This semester, we learn that the typical linear work process (more commonly referred to as the waterfall model, is not always the best choice for projects. In scenarios where you want to prioritize the user journey, constant prototyping, testing, and feedback is required to meet customer needs and create the best product possible. When creating prototypes, it’s easy to get caught up in the design and overall step-by-step creation procedure and lose sight of the original goal. That’s why, it’s actually found to be better to work backwards when starting your prototype- as it creates a heavy focus for the problem/solution you are trying to create.
Now, that isn’t to say this is necessarily the must-do for the very start of your prototype- design-system curation is still extremely important in order to create an efficient workflow. This means you definitely shouldn’t skimp out on your initial components, moodboards, assets, and design guidelines!
When prototyping, starting from the end usually means designing the end screen. This is where you would want your users to end up, and once you can envision this- you can then push all your efforts into creating a flow that guides the users naturally to that end result. With the end screen constantly within sight, it keeps the overall goal in mind from the very start. Of course, assuming you’re already at the prototyping stage, you should have your user journey map ready for reference in order to prioritize the end goals for your user interaction. Do you want your user to eventually subscribe? Reach your contact page? Finish the cart shopping experience? If you have multiple goals you need to reach, you’ll need to create each end screen. With each of these goal markers set up on your prototype page, it becomes much easier to organize separate flows that play together consistently.
On a final note, if you were like me, you might have been prototyping with the idea in mind that all of the flows you want to present from your product need to be linked together. This actually isn’t the case, and would end up backfiring on you if you were trying to present a great number of end screens. For each user interaction flow, you want to create a separate viewing experience with the intended direction of your audience. For example, if you want to show someone adding something to their cart and checking out, you shouldn’t enable interaction on the contact or subscribe buttons, as this could confuse anyone who is viewing your prototype without context. Figma’s prototype viewing experience is pretty useful, as if you were to click anywhere non-interactive on your screen, the interactive clickables would flash to show where you can click. With all this in mind, hopefully anyone who stumbles upon this piece will feel more confident in creating their prototype! By starting at the end, the vision and scope of the overall project feels a lot more manageable.
Nyman, L. (2017, June 26). Planning your prototype with a customer journey map. Mind the Product. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from https://www.mindtheproduct.com/planning-prototype-customer-journey-map-2/
Pela, P. (2019, March 19). Creating user journey maps and prototypes of digital products using the working backwards method. Medium. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from https://uxdesign.cc/creating-user-journey-maps-and-prototypes-of-digital-products-using-the-working-backwards-method-28096c7d9501
Siewierska, M. (2022, January 12). How to create prototypes with user journey maps. UXPressia Blog. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from https://uxpressia.com/blog/how-to-create-prototypes-with-user-journey-maps
Taruc, N. (2019, October 7). Customer journey mapping with Figma. Figma. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from https://www.figma.com/blog/customer-journey-mapping-with-figma/