Completing a side project is not easy, especially if it’s your first time. A brilliant idea that sounds simple at first can get very complicated, extremely fast.
There are many questions you’ll have to answer as you go — for the business, its product development, branding and design.
Luckily there are many great tools that can help you navigate the murky waters of web development without losing your head.
One of the better classes of tools that will help you complete your side project are prototyping tools. A mockup & prototyping tool, for those who haven’t used one yet, lets a user quickly compose an interface for a desktop, web, mobile, or watch product from standard pre-built components and attach logic on top for page transitions, animations, form validations and more.
Prototyping will drastically cut your work time, whether you’re working alone or with a team. Not clear how? Here’s why you should start using a prototyping tool for your side project today
1. Unleash your creativity
Every side project starts with a burst of creativity that fuels your energy to build. It’s critical you focus exclusively on expressing the big idea in a convenient, flowing, medium while providing as much detail as possible for later stages of the project.
Some people write documents, others create flow charts, but the fastest, most useful way to describe your side project is as an interactive prototype. Interactive prototypes let you express your creativity visually in the quickest way possible and even test your side project idea with people whose input you value before paying a designer or writing a line of code.
2. Lower mental load
Using a prototyping tool to plan your side project will allow you to reason about your idea at a high level fast, you’ll notice & correct issues with the original idea quicker and get a great picture for what you’re setting to achieve.
Once you have a complete interface in front of you to work from, and you’ve offloaded all key decisions from your mind, development will become simpler and you’ll make progress faster.
3. Never forget a requirement
There are a lot of moving parts to a web or mobile app and development can be very stressful once the complexity of the app grows. It’s almost a guaranteed we forget an important feature that could be a difference maker down the road.
Take the time to plan well and make sure you never forget a feature you’ll need later
4. Improve your chance to finish
Most side project do not get completed, it’s a fact . Running from idea to development without proper planning and sharing of your prototype with potential customers can lead you down a black hole that will suck years out of your life.
If you want to finish your side project in reasonable time, embrace proper planning!
just like the big boys in silicon valley. Prototype your idea from start to finish and share it with your target audience to understand how you fit for them.
Complete a prototype of your interface and you’ll save a ton of headaches down the road and that means you’ll actually stand a chance to complete your next side project rather and not lose your direction half way through.
The writer of this piece is one of the founders of ux-app.com, a browser based mockup & prototyping tool. Want to try prototyping with UX-App?