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What Is A Mockup And How To Create It

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When you are looking for a job, you can often see the word “mockup” in the list of a UX/UI designer’s skills. Professional UX/UI design agencies often work with mockups and hire designers who can create them.

In this post, we will talk about the definition of mockups, what benefits it gives to businesses, and how to create them quickly and easily using ready-made templates.

Definition of a mockup

A mockup is a layout that designers use to show the client how the finished product will look. Some confuse it with a sketch, but the mockup is a detailed imitation of a real object.

Layouts are needed when developing an application or website, before printing marketing materials, such as leaflets or business cards, or creating branded wardrobe items.

This is often a PSD file with a smart object to which the resulting design is added. Sometimes JPEG images are used for mockups, but they are more difficult to work with and are not always suitable.

What are mockups for?

When creating a product, it isn’t easy to understand what it will look like in the end. Even when experienced designers do the work, it can be hard to transmit your vision. A mockup can help.

Layouts are used to demonstrate the project and see defects that are not noticeable in 2D-format and correct them.

You can’t do without mockups when developing websites and applications. On a mockup, designers see how the font and colors look, how text blocks, images, and videos will be placed. Besides, it allows checking the layouts for various devices: computers, tablets, and phones.

A professional can help you create a mockup that is closest to the real thing. You can find some of the best in this list of top UX designers.

Ready-made mockup templates

If you prefer to create a product mockup on your own, you can do it in a few minutes – there are thousands of ready-made layouts on the Internet. You can find them at:

1. Smartmockups

Has mockups for websites, applications, software systems. For the convenience of search, you can filter the mockups, see individual categories. Some layouts (more than 200) are available for free. For downloading the rest, you need a premium account. Users with the paid version of Smartmockups can download more than three and a half thousand layouts, change the backgrounds and crop the images.

2. Mockuper

Completely free program with hundreds of mockups for devices (computers, tablets, smartphones) and printed products (banners, catalogs, posters). An advanced search function helps to find the layout. Once you download the mockup, it is easy to crop, adjust the brightness and transparency.

3. MagicMockups

This website is also free regardless of the purpose of use. Due to CC0 licensing, when working with MagicMockups, you do not need to indicate authorship and links to the source.

4. MockupsJar

Here you will find hundreds of mockups for iPhone, Android, and MacBook. More than 700 of them are available upon subscription, but there are also free options. Like a children’s book or a tin can, really unusual mockups can also be found on MockupsJar.

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Work with ready-made mockups

When the layout is found, you need to download it and open Photoshop. Of course, some services allow you to work with mockups by uploading an image to the website, but the quality is much lower.

The downloaded file contains the layout itself, instructions, and a license. After transferring the mockup to Photoshop, you can see that it consists of many layers that make the picture realistic.

The next step is to search for the layer where you can add the product image. Often its name is “Your design is here.” You can change the color of the background and elements, add shadows. Then save your work.

Pros and cons of ready-made mockups

Using templates facilitates the job of a designer. Almost anyone can create a mockup in a short amount of time. It allows you to quickly present to your clients or business partners the idea of your project in 3D.

Nevertheless, working with ready-made mockups is not always convenient. It can be challenging to find a layout that is entirely similar to the client’s product. Ready-made mockups work only for standard products. Their possibilities are quite limited and make it hard to introduce drastic changes to the interface. So when possible, it is better to create mockups from scratch.

Summing up

You can create mockups yourself in Photoshop, but it demands lots of skill and experience. To develop a layout, you need to understand how to work with smart objects, Transformation, and other tools. A professional mockup takes the work of the designer to a new level. With a mockup, you can see how the finished product will look even before its release and demonstrate that to clients and sponsors.

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