From Idea to Prototype

January 3, 2016



During an old project I was working on (a social app called Wingman), I fooled around doing basic designs and wireframes on Excel (I have a Finance background so had to go with my weapon of choice). Needless to say, it looked pretty horrendous. 

What it did teach me however was the amount of detail and scrutiny required to design a proper looking app. Hence when I started to look for ways to design the idea for Mimicr (I was calling it Skreen-On! back then), I decided to do some research to find out if there was anything out there that would simplify the design process. That’s when I stumbled upon Keynotopia. Its author Amir Khella, had painstakingly designed and packaged design templates that could be used in most basic apps. He was selling them on his website in Keynote and PowerPoint formats. You can check his video here. I don’t use any mac products so I decided to give the PowerPoint version a try (PowerPoint was my second weapon of choice).


I started to slowly put the prototype together. I wanted the app to have a simple yet playful and sophisticated feel.  I referenced apps that I enjoy using to study the details that make them stand out (Viber, Spotify, Square Cash, Shazam to name a few). Bit by bit, the theme of the app began to emerge; from colors, to font selection, to icons and animations. A process that I thought would be done in a weekend ended up taking three months.  Nevertheless, I had designed every single page of the app and linked every page together with hyperlinks to make it act like an actual app. Here is a video of me demonstrating the prototype all done with PowerPoint.  A couple of points to make before you see the video”

  • This was the very first prototype; the designs (along with the name of the app) have now changed after the involvement of Messapps (the development shop I'm using for the app development; which I will cover in a future post)

  • It was designed at the time to be an IOS app :) (To be also covered in a future post)



So was the prototype worth it? Well, I’ve managed to use it to easily communicate my idea to developers that I was interviewing and quickly determine with certainty if they were capable of creating this app or not.  I’ve used it to demo my idea to my family and friends who ended up investing in the company among other things. So yes, it was definitely time well spent! Stay tuned to find out how the app finally looks now!


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