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What Is a Mockup and Why Do We Need It

© by Photo courtesy of Pixabay

About 50% of an app or website developer’s budget goes to the application design. Unfortunately, it can take up to 160 hours to code an essential app, which is a lot of time to prepare a custom visual design. Well, it is true to say that a developer will cater to the look and feel of an app, and it is the main reason why product owners run to them for such services.

For clarity, developers do that task perfectly, but they only address the engineering part of it. That leaves out the selection of shapes, fonts, and colors. You’ll have to look for an expert in UI/UX design services if you are looking for a usable and elegant app. Designers create mockups, not developers! So what is a mockup anyway?

What Is a Mockup?

It is important not to confuse a mockup with either a wireframe, a prototype, or a design. A wireframe is a low fidelity blueprint represented with placeholders and gray boxes purposed for content. On the other hand, a prototype demonstrates how a design works. A design is the design process and result.

A mockup is defined as a mid to high-fidelity static picture. The purpose of a mockup is to demonstrate content layouts, icons, images, color scheme, fonts, navigation visuals, and the general feeling of a future software user experience and product design. A mockup will check on features such as

  1. Content Layout – this is the content’s display on the screen or page. The different layouts include the Z-pattern layout, the F-pattern layout, or the Gutenberg diagram.
  2. Typography – addressed the alignment, font type, font styles and size, and text spacing. They should ensure that all the content is readable.
  3. Navigation Visuals – it’s how the project’s structure is incorporated. The alternatives include a slider, footer, sliders, pull-down menu, toggles, and a set of arrows.
  4. Color Scheme – these are the colors and shade of the project. You would want to wisely select the colors because they affect user behavior and experience. Good color contrast is also crucial for all elements to be correctly visible.
  5. Spacing – it just defines which spaces you should fill and which ones should remain blank.
  6. Other Visuals – these involve decorative elements such as icons and background.

How are Mockups Developed?

Mockups can be created in all visual app design software. Some of the best examples include Adobe, Figma, Sketch, Photoshop, etc.

How Long Does Mockup Development Take?

There isn’t a proper duration stated to be an ideal period for the mockup development. Two significant limitations should be considered; all UI/UX designers are different, and all apps or websites are other. Some of the considerations that you should put in place before requesting a mockup development estimate include

  • The number of pages and screens to be drawn by the UI/UX designer
  • The functionality of the app/website and the navigation across it
  • The particular style guide you want to be followed
  • The screen sizes

How Do Mockups Fit Into the UX Design Process?

Every UI/UX designer enjoys the freedom to shift the design process which best fits them. The app design software comes in handy in multiple approaches, but there are only two main strategies to fit mockups into a UX design process. These strategies are

  1. Wireframe => Mockup => Prototype (it’s the typical point A to point B format)
  2. Wireframe => Lo-fi Prototype => Hi-fi Mockup => Hi-fi Prototype (for this format prototyping immediately follows wireframing)

Why Do We Need Mockups?

There are several reasons why mockups are of great importance to a UI/UX designer. Some of the importance include

  • You can’t get a markup estimate without mockups
  • You can’t do HTML coding without mockups
  • There will be no investors without mockups
  • There will be no users without mockups

It is essential to consider the significance of mockups in the general UX design process. And it is also wise to enjoy the benefits of mockups, such as being realistic, convincing, and quickly revised. Every web or app designer should include mockups into their next project for effective results.