A mockup (or mockup) is a model used to represent a design’s final result quickly. It is a word of English origin from the compound verb mockup, which means to sketch or sketch. The mockup, or model, is used in various design disciplines: graphics, web, textile, product and many more.
Is it objective? It is always the same: use the minimum of resources and time to generate a realistic result for the final project, which allows us to make decisions regarding the path that should be taken next. A design resource to better communicate the final idea of a project.
Next, we explain better what a mockup is and why you should use them.
What is a mockup?
Answering the question about what a mockup is, in graphic design, the mockup is used to visualize the result of an idea or project, showing a realistic representation to our client without spending money on real models or production. A mockup’s purpose is to validate our ideas before sending them to print or making important decisions.
It can also be used, in the case of purely digital designs, to generate more value for the product or to approximate the user experience.
Mockup for graphic design
When creating a mockup for graphic design, we compose our idea in the most realistic way possible through photomontage to get an approximation of how the project will finally look.
Mockup for web design
It has a similar meaning in web design, but we can clarify the answer about what a mockup is. In web prototyping, we find different phases, all with the same objective but different levels of detail.
The wireframe is the lowest fidelity prototyping model, in which the distribution of information is established without colours or images and with simple fonts. Only blocks are used that allow us to perceive the visual load of the elements.
In a website mockup, we find the layout with the final components, images, fonts, icons, etc. Generally, they are static and are considered medium or high fidelity, depending on their complexity.
Finally, we find the prototypes, more complex models that include animations and interactions, which help us to generate a user experience that is as similar as possible to the final result of our website.
These 3 phases of web design are before programming, so any change we make here will be much faster to correct than if we have to change it once the web is designed.
These mockups are used at the beginning of web and application development, allowing us to coordinate our ideas with those of the client and avoid upsets and surprises later.
Now that you know exactly what a mockup is, we will explain what to use it for.
What is a mockup for?
In the different design disciplines, the mockup serves the same purpose. At first glance, we find these 4 uses that allow us to understand better what a mockup is and what it is for.
Help to see reality
This may be the most obvious. Not all of us perceive ideas in the same way, so a mockup will help us situate ourselves at the same point as our client and teammates, seeing the results we want to obtain from our project in the most authentic way.
Mockups help clients understand what they’re getting, allowing them to see things that aren’t working early in the project.
Accelerates the decisions to be made in the project
Consequently, we can speed up the decisions to develop the project using mockups.
It’s much easier to discuss an idea and what direction we should take if we have a rough idea of how it will turn out instead of just talking about the whole thing without any visual reinforcement.
In this way, we can better understand ourselves and thus optimize communication.
Thanks to using mockups, we can reduce the time we invest in the corrections of our project.
The mockup is a means that allows us to quickly present the result of different ideas, visualizing with greater speed what works and what does not within a project.
When we make mockups -also known as mockups in graphic design- during the project, we reduce the risk that the final result will not please the client.
The mockup will allow us to advance in which the client’s vision is in harmony with the design and development of the project, saving us corrections after delivery.
Keep reading this article on what a mockup is to learn how to make one!
How do I make a mockup?
Now, how do you make a mockup? We have different options.
The easiest is to download an editable mockup on one of the many pages that offer them, such as Freepik or Behance. These files can be edited with programs such as Photoshop since they have been prepared so that we can replace the image shown with our design.
If we do it this way, however, we risk everyone seeing our mockup, making it more difficult for us to stand out.
That is why we can also photograph and edit them to show the desired assembly. Whether we want an image of a specific situation or to stand out and make a difference, this option is possible.
Doing it this way is more expensive and requires some knowledge and use of Photoshop, but the result will be unique and worth it. Now that you know what a mockup is and what it is for, use it in your designs!