What is rapid prototyping?
Prototyping is an important part of the development cycle which gives people the chance to test any idea without having to build it. As the development cycles can be lengthy, they extend the time for the product to hit the market, and postpone the product’s reach to the end-user. Thus the time to get feedback from the early users on the product will be a lengthy one.
Prototyping as an initial phase allows for a better view of investment and market opportunity. We are able to steer your product vision and scope to provide you with a digital solution quickly. Our goal is to minimize your time to market in order to focus on business strategy and funding. Rapid prototyping should not be confused with evolutionary prototyping which is another form of prototyping and is focused on the most understandable aspects of the project, whereas rapid prototyping is focused on the least understandable aspects.
How does rapid prototyping work?
Rapid prototyping consists of three steps which are listed below:
- Create the first version of the prototype.
- Show the first version of the prototype to the select people whose comments and feedback will be critical and beneficial for the overall process, making sure to act on the important outcomes from the feedback.
- Make the necessary improvements and changes on the first version of the prototype according to the feedback.
What is the scope of rapid prototyping?
It’s important to determine whether you need rapid prototyping or not, and know why you are doing it. You should know what you want to get out of this whole process of prototyping.
There are phases to prototyping, and it should be an evolving process. First you start with small sketches and ideas, then widen the idea and create larger scale, more detailed prototypes. The depth and the detail of these prototypes will change according to the scale and complexity of the project.
Overall, the rapid prototyping is done to give an initial feel of how the user experience and the user interface will be once they are combined.
Do you really need to carry out rapid prototyping?
The answer is no. You do not need to carry out rapid prototyping in every project, especially not on the ones that come with a solid design, and nothing out of the ordinary.
In the case of a new technology or a new feature being tried, or some first of a kind functionality being tested, then rapid prototyping will be very beneficial.
What are the rapid prototyping fidelity options?
Like every other aspect in life, the real question should be ‘where do we draw the line?’. The level of detail and depth should stop at a certain point. This is the point where the decision should be made on what level of detail is the prototype going to have?
In order to be able to know where we will stop, we should have already decided on why we need a prototype. The answer to this question should be clear in the customers mind in order to proceed. Then, the scale of the project has to be kept in mind, the effort that will be put forth in delivering the prototype has to be calculated and decided upon as well. When there is a clear answer to all these questions, then the fidelity options can be selected:
- Low fidelity
- Medium fidelity
- High fidelity
Some other aspects depending on which level of fidelity is chosen also include the type and format of the prototype. Is it going to be static or clickable (dynamic)? Is it going to be a sketch representation or an actual graphical design? Will the copy be real copy or dummy text?
After all these are decided on, the process can start.
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