author Marlee Hirson, Wednesday November 4, 2015

The recent blog post, “6 Ways a Prototype Can Prevent a Mobile UI Disaster”, by highlighted an aspect of AppArmor’s design process, which is the importance of digital prototypes. discusses how digital prototypes are imperative to the design process because mobile UI designs that are visually appealing on a paper in front of you can fail to transfer well on a screen. This is from the design process and holds true to the design process of our custom safety apps. But digital prototyping holds serious value for the safety component of our app.

Confidence Through Testing

An enormous amount of testing goes into the development of each our custom safety apps, as it is critical that we ensure every feature and aspect of the mobile UI design is effective. Every second counts during a real-life emergency; the UI design needs to be easy-to-use and accessible in order to save the user valuable time.

As an example, the user needs to be able to find the emergency contact or tool they need immediately, and having an interface that is not intuitive will be problematic (to say the least). That’s why we create digital prototypes for each custom mobile safety app and vet it with our partner institutions. The institution needs to use the safety app for themselves, see how it works and understand its usage in an emergency.

Prototypes Allow For Complete Customization

Creating prototypes with our partner schools also allows us to design an app to the specific student body, and as a result, get more downloads. If more students download the app, then more students are equipped with safety tools and resources in the case of an emergency. Getting feedback from our partner schools gives us insight into how we can design our app to be more user-friendly and more appealing to their unique user base.

Utilizing custom mobile prototypes for our safety apps allows us to more effectively collaborate with our partner school and ensure that their needs, and their students’ needs are met through our safety app.

The bottom line is that using a prototype approach is essential in how we are able to make our safety apps all uniquely customized to each institution. In all aspects - UI design, feature use, and institutional branding - prototyping has made our custom mobile safety apps tremendously more effective.

What do you think of digital prototypes? Do you feel like they should be a necessary part of the design process? What was your experience with a mobile app prototype? Comment below and tell us what you think!