Prototyping and Wireframing in Ecommerce Usability Testing

Ashutosh Chandra | 24th June 2020

Usability testing in ecommerce is a crucial part of optimization. UX and UI design in ecommerce is fundamentally about building storefronts and customer journeys that offer customers exactly what they want. It also maximizes the ecommerce conversion rate and average customer lifetime value. 


One in three customers discontinues their purchase because they can’t find the right information highlights. This leads to a high ecommerce bounce rate. So it’s important to use wireframes and prototypes in the right way.


At Oodles Prototype Designing Services, both prototypes and wireframes play critical roles in the UX design process, especially when it comes to optimization.


But most of the clients misunderstand the roles these tools play. This misunderstanding results in wastage of time and resources and less than optimal changes to their site designs.


In this post, we will know exactly what are prototypes and wireframes, and how to use them in usability testing. So let’s begin.

What Is Prototyping

In UX and UI design, a prototype represents all the suggested changes to a website. A prototype is like an almost completed version of the finished product. A programmer, when looking at a prototype, gets all the information they need to make a finished or near-finished site design.

Prototypes have a number of benefits. Particularly, they are useful for collaboration between designers and clients – for approval, brainstorming ideas, and evaluating possibilities.


Also, Read | A Complete Prototype Design Guide For Perfect UX Designs

What Is Wireframing

There is a lot in common between wireframes and prototypes. Generally, wireframes are less-developed versions of prototypes and serve slightly different functions. A wireframe is just like an outline of a design. But it still contains the main ideas. In the prototype, these ideas are fully fleshed out.

In particular, wireframes can be useful for mapping changes to the customer journey, as opposed to a specific interface like a product page. Wireframes can also be used for developing and showing new stages. For example, reducing the number of steps involved during checkout. Wireframes are more useful than prototypes in the brainstorming stage of collaboration. They take less time to represent an idea than a full prototype.


Related High-Fidelity Wireframes For Smart UX

What is Usability Testing

Usability testing is all about testing how easy design is to use on a group of representative users. It usually involves observing users as they attempt to finish tasks. We can perform usability testing on different types of designs, from user interfaces to physical products. It is often conducted repeatedly, from early development until a product is released.

The important benefit and purpose of usability testing are to identify usability problems with a design as early as possible. It is so because developers can then fix the problems before implementing the design. Usability testing is usually conducted on prototypes rather than finished products. The testing is conducted with different levels of fidelity (i.e., detail and finish) depending on the development phase. Prototypes are a more primitive, low-fidelity version (e.g., paper sketches) during early development. Then they take the form of more detailed, high-fidelity versions (e.g., interactive digital mock-ups) closer to release.

How To Perform Usability Testing – An Overview

Best Tools for UX Prototyping in Ecommerce

Apps are fundamental to any usability testing process. The vast majority of problems that companies face when undertaking usability testing can be solved, at least in part, by using the appropriate tools. Some UX design services offer the best tools for UX prototyping in ecommerce.

When selecting a prototyping tool, consider some important factors such as integrations, collaboration tools, ease in onboarding, and the costs. Based on these factors, here are some of the best prototyping tools:

  • Adobe XD
  • UXPin
  • InVision
  • Webflow 
  • Framer

Use of Wireframes and Prototypes in Ecommerce Usability Testing

Wireframes and prototypes play multiple roles in ecommerce usability testing. In almost all cases, they enable designers and coders to save significant amounts of time and resources. It frees them up to brainstorm and test a greater number of alternatives and implement lasting and effective changes. Generally, we use prototypes and wireframes in the following ways:

  • Gaining approval for new designs from management – If managers need to approve new designs prior to testing, wireframes and prototypes are an efficient way of providing them with all the necessary information.
  • A/B split-testing – For cost-effective testing of new designs, functional prototypes are great before a full rollout. They’re also incredible for gathering preliminary information before larger A/B tests with final designs.
  • Gathering feedback from focus groups or experts – Prototypes and wireframes are an inexpensive way of gathering feedback from focus groups. They also enable designers to evaluate a wider number of options.
  • Brainstorming user flows – Wireframes are an excellent tool for outlining customer flows between sections of a site. 

It may be necessary to experiment with multiple customer journeys in the conception phase and it’s usually not viable to use prototypes to do this. Interactive wireframes are particularly effective for this stage of design.

Most Significant Parts of Ecommerce Prototyping

Let’s first understand the relationship between ecommerce usability testing and ecommerce optimization. The goal of ecommerce usability testing is to improve the customer experience. The purpose of ecommerce optimization is to improve key metrics like conversion rate, average order value, lifetime value, and so on.

There is a very close relationship between these two areas. It’s because, invariably, the best customer experience is also the one that is most profitable to the online store. At Oodles UI UX design services, we seek to improve the customer experience, where success is measured in terms of the main optimization metrics along with specific customer satisfaction metrics.


Here are the key areas to focus on:


  • Product search and filtering tools
  • Checkout process
  • Product page elements
  • The flow of attention on product pages
  • Site-wide branding


 Prototypes enable designers to visualize how changes impact a site’s overall value proposition and impact. This is, of course, a limited snapshot. But it offers an overview of where the bulk of energy and resources will be focused on a usability testing campaign.



Prototypes and wireframes are essential tools for UX testing and design. Using them in the right manner can dramatically boost the quality of your campaigns.

Oodles Studio offers prototype designing services that establish the layout of your digital interface with wireframing. Their UX experts iteratively create low and high fidelity prototypes to accurately test usability and map user journeys.


About Author


Ashutosh Chandra

Ashutosh is a blogger and technical writer at Oodles, who covers topics ranging from Branding, UI/UX design, Graphic design to other design and technology-related matters.

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