Notes From Apple’s Prototyping Process for My Missing Contact Info Finder Project:

Fake it till you make it

  • Before wasting a lot of time building apps that people will not like. Build prototype after prototype to save time and build better apps
  • User simple tools! If Apple Keynote is good enough for the Apple team, then it is for me
  • Simple is best. Don’t make complicated mockups. Keep them simple and straight to the point

3 key steps are:

  1. Make fake apps
  2. Show people
  3. Learn from feedback Repeat until you have an app experience that feels great

Notes on getting feedback

  • Get feedback from actual potential clients not just friends or random people. If you app is for an engineer, don’t get feedback from an artist
  • Need to get feedback from marketers and business clients with large list of leads/contacts

Define feature set

  • Input/Upload contacts
    • Type/paste
    • Upload vCard file or CSV
  • Show updated contacts
  • Export to vCard or CSV format


  • What needs to be real?
    • Nothing, simple transitions are all you need
  • What can we fake?
    • Uploading files
    • Processing files
    • Displaying results
    • Exporting
  • Where will we use it?
    • Browser and Mobile phones at offices/desks

Building the prototype:

  • Find a website or app with a design you like and take a screenshot of it
  • Use Keynote to add layers with simple tools like boxes and other shapes
  • Make buttons that trigger slide transitions by adding actions to slides.
  • Export to slideshow and test with people

Show people:

  • Ask them if they know how to process their contacts?
  • Is it easy to use/browse?
  • How can we make this better?

Learn from feedback:

  • What’s working?
    • Maybe its easy to browse and intuitive to use?
  • What’s not working?
    • Maybe people want a different way to input data or export data?
  • What other ideas does this give us?