Prototyping is the process of creating models for a system to be tested by users. Prototyping is essential in answering the question of how your product will be received in the market. Prototyping helps you know whether you should carry on with your project or whether you should halt the whole process.
Types of Prototyping
The different types of prototyping include:
Extreme prototyping is the process of developing web applications. It is mainly conducted in three phases: the building of HTML wireframes stimulating the layer of presentation, transforming wireframes to functioning HTML pages, and coding the services layer.
Evolutionary prototyping begins with a product only meeting the requirements of a system that are understood. An evolutionary prototype has the bare minimum functions to make it useful. Additional functions and features are added once the stakeholder’s requirements are made clear.
Rapid prototyping, also known as Throwaway prototyping, refers to the speed and ease that a prototype can be changed to test different ideas with the projected users and how their feedback can be implemented. The prototype here is relevant for a short while, which is why it is called throwaway prototyping.
Incremental prototyping is useful for software with several components and modules that are related to one another loosely. Individual prototypes are refined and evaluated separately then merged to form a comprehensive whole. There should be a guiding principle to ensure consistency when dealing with this type of prototyping.
Importance of Prototyping for your Project’s Success
Here are some reasons why prototyping is important for your project’s success.
Reduced Uncertainty and Risks
With new knowledge of the prototype, you can avoid wasting your design and increase the chances of succeeding. This new information is likely to give you the go-ahead to the production phase or not. A prototype is not a fully functioning product which means reduced risk; hence contractors have a safety net if the prototype fails.
Documentation for Your Project
Prototyping will help you easily patent an invention as it will demonstrate that you are the one who came up with the concept.
Generation of Better Ideas
Prototyping helps improve the creative process from the idea stage to the prototype stage. At the idea stage, everyone can give suggestions to lead to a product that could save specific problems. The idea stage emphasizes the quantity rather than the quality of ideas because, from the many ideas, you will likely get one idea that will solve the specific problem.
Saves Money and Time
Prototyping helps you weed out what doesn’t work to solely focus on what works best hence saving you a lot of money and time. Having a working prototype will help you address technical challenges that may occur with the design. This is especially true for mobile app design software.
Allows for Testing on the Projected User Group
You are likely to gather more accurate results because when you give people a working prototype, they will easily conceptualize the product before seeing it.
Helps Communicate the Business Objectives of Clients
Most prototypes are never complete; they are merely a projection of the actual product. Having a prototype will open dialogue between the clients and developers, helping them communicate how they would like the end product. The developers can capture the client’s objectives in the end product.
Prototyping helps in determining whether the product you are coming up with is worth it or not, depending on how the projected users will receive it. Prototyping will also help in knowing how your product will look at the end.