Mockups - awesome or unnecessary?

Welcome to the most irritating title of the week. Okay, maybe not quite that bad. And if you don't really understand what's going on, don't worry, the important stuff follows!

What is a mockup and why should I care?

To quote our third blog post in the content series (https://www.netmax.de/en/blog/content-part3-free-content-sources):

"A mockup is a dummy of a product for demonstration purposes. Especially when it comes to the design of virtual or real products, a mockup is first used to present the design without the product itself having been developed or being functional."

The reasons to create a mockup are of course different depending on the use case, but mostly it is to create a prototype for presentation, discussion and explanation of a planned product.

Let's take software as an example: Mockup tools allow the user to create a design prototype without writing a single line of code. This means that the design and the functions can be discussed before the actual programming work begins. Furthermore, a mockup also ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals and the same design principles.

Of course, such things can also be done without mockups, but a visual representation helps immensely to communicate one's ideas and visions.

Mockups are usually easier to modify than the code of an actual application. But again: It depends on the use case.

Tools

Since I only work with Adobe XD myself, I can't really recommend other tools, but other users can! Here are a few links to other resources:

Well, what are the pros and cons?

Well, sounds like everything's nice and fancy, doesn't it?

Pros

Some points in favor of mockups have already been mentioned in the explanation. Firstly, the possibility of having a design prototype before beginning with the actual production of an actual product and secondly, the code-free and often simple creation of the whole mockup.

In addition, mockups are also a great tool to sell or present a design idea to a customer. Because you certainly don't want to actually produce something, which could not be accepted in the end.

And that is one of the main things Mockups have going for them: They are an efficient prototyping and presentation tool for you to use.

Cons

Well then, what are the actual arguments against mockups? You still have to do some work.

It costs time and therefore effort to create a mockup. An employee has to learn the tools and has to assemble everything. And as mentioned before: For complex projects, this effort is usually effort is usually worth it. The amount of time that can be saved is immense.

But if we talk about simpler projects like a company website or a very simple app. Is a mockup worth it? Does it make sense to use a mockup simple use cases? Of course, this question cannot be answered so easily.

In the end, it is a case-by-case decision.

Conclusion

Awesome or unnecessary? That was the initial question. In any case, mockups are anything but unnecessary, and mockups have helped even us to speed up and improve our processes.

Especially when it comes to presentation and communication, there is hardly a better tool than a mockup. Therefore:

**Yes, mockups are awesome!

Well, that's it, folks! I hope you learned something or at least got some inspiration.

And If you need something: fcoenen@netmax.de is always there for you!

Thanks for tuning in!

Until then! Don't be a stranger!

Francesco Coenen

10.05.2021