High-fidelity (hi-fi) prototypes usually resemble a finished product or minimum viable product (MVP). Hi-fi prototypes are interactive and closely behave like a live website or product, this allow for accurate user testing.

At NORF, we use Figma & Adobe XD to collaborate with our clients allowing them to test their product with their customers at an early stage in the design process. We've saved our clients time and money by advising to test on a prototype rather than developing a hard-coded MVP.


The benefits of prototyping for mobile and web design projects has grown substantially in the last few years, and it continues to do so. Below are just a handful of some of the benefits of prototyping...

💰 Cost savings

The biggest selling point of a prototype is the cost savings. Hiring a development team can become expensive quickly, by prototyping early you could save thousands of pounds through discovering if something works well or not before writing a single line of code, imagine building a full MVP only to find it's not something your users want.

✅ Validation

You may have a few concepts or ideas that you are thinking of implementing. Prototyping allows you to test out the proposed solutions to a particular problem at an early stage in the design process. You can validate your concepts through the feedback of your users before development.

👨 User Testing

Interactive prototypes are great for user testing, by creating a clickable prototype that closely represents the final interface, you are able to undertake usability testing to ensure your users are able to complete the tasks you are testing. This uncovers any user cases you may not have considered, listening to your users is an effective way to find solutions to UX problems.

⚡ Engaging

High fidelity prototypes in particular allow your team, stakeholders and potential customers to get an accurate understanding of how the finished product will look, function and whether it is solving the original identified problem.

🤔 Feasibility

Prototypes are important for the design to development handover, allowing the development team to see layout, structure, and interactions gives a better understanding of whether the solutions is technically feasible. You can set clear expectations with developers in the early stages on build times and proposed costs.

Identify the right fidelity for your prototype

One of the main mistakes with prototyping is designing at the wrong fidelity. As most things, there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, Instead, you should evaluated based on each scenario.

Low-fidelity prototypes may be best for speed and flexibility at an early stage. If you're looking for more accurate user feedback and want to gather more data on specific areas of your product, then working to a higher fidelity prototype may be the way to go.

Here are some great tools to experiment with:

- Moqups

- Figma

- Adobe XD

- Invision Studio

- Sketch

- ProtoPie

- Framer

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