What Is a Web Design Prototype?

Andrew Kirmayer

A web design prototype is typically a mock-up of a website’s layout, content, and functions produced at the beginning of the development process. There is usually a map of the site as well, which can define how one will navigate from one page to another. Hypertext Programming Language (HTML) is often used to add in graphics and other elements; placement of these graphics, as well as buttons, frames, and other elements of a webpage, can be represented as web design sketches. These often aid production teams in building a site to the desired specifications.

Web design prototypes aid production teams in building a site to the desired specifications.
Web design prototypes aid production teams in building a site to the desired specifications.

There usually needs to be just enough function in a web design prototype to present its purpose at a meeting. The main graphics and colors, as well as product details and company information can be placed accordingly. Designers and managers, or other corporate decision makers, can correspond on the site’s capabilities and layout. When working in prototype production, one is often required to have programming, graphic design, and other relevant job experience.

Software programs are often available specifically for making a web design prototype. Some enable the use of HTML and other design languages. Certain programs can help design user interfaces, or construct the site layout using a drag-and-drop format. In some programs, the elements of each webpage are sketched in a wireframe format, while the functions of each part of the site can be documented within a file.

When a draft is complete, a web design prototype is often saved to common file types or printed on paper for teams to review. Requests for changes can then be made without altering the original file before this is necessary. Prototype design is usually then followed by the development of other parts of the site. Basic design elements, graphics, and colors are often approved before every section of the website is intact; content and interactive functions can be added later.

The purpose of a web design prototype can then focus on assessing how people perceive it. For this, the best way is often to find test subjects to try the site out. By asking questions on the company’s products, management, and partners, as well as how long it takes to download files on the test subject’s computer, one can usually determine whether the site functions as it was planned to. User feedback usually provides an understanding of changes needed, which can range from adding more content to remodeling the navigation scheme of the site.

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


Generally, it should be sufficient to work in the prototype design grid to provide its purpose at the meeting. You can put the main graphics and colors, and details about the product and company information later on.

Post your comments
Forgot password?