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Model vs. Mockup: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 25, 2023
A model is a scaled or full-size representation of a design, often used for study, while a mockup is a full-size replica used for design evaluation or promotional purposes.

Key Differences

A model is a scaled or full-size representation, often used in architecture, engineering, or art to represent a structure or object. It serves as a tool for visualization and study, allowing for the examination of design principles and aesthetic values. Conversely, a mockup is typically a full-size replica of a design, often used in the fields of design, technology, and manufacturing. It serves to demonstrate how a finished product will look and feel, often used for marketing, design feedback, or user interaction studies.
In the context of software development, a model can refer to a simplified representation of a system or process, used to analyze and predict behavior or performance. It provides an abstract, often mathematical, representation of a system. On the other hand, a mockup in software design usually refers to a static layout or blueprint of a user interface, showcasing the design elements and user experience, without functional capability.
In fashion, a model is a person who wears and displays clothing and accessories for designers and brands, showcasing fashion trends and styles. In contrast, a mockup in fashion could refer to a preliminary version of a garment, made from cheaper materials, used to test a pattern or design before final production.
In the field of science, models are often theoretical constructs that represent complex phenomena, used for hypothesis testing and understanding scientific principles. In contrast, a mockup in science, particularly in experimental physics or engineering, might be a non-functional, full-scale replica used to explore the feasibility of designs and concepts.
In education, models are used as teaching aids to illustrate and explain concepts, ranging from biological specimens to historical artifacts. Mockups, in this context, are often used to simulate real-life scenarios or environments, providing a hands-on experience for learners to interact with and learn from.

Comparison Chart


Represents design for study and analysis
Full-size replica for design evaluation


Often non-functional; for visualization
May be non-functional; focuses on appearance


Can be scaled or full-size
Typically full-size

Usage in Industries

Used in a wide range of fields
Common in design and tech industries

Detail Level

Varies; can be simplistic or detailed
Usually detailed, reflecting final design

Model and Mockup Definitions


An exemplary standard; a pattern to be copied.
She is a role model for aspiring athletes.


A full-size model of something large that is not yet built, showing how it will look or operate.
The museum displayed a mockup of the spacecraft.


A representation, often in miniature, to show the construction or appearance of something.
The architect created a detailed model of the new building.


A scale or full-size model of a design or device, used for display, study, or testing.
Engineers tested the aerodynamics using a car mockup.


A theoretical description of a system or process.
Scientists developed a model to predict climate change.


An imitation of something, used as a display or demonstrative tool.
The mockup of the ancient artifact was used in the classroom.


A particular design or version of a product.
The latest model of the smartphone has many new features.


A prototype or replica of a design used for teaching, demonstration, design evaluation, or promotion.
The design team reviewed the mockup of the new website.


A person who wears clothing and accessories for display.
The fashion show featured models from around the world.


A layout of printed material, or a digital interface, used to visualize the final product.
The graphic designer prepared a mockup for the brochure.


A small object, usually built to scale, that represents in detail another, often larger object.


A usually full-sized scale model of a structure, used for demonstration, study, or testing.


A layout of printed matter or digital content.


Alternative spelling of mock-up.


Are mockups always full-size?

Typically, but they can vary in scale depending on purpose.

What is a model in architecture?

A scaled or full-size representation of a building or structure.

What’s the purpose of a mockup in product design?

To visualize and evaluate the design before final production.

Do mockups represent final quality?

They represent appearance but not necessarily the final functionality.

Are mockups interactive?

They can be, especially in digital formats, but often they are static.

Do models have to be physical objects?

No, they can also be theoretical or digital constructs.

How are mockups used in web design?

As static layouts to showcase the design and user interface.

Can models be functional?

They are usually non-functional, focusing on representation.

Can a model be a person?

Yes, in contexts like fashion or art.

Is a mockup the same as a prototype?

Not exactly; prototypes are usually functional, while mockups are not.

What is a model in science?

A theoretical framework or representation to explain phenomena.

How important are mockups in client presentations?

Very; they help clients visualize and give feedback on designs.

What materials are used for mockups?

Depends on the industry; can range from paper to digital media.

Are models used in fashion?

Yes, as people who display clothing and accessories.

Can models be scaled down?

Yes, especially in fields like architecture or engineering.

Are mockups used in software development?

Yes, for user interface and user experience design.

Is a model always an accurate representation?

It aims to be, but may simplify certain aspects.

Are models used in mathematics?

Yes, as abstract representations to explain and predict.

Can models be used for simulations?

Yes, particularly in fields like engineering or education.

Can a mockup be modified easily?

It varies; physical mockups are harder to modify than digital ones.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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