Mockup vs Prototype vs MVP — what’s the difference? | 3001

Product development — from vague idea to final product — is a process which involves many phases that can (and should!) be broken down into a number of smaller steps.

  1. Mockup
  2. Prototype
  3. MVP
  4. Conclusion
  5. If you’d like to experience what all of this looks like in practice, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Today, we’ll focus on the design phase, particularly on MVPs, mockups, and prototypes. Many people appear to find these terminology to be puzzling, particularly those who are producing a product for the first time. However, their definitions diverge significantly.

However, before we begin discussing any of these stages, you should get familiar with yet another idea: the wireframe. This is the most plain-looking diagram of a product interface, with no embellishment.

Once a wireframe has been created, designers and developers may utilize it as a starting point for subsequent, more complex tasks.


To put it simply, this is a more dynamic version of the wireframe that includes a layer of extra color schemes, icons, spacing, navigational graphics, typography, and some placeholder text. It enables the graphic designer to see how one element interacts with the others. At this point, everything is easily modifiable without having to completely restructure the project around a single piece of software. The ideal time to test and experiment with your design is right now. More significantly, functioning components are not included in mockups. They are more akin to screenshots that are prepared for distribution to the developers.

Top advantages

Detailed outline

Mockups provide us a basic sense of how the project will seem, highlighting both its advantages and any potential drawbacks (such as accessibility, for example). Without changing any code, the latter may be quickly found and rectified.

Ability to persuade

Mockups may be shown to investors in a way that talking about your concepts cannot. Mockups demonstrate to them the intended purpose and appearance of the product. Additionally, it offers a chance to get insightful preliminary comments.

New ground for developers

The developers can clearly see what they should be working on thanks to these mockups. This enables them to concentrate on adding a layer of code to make the idea come to life.


It is functionality-driven and built using wireframes and mockups. A sample, really interactive version of the product is represented by the prototype. Usability testing is therefore necessary in order to obtain any user input. The prototype may be used to draw in new investors and demonstrate to stakeholders the project’s development.

Top benefits

Estimates’ initial value

After you have a working prototype, you can only estimate how much time and money you will need to spend to release an MVP (see below), followed by more advanced versions of the product.

experimental tool

You may test and experiment with your most outrageous ideas using prototypes without incurring significant expenses. You may generate clickable content fast, gather feedback, and then make any required corrections.

shortened time to market

The process of future product development often moves more faster and more easily when your ideas have been tested and confirmed and the prototype has been adjusted in response to user input. Due to faster detection and correction of any possible problems, your development team won’t have to go back and make disruptive project adjustments. They may proceed since they are aware of the best course of action.


It just has the essential features, but it nevertheless offers value to early adopters who test the product and give input, helping it fast find a solid product-market fit. Users should receive enough value from the MVP to utilize it or purchase it. To encourage early adopters to persist with the product and naturally refer it to others, it should also hint to potential future advantages. Even if the MVP only gives customers access to one or two critical functions, one thing is for sure: these features need to be flawless in every way! Last but not least, every MVP should have a system for gathering input, which is crucial for future development.

Top advantages


Building the MVP is far less expensive than creating a finished product at once. After all, “minimum” isn’t just a word for nothing. Additionally, using such a cost-effective strategy keeps the product from becoming too complex for customers to comprehend. Iteration by iteration feature addition is a well-known risk-mitigation technique.

Verification and testing of several factors

You may test your UX solutions and validate your company idea and market demand by creating an MVP. It makes it possible for you to act quickly when something doesn’t seem to be working as it should.

improved comprehension of a target audience

Understanding your consumers’ demands is a never-ending process, but the MVP may help you learn what they want from your product. Additionally, it’s a fantastic approach to establish a rapport with them right away. Every time you wish to issue an update, you may give your initial users early access to new features to make them feel valued and wanted.


Although it may seem like a lot of effort, creating wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and MVPs is the most effective approach to design and create a product. The project runs well and everyone involved avoids making costly mistakes thanks to well-established protocols. Additionally, the entire team will be more satisfied with their work as a consequence of taking tiny steps as opposed to one large jump.

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