Prototyping & Concept Development

Concept Development and Prototyping can be the difference between creating a good product and an exceptional one. We take the best ideas that emerge from our UX Strategy work and translate them into interactive prototypes to test design assumptions and enhance the quality of our clients’ products.

Strategic Concepting

Leveraging our UX Strategy practice, the Concept Development process begins with a focused discovery effort across three parallel tracks: Market Analysis, Business Opportunity, and User-focused Research. This process enables our team to quickly envision varied, evidence-based concepts that will drive value for your business and your users.

Concept Validation and Testing

The WillowTree Research team then tests the concepts or ideas through quantitative (Kano Surveys) and qualitative methods. By interweaving research methods, clients are left with a clear prioritization of what moves the needle for specific segments of users.

Rapid Prototyping

Once a direction emerges from the early phases of the process, design and engineering teams have three options for rapidly prototyping a concept. (In order of lowest effort/fidelity to highest effort/fidelity)

  1. Clickatype (Clickable Prototype) – Leveraging tools like the Invision App or Flinto, our designers link visual designs together with ‘hot zones’ to demonstrate user flows. The prototype goal is to quickly demonstrate an idea, but not test for things like interactivity (e.g. forms, dynamic views/data).
  2. Interactive Prototype – With this higher-fidelity approach to prototyping, designers use standard presentation layer web technologies (HTML/CSS/JS) to make a concept come to life. In some conditions, a framework like Framer.js will be used to increase development speed. The Interactive Prototype method is useful in situations where interactivity or dynamic data is key to fully realizing a concept.
  3. Native Prototype – For mobile apps or TV apps, sometimes the best prototyping method is to use the native frameworks themselves; iOS, Android, tvOS, or Samsung Tizen. In order to speed development, many dynamic behaviors can be simulated client-side prior to building out web services to drive some of the experience. If the prototype must have fluid animation, dynamic data, and an interactive experience on native platforms, then building a native prototype will produce the best result.