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What is a Mockup?

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Definition of a Mockup

A mockup is a static representation of a product, showing users and stakeholders how it may look and be used. It contains elements such as the typography, logos, images, color schemes, and navigation visuals that will make up the final design and user experience — as well as ergonomics, where necessary.

What are mockups used for?

Mockups are used to present medium to high fidelity versions of a design during the product development process. They demonstrate a realistic layout to decision-makers and allow teams to determine which aspects of the product work well from a user’s perspective, and which do not.

Where mockups fit into the product development process

The various phases of the product development lifecycle are subject to varying levels of design complexity. Although there can be some crossover with other methods, mockups are just one of the ways to illustrate a product concept.

Earlier in the cycle, a simple sketch may be employed to brainstorm ideas. A wireframe is commonly used as a bare-bones structure of a digital product, to demonstrate the basic purpose and layout in black and white. 

If an idea is ready to progress through the design process, it may move from a mockup to a prototype. This offers an interactive simulation of the design and functionality of the product as a real, tangible experience — closer to the end product, but still with scope for improvement.

General FAQ

What is a Mockup?
A mockup is the visual reproduction of an end product, used to evaluate both its design and functional elements from a user viewpoint.
Why are Mockups important?
Mockups enable early stage testing of a product, service or design concept. This means that changes or revisions are easier to implement and less costly compared to adjustments made during latter stages of development. A mockup is an opportunity to see design decisions work together as a whole and determine if they make sense in the final version of a product before developers are involved.
Who can create a mockup?
The creation of a mockup tends to be the responsibility of a UX/UI Designer or Product Manager of an organization. However, there are many paid and free tools available to assist with the design of mockups, and these are accessible to people with varying levels of expertise.

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