How to use Google Slides, Keynote or PowerPoint to prototype software ideas

Do you have a software idea but you’re not sure where to start? Generally, the best starting point is to get out and speak to your potential users to understand if what you’re planning to build is valuable to them.

This article is intended for beginners looking to build something to test out a business idea, an app for their community or just a plain hobby project. I'm a designer and I really respect the work that they do. Great designers do a lot more than mock-up prototypes, they think through user behavior and really empathize with users.

User interviews are helpful for understanding users behavior, their needs and their environment and you will learn a lot from doing them. It’s always recommended to do user interviews first before starting to prototype anything.

But what happens when your potential users actually want to see what you’re building? Well then comes in prototyping. Prototyping is basically a way for you to provide mock-ups of how your app or website might function, what features might be included, and more importantly why would it be valuable for your potential users.

Prototyping is used by all large technology companies for multiple reasons:

  1. It helps you get closer to what the customer actually wants before you build the product with code.

  2. If you build a product with code and realize it’s not what they wanted you will lose a lot of $$$.

  3. Many more reasons.

So why Google Slides? Well, firstly it’s free! And secondly, most people have used Google Slides so they are somewhat familiar with it. This guide can also be applied to Keynote and Powerpoint. At the early stages of an idea, you’re trying to understand if your assumptions are correct about your target users and really qualify if there is a need for your product. Fortunately, Google Slides allows you to do this really quickly and cost-effectively.


If I had 20 days to solve a problem, I’d spend 19 days understanding the problem

— Albert Einstein


Here are a few helpful links discussed in the video.

Here is where you can get icons (if using commercially be sure to credit authors.

Here is where you can find common screen sizes.



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