Recently I got asked by one of my clients “Why are mockups necessary?”. It’s actually quite a common question, so I thought I’d share the answer here.
The entire process of making a website can be a little confusing if you’ve never had to do it before. Therefore to make things a bit more relatable, I like to loosely compare the process of making a website to building a house.
Imagine you want to build your dream house. You wouldn’t just hire a builder straight away and say “build me house!”. There would be many planning steps involved before you even consider building the house. One of those key planning steps, would be to draw out some blue prints / floor plans of the house. You would then also work with an architect to come up with a design for the house. There would then also be few more planning steps before and after this too however, my point once again, is that only once the planning is in place can you get the actual builder involved to start building the house.
How is this relevant? Well the mockup stage of the website is essentially like the architectural / designing stage of building a house. It is a visual aid which helps both the developer, and customer to be on the same page seeing a preview of what the final website may look like. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words” so having a visual mock up of what needs to be built actually goes along way.
Furthermore, I think a mockup also emphasises how important planning is for a website. Honestly speaking, the more planning time you spend on defining what you’re after in terms of both the website and it’s objectives, the more return you will see in the long run. Of course, there is always a happy medium – you wouldn’t want to spend all your time and resources on planning! But on average at least a 1/4 of the total budget for the website should be spent on planning before any code is even written to really ensure you get a website which will fulfil business goals and objectives.