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I have searched online about this topic and I'm confused. If I have been asked to build mockups for an app, is it something to be built using for example Android Studio? or Is it paper/drawing based?

In the case if it is built using Android Studio, what should be built there? just interfaces? How then these interfaces will model the real app?

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    You need to ask exactly what they want. Most stakeholders have no idea what a mockup is, and they use the word interchangeably with wireframe or prototype. It's a problem you'll face throughout your whole career, so always make sure to ask EXACTLY what they mean. Many times they don't know the jargon and use it incorrectly. This advice applies for absolutely all UX jargon, not only this (although this one is quite common)
    – Devin
    Jun 14, 2023 at 15:15

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Mockups, Wireframes, Prototypes

These are 3 common deliverables from UX designers. Non-designers often confuse them with one another, so clarity is important for all involved.

  • mockup: a pixel perfect design of a static screen. Focused on details of the design
  • wireframe: a simple, often no color, display of blocks and text. It removes design details to focus on hierarchy and layout.
  • prototype: an interactive deliverable that can be pixel perfect like a mockup, content focused like a wireframe, or fall somewhere in-between. It focuses on task flow and interaction.

What's the Business Ask?

It sounds like you may need clarification from your organization on what is specifically being asked of you. A mockup would be static images to show what fully developed screen would look like. But they are not built in a coding language or tool since that would be time consuming and more challenging to modify based on internal and external feedback.

If Android Studio is the tool you have been told to use, then the business is likely looking for a prototype: something they can interact with that will reflect the end product. This can be built with prototyping tools like Figma, Adobe XD, or Axure which are faster to produce an interactive result. If the interactions are particularly unique or complex, Android Studio may be the right tool for the job. Simply make sure to focus on the UI display and interactions over strong code to maximize the value of your time and effort at this stage or your process.

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Mockups are pretty much UI designs showcasing what the app could look like.

So at the end of the day you should be handing in images. If you feel like the client meant something else then please clarify.

E.g. Google Image search for mobile app mockups

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I agree with the other comments that you should clarify exactly what your client is expecting from you.

In my experience, a mockup would be a static design, usually supplied as a Figma file so that the Eng team can inspect/export any elements. The file would include mockups of the key screens in the app or feature, possibly with annotations explaining what is happening. You might include additional mockups that show different states, e.g. what does it look like when someone hovers over a button.

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