What Is a Mockup and Why Do We Need It

A mockup is an essential design tool that shows how your product will appear in real life. Mockups use layouts, color schemes, visuals, styles, and images to develop a quality static picture of how the created software design will look once it’s done.

That being said, a mockup is often confused with other design products such as prototypes and wireframes.

So, to give you a clearer picture of what a mockup is, here is everything you need to know about this design tool and why, as a designer, you should never neglect it.

What Is a Mockup?

As mentioned before, a mockup is a high or mid-fidelity representation of your final product.  Unlike a wireframe or a prototype, a mockup is easier to understand. It also provides a clearer picture of the final product to the designer, such that they don’t have to rely on their imagination to come up with the desired outcome.

Mockups mainly focus on the visual design of the product, which comprises of:

·         Typography – This consists of the font size, style, and type and how the text in the product is aligned and spaced. 

·         Color schemes – These are the colors that you’ll use in your design. Colors are an essential consideration in product development, as different colors don’t evoke the same emotions. Besides, using the wrong color in your product can negatively impact the user behavior and experience.

·         Navigation and other visuals – Navigation visuals refer to how you structure your project. Commonly used navigation visuals include drop-down and pull-down menus, arrows, sliders, footers, siders, and toggles.  A design may also have background visuals plus other images. Choosing the right visuals is crucial, as they determine the experience the user will have with your application.

·         Content layout – This refers to how your text is displayed on the screen.

·         Spacing – Spacing is a powerful tool in product development. For instance, the use of negative space can improve the readability and aesthetics of your design. With a mockup, it’s easier to decide on the spacing to use between sentences, words, images, and paragraphs.

Why Use a Mockup?

Contrary to popular belief, mockups are not used by newbie designers only. Pros designers and developers also use these design tools due to their ease of use and reliability.

And if you’re wondering if there are other reasons why you should always include mockups in your design, here are five.

1.      You Don’t Have to Rely on Your Imagination

A mockup saves you time and effort as it helps you visualize how your final product will look like without the need to rely on your imagination.

You can try out different combinations of color schemes, visuals, topography, and spacing with a mockup until you find the combination that works. 

Without mockups, designers would have no choice but to keep experimenting on their designs in the real development stage, leading to a wastage of effort and time.

2.      Easy To Revise

At the mockup stage, you will identify any potential errors and make changes to your design early enough. 

As a designer, you’ll be glad to know that you won’t need to make changes at the coding stage when you use a mockup. 

Besides, the use of mockups allows you to give your client a polished product.

3.      Mockups Are Reliable and Realistic

A mockup is a perfect representation of the actual product. You can rely on it to accurately show you how your product will appear once it’s done.  

With a mockup, you can decide if your visuals are working with the colors you’re using or if the spacing needs more work.

Besides, as a designer, you get to see the product in the end user’s eyes and make any needed changes to improve the user experience.

4.      Saves You Money

From a financial perspective, mockups are a lifesaver. 

Making changes to a product in the coding or product printing phase is expensive.  Further, making changes at the end stages derails the completion of the product.

5.      Mockups Have Convincing Power

If you need to convince your client and other stakeholders on your project before you finalize it, then using a mockup will help. You can also use a mockup to win the trust of investors.

In closing, you cannot underestimate the importance of mockups in the design phase of your product. A mockup is the perfect representation of your finished product. Besides, a mockup will save you time, effort, and money as it allows you to make changes in the early phase of product development.

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