May 24, 2024

Harnessing the Potential of Prototype Figma for Seamless Design Workflows

Figma is a software design tool that makes creating designs, prototypes and wireframes easier and more efficient for teams. Using Figma, your entire team can work on the same design page simultaneously.

So if a designer has feedback for a developer they can provide it to the developer and watch it be implemented on the same page immediately. Other members of the team can comment on the page as well. You can create designs for your website, application, and product very smoothly. 

What is a Prototype? 

Imagine having a product idea for a new pair of sunglasses. You communicate your idea with the whole team, and you start creating designs for it. Until you execute that design, there is no way to know if it is sellable and can actually be executed.

In the process of creating the product, several changes could occur in the design, material used, color, and functionality. This process of creating versions of the final product is called a prototype. A simple definition of a Prototype is the early stage version of a final product.

When we refer to products, we are talking about designs, applications, wireframes, and any creation of a commodity that is in its revising stages. Many companies might not use the final raw materials to make the prototype to save costs. The number and quality of the prototype varies depending on the resources and requirements of the project and organization.

Importance of Prototyping 

Prototyping is often considered to be a high-cost process of creating early-stage versions of the final product. For this reason, it may not seem like a viable option for early-stage businesses.

But in the last few years, with the development of advanced technology and software, Prototyping using software tools has made it easier for companies to care for better products without spending large amounts of resources. 

Pushing your creative boundaries

Realistically, if you and your team spent hours ideating on a design and executed that idea without revisions or additional feedback, the product could still work. Still, the possibility of creating an even better design would be lost.

When we go through a trial and error process, we challenge ourselves to think differently and creatively each time. On top of that, when you get feedback from multiple perspectives, you are now looking at your creation from someone else’s lens, which ultimately is going to happen when the users come across your design.

Without this process you may, designers may get too comfortable with their existing creative ideation and not explore other ways of bringing a design to life. 

Fosters team collaboration

Depending on the organization's size, designers may either be working on the entire project on their own or may have a team to help ideate and execute a design. Regardless of the situation, in most cases, there are a few different people involved when it comes to getting a final product to the user.

Prototyping is the stage of creation that allows other people within the organization to share their feedback on what works and what doesn’t. This acts as a great way for designers to communicate their thought processes with their team much better and also gives the team the opportunity to work with each other and brainstorm on improvements. 

Find the best version

When creating prototypes of your designs, you may find that there are two or three versions that could work equally well in the market. If you only create one version of a product, you might miss out on the possibility that there are many ways to make an idea come to life.

If you have two different versions of a website prototype, you could even do an A/B testing round to let the users decide which website works best for them before creating a final product. 

Save money in the long run

The cost of creating prototypes differs based on the type of prototype that is being developed. Regardless of the financial constraints, if businesses consider creating some version of a prototype, even if it’s digital, they will still be one step ahead of teams that forgo Prototyping entirely. 

The process itself can be time-consuming and requires multiple rounds of testing and communication, but it also saves you as a business from putting a product out that the users don’t connect with. Businesses should try to understand the value that prototyping can bring them in the long run and even save additional effort later on from the design team. 

Why Figma is a beneficial tool for Prototyping  

Figma was launched as software to revolutionize the way people design and collaborate in a team. It made the design process accessible for people who did not understand the technical nuances of design and code.

Now, designers can easily communicate and work with multiple people at the same time, even when they are miles away from each other.

1.You can send files with no effort 

With Figma, you can easily activate file sharing and customize settings for each user accessing the file. This makes accessing files very easy and seamless, especially if you are trying to show clients or supervisors your progress with the prototype. 

They can see directly how the design was translated. You also add security and permissions to ensure only the core team can access specific sensitive data. For instance, if you can prevent a member from downloading or sharing a file. 

2.Work with multiple team members at the same time 

Prototyping is a very collaborative process, so when creating any prototype using software, multiple designers will often be involved, and other team members will want to give their input. All of this has been made possible using Figma.

Figma has made this possible with their collaboration feature on the same page. Other team members can even make instant notes and give feedback as you are working on the project. So, a designer can change the color of the prototype, and on the same page, a developer can create custom code without lags slowing them down. 

3.Seamless and easy for non-designers

If you are a designer, you are likely used to experimenting with different software to determine what works in the product design process. A large part of creating a good prototype requires input from other team members from non-technical backgrounds, either business or marketing, to provide insights into the business perspective. 

Figma makes the site easy to navigate. It was created as a tool for better collaboration. It has an intuitive interface that is easy to use and communicate ideas with, even for beginners. 

4.Ability to embed your prototype on other platforms

You can easily embed any kind of file on Figma and share your prototype by embedding it onto other platforms. So, if you have a presentation and want to share your designs on the screen, you can do that with no issues whatsoever. 

5.Organize your files in one place

When you are working on a project as a designer, there are many processes and steps to reach the final product: research, design sketches, and feedback from teams. 

If you use multiple different software for various processes, it can be hard to keep track of which file was used for what when creating your prototype. With Figma, you can organize all your files in one place, even if they were made on a different platform. 


Types of Prototyping one can do using Figma 

1.Low-fidelity Prototyping 

This type of prototyping allows designers to create simple prototypes without spending large amounts of resources. The idea is to translate the concept into reality. The focus is more than just getting all the elements on the prototype. It’s more about getting the idea and the visual shape right. 

This type of Prototyping is supposed to be cost-effective because it’s mostly done using paper, digital sketches, or wireframes. It’s great for visualizing a product and to get started on the product creation process. The stakes are also low because you can easily create another sketch or make changes. 

2. High-fidelity prototyping

This is a more advanced level of Prototyping because it places great focus on the interactive and functional elements of design. Especially if it’s a more complex product like a phone, a user can recognize what the final product could look like.

This type of prototype is more expensive as it resembles the functioning of the actual product and requires more upfront investment. It’s easier to gauge any challenges with the features or design and fix them immediately.

3. Minimum viable product

A minimum viable product is an early-stage product that can be released into the market to test for its product-market fit. Since it’s a functional product, businesses can gauge how users are receiving the product, whether they should go ahead with it, or what additional features or changes they can make.

This benefits businesses, especially startups, because they can prevent themselves from spending all their resources before finding what the market has to say.

4.Rapid Prototyping

Like its name, it’s a process of reducing the time spent on product development by creating a prototype that is very similar to the end product in a short period of time. By using 3D software and other tools and following a rigorous process of testing and feedback, companies are able to spend as little time as possible creating a functional product to release into the market. 

Depending on your organization and it's requirements you choose the type of prototyping that will work best for your needs. While these additional steps might be time-consuming and expensive, they are preventing you from creating a product that the users don't want.

By creating a prototype using Figma you can test for the market fit, make continuous changes using the feedback you receive and easily communicate your ideas to the team.