creating prototypes

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Silence is Golden is our weekly live Facebook stream with Simon and Troy. This show is designed to help you start and grow your business as a freelancer. Today we delve into Black Friday, some big changes at Envato, WordCamp US and then Simon will give us an awesome demo on how to build a prototype using Beaver Builder. Woo! Let’s go!

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Black Friday Mania

What shiny new toys did everyone buy? Well, Troy decided to show some constraint this year and only bought Go Animate which is a video design tool. He gives two thumbs up for this.

Simon bought Content Studio which is a social media scheduling tool. Agency Analytics which is an all-in-one reporting platform.  Convert Fox is a suite of products for marketing, sales, and customer success teams to build better relationships and close more deals. And finally, Better Proposals which helps you wrote and create professional looking proposals.

Some Black Friday Advice: It is easy to get sucked into buying things you don’t need because it's so cheap. Troy's approach these days is to only buy things that you are in absolute need of and not because it’s cheap. It needs to solve a problem or save you time. If you think it is something that you may use in the future, then don’t buy it, because you probably won't have time to get to it and it will sit on the shelf.

Tide Project

Check out the WP Tavern article that goes into the Tide Project from XWP.

Basically, it is designed to improve the overall plugins across WordPress. They are trying to run some automated code checks that that can run across plugin and then give you a report on the quality of the plugin and it’s security. They will have some problems to iron out at the start but the idea is really good.

At the moment there are people that manually check and review, but this will make it quicker and easier. It will be interesting to see what happens to people in those jobs as this project takes off.

WordCamp US

The WPE Elevators met up at WordCamp US in Nashville and it looks like they had a ball! Thanks to everyone who shared their photos and stories in the Agency Mavericks Facebook feed. We had severe FOMO!

Envato Changes

Envato have released an unlimited theme and plugin download with their annual subscription and are not making it available to monthly subscribers. This has made a few people quite disgruntled especially the early adopters of Envato. However, Troy agrees that there should be a benefit of being an annual subscriber.

To read more about the changes click here.

Facebook Questions

This week we only have one question which is what time the live streams will be happening each week. Bear with us while we are working out a few things and updating our studio. But we are aiming to stream around 10 am Sydney time every Tuesday.

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Creating Prototypes

Last week we covered site planning and if you missed out on Simon's awesome planning document. Click here to download it.

Ok, so you have won the client, had a  planning session and now you want to build a prototype.

You want to create something tangible in a browser so that they can get an idea of how it will work. It's not quite designed but it gets the elements together so the client can get their head around it all.

The main benefit of this? It will allow faster feedback and approvals, save you precious time and the client a lot less confusion. This is particularly for websites that are not straightforward and may be difficult to explain to the client. Sometimes when you are not sure how a site is going to work, or you don’t know how to even bill the client or how much time will go into it, that’s also where a prototype will help.


  • Make sure you explain to the client that it is just to show functionality before you jump into the design
  • This is a great tool to give a designer as well. Making everyone's lives much easier
  • Pitch a prototype! Instead of trying to convince a client to spend $5,000- $10,000 on a website, pitch a prototype for $1,500 instead. Over deliver, wow them and build the trust so you can then create the full website for them. It also helps you know how much to quote the client

Tool of the week: Beaver Builder Theme and Plugin V2

You can whip up a prototype in Beaver Builder in no time!

Simon gives us a demo of a simple prototype for a hotel venue. Here you have all of the home page elements that can be created very quickly with no design.

Then you include placeholders like below. Simon uses You simply enter the dimensions that you want and it will create a placeholder box that size with the dimensions written in the middle.

If you don’t have the content from the client, use placeholder text so that they can see the fonts and how it will look. Simon and Troy use the rule of three – if you aren't sure how many paragraphs, blogs or sections to use, use three!

Hipster Ipsum is a good place to get your placeholder text or Samuel L. Ipsum (warning: bad language on that site!)

So there you go, Beaver Builder makes all of this happen very quickly and you can also save templates for prototypes for different industries and reuse them. What a time saver!

Awesome tips Troy and Simon! Have fun prototyping!

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Troy Dean

Troy Dean

I am the Founder of Agency Mavericks. The reason I get out of bed every day is because I love helping people to grow their web design or digital marketing businesses. I do this through coaching, creating courses, speaking, consulting and heading up our awesome community.

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