Use Mockup testing to improve usability of your projects - build better apps and websites

Małgosia Garapich-Nowicka
February 28, 2024

Wanna create products and solutions without a miss? Use mockup testing to improve usability of your projects - build better apps and websites.

In a creative process, designers sketch first and show final ideas with drawings or digital formats. These formats help to talk about ideas with other people involved in the project and are used to agree on the final design before testing it. These images are called mockups.

Mockups allow us to answer a lot of questions that may have been raised earlier in the design process. To see if a product works, it needs to be tested and put under evaluation, before further development. A great way to do this is with mockups because they're fast, easy, and cheap. Mockups are visual representations of a design that show just the design, not the background. That makes it open for modification, as it lets us swap images with others, if needed. Mockups are widely used in business, to run all sorts of tests and performance evaluation. And that may be an inspiration, why you should too. 

What is a mockup?

A mockup is a visual blueprint of a product. Website mockup, mobile app mockup or other is a medium-fidelity image that shows how the final design of a product will look. Usually, it's not interactive (so you can't click on it), but it shows all the main design elements like the text style, icons, colors, and images that users will interact with. Being a visual representation of an object or product, mockups help designers streamline their workflow, test new products and reduce risk before launching them into production. This type of design serves as a middle step between a low-fidelity wireframe and a high-fidelity prototype. And the good thing is, you can easily create the mockup you need, using a free template! 

Using a mockup helps to plan and organize a product visually. It allows one to move ideas from one's mind to a physical form, making it easier to start creating the actual product. With a mockup, you can carefully decide on the look and feel of the product, including things like colors, layout, and how it works.

What mockups are used for?

Generally speaking mockups are used to test UX and UI, so a visual approach taken when developing the product, as well as its functionality. What can you gain by carrying out mockup tests and performance studies?  

  • Speeding up development: Mockups give the team a visual guide. This helps them discuss details like size, spacing, layout, color, and font, leading to faster product development and market launch.
  • Getting useful feedback: Mockups show the final product design, so stakeholders can better understand it and provide helpful feedback.
  • Getting a realistic view: Mockups let designers see how the design will look on web and mobile. This can help spot issues with color, font, accessibility, and layout.
  • Increasing flexibility: Mockups make it easier to change designs. Using reusable components and design systems lets you quickly make changes to designs rather than changing the product's code after launch, saving time and money.

What’s the difference between mockup and prototype?

Prototypes let users click and interact with the design. They're used near the end of designing to show how people might use the product every day. This helps find problems and improve the user's experience.

Mockups, however, aren't clickable or interactive. They're simpler designs that show what the final product might look like, focusing mainly on visuals.

What is mockup testing and why should you do it?

In simple terms, mockup testing allows users to try out a design or prototype. This helps to check its appearance (UI) and ease of use (UX). You might only be testing how the design looks. For instance, is a website tidy or messy? Can you easily find the main menu? 

With a more detailed mockup, users can click buttons and see how it feels to move around your app or website. Mockup testing is important for making a website or mobile app easy to use. It's a step that shouldn't be missed.

Different tests that can be carried out on a mockup:

  • concept testing (it is a way to check your ideas and designs concepts. You ask your future customers what they think about your idea, no matter how developed it is. This can help you make good choices and avoid mistakes.) 
  • message testing (it is a way to find out how well a company's marketing message connects with the people it's trying to reach. It's all about trying different versions of a message to see which one works best. By doing this, companies can figure out the best way to talk to their target audience, or even discover new groups of users.)
  • competitive testing (it is a way to study both your direct and indirect rivals and assess their good and bad points. You do this to understand your competitors' plans and their place in the market, particularly compared to your business. This can help you learn useful tips for running your business and what to avoid, spot chances in the market, and make better design choices.)
  • usability testing (it is a way to see how easy to use your digital product, like a website or app is. You do this by asking users to do specific tasks and watching them. Simply put, usability tests check if users can use a product or service easily, quickly, and if they are happy with it.)

The insights gained from these tests can significantly enhance the strength and user experience (UX) of your mockup. This is helpful for repeat processes and knowing how users may use your product's design and content.

A mockup helps check the UI and UX before we start coding. It often includes features like hover states and click states. Using a realistic mockup lets us test these features without coding, saving time and resources.

It's smart to test a mockup for usability before we start coding. This helps us find potential problems early, so we can fix them before the product launches.

Eye-Tracking mockup testing with

Put the neuroscience to work with the mockup test method. It is an easy and cost effective way to look at your designs with your users eyes and give them a try. Take a while to watch our step by step guide and get to know our tool, as well as the benefits of eye-tracking technology we offer. 


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