Want to create a website or a mobile app? Start with a prototyping
- A clickable prototype gives you an idea how the product will look like
- During creation of the prototype we carefully design the requirements, remove the excess and probably add essential features in order to streamline the time and costs before the development
- You can show a clickable prototype to your potential clients, investors and partners whilst the working product is not necessary at this stage
- It is simple to give quite a precise estimates of the development costs after the stage of prototyping
- A prototype is a finished product and it can be used as a technical assignment or a part of it
- A prototype can give a clear idea of the product to the team of developers it will help to realize the whole project in details
Why should you start with a prototype?
- Early user acceptance testing
People get a chance to use and experience the solution early in development. This will result in early feedback from the user base, and allows you to implement changes earlier rather than later. The cost of a change in a project increases significantly in later phases of development.
- Realize requirements and constraints that were not previously considered
By simulating some of the functionality of a product, the team may discover side effects, constraints, or additional requirements that were not considered before. This assists in achieving a more complete and robust solution.
- Better cost, time, and complexity estimates
By realizing additional requirements and constraints early, as well as receiving user feedback early, you can make better complexity and time estimates. This results in better cost and time estimates. These estimates impact a range of activities when rolling out a solution to production.
- We tackle smaller or more complex features first
In software development, we speak about slaying the dragon: A single team of heroes attempts to slay a large project (or “dragon”). With software prototyping, we try to make slaying the dragon more like shooting fish in a barrel — we tackle smaller or more complex features first.
HOW WE DO IT?
- Understand the landscape
We must understand the existing technology and business landscape, as well as the future vision and strategy. This is a crucial foundation for developing any solution.
- Identify the core requirements
These are the requirements for the solution. These are usually derived from the ideas at hand, or from the problems you’re attempting to solve. Requirements usually evolve as you learn more.
Determine if something already exists that fits the requirements. Look at competitors or similar solutions. Uncover the details not mentioned in the core requirements. These uncovered details could be a blocker for the solution, or could potentially open the door for better, more valuable features.
- Develop an initial prototype
Prototype the features that are important and have high impact. This depends on the goal of the prototype. If complicated features with unknown possibilities exist, then tackle these first. If there are many simple features, try to simulate an experience across all these features without delving into the complexity in each.
- Evaluate and review the prototype
You should review the developed prototype with the target user group and relevant stakeholders. Some prototypes could even be released to production for evaluation.
The performance of the features and usability should be evaluated and measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. This means that you gain some knowledge from measurable numbers, and other info from human intuition and observation.
- Revise and Enhance the Prototype
After reviewing the feedback from the prototype, you gather information. Then you can make enhancements and changes.
If unknowns still exist, repeat the above process. In fact, even with solutions in production, this process can be harnessed to test new ideas for the solution.
Advantages of prototyping
- Reduced time and costs
By exploring the requirements and constraints, we can better estimate the upcoming effort.
- Improved and increased user involvement
User involvement is important. Prototypes clear up misconceptions and expectations, and they assist in gathering user feedback from early stages of development.
- Quality assurance
Realize oversights, additional requirements, and constraints.
Without being brave enough to explore the crazy ideas, an organization can easily stagnate.